How to Deal with Anxiety Brought on By Worry

how to deal with anxiety

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. ~ Van Wilder

Worry. It is something that many people do but is a totally useless activity. There is nothing constructive about it. Worry doesn’t fix something that is broken or prevent something from getting broken. However, worry does break down our immune system, which proves you have something to worry about: thinking about what worry will do to you when you worry! What an oxymoron and waste of good energy! It is like the rocking chair–you put in a lot of energy and get nowhere. No one benefits from our worry.

Worry is different than concern. Concern is understanding a situation and taking precautionary steps to prevent something or produce a different result. Concern is about the now and what can be done or changed or planned to bring about the desired result. Concern is about using wisdom; choosing appropriate actions to bring about a desired result. Concern checks all the possibilities, but when we have done our best that is all we can do. Worrying about whether our best was good enough negates the effort. Worry brings anxiety, stress and fretfulness. “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength–carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie ten Boom

We worry about so many things that we have no control over, things such as what others will think. In the majority of cases, “they” don’t think. They have their own worries that consume them. And, so what if what they think isn’t the same as what we think? Will we chose not to do what we were going to do if “they” think differently? That means others always are controlling our life if we abandon our desires so we can please everyone else. And do other people really care?

Sometimes we worry about something that happened in the past that we can’t change. That is why we call it the past, because it is ‘past’. If we need to apologize for something and that will heal a wound, then we need to relinquish the ego and go and do it. Worrying about how someone else will respond won’t change the way they will respond, but rather make us more nervous about doing what we feel we need to do. We become people pleasers. It is not our role to demand anyone respond the way we want them to. That is called being a dictator.

Worry about the future only brings our “now” stress into the morrow. If we have a concern, plan some alternative possibilities such as, ‘If this happens, then this will be my response.’  I have a friend whose husband has Alzheimer’s. We have planned a holiday together. Our concern is he may pass away while we are gone. Therefore, we simply took out insurance in case we need to return during the trip. We have planned solutions for a variety of possibilities. Then we will go and enjoy ourselves as much as is possible under the circumstances. We also will pray for rest and respite for my friend so she is more able to cope with the eminent death of her partner of more 50 years. Carrying a load that you don’t need to carry wears one out. “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof” is an old saying. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles and bring them into today. It robs us of our peace and joy.

Stop worrying about making the world a better place and simply start with making yourself better by letting go of the worry habit. You may find you are even a little happier when learning to respond rather than react. People on their death bed don’t worry about what other people think. They only have regrets about opportunities they didn’t take and could have. Relationships are what truly matter.

We can lose so much joy worrying about what we don’t have instead of being grateful for what we do have. That attitude of gratitude, counting our blessings daily, brings so much into perspective. Instead of comparing ourselves to those who have more than us, let’s compare ourselves to those who have less. Not so that we can fill our ego with pride, but rather to find ways of making a difference to others. We don’t appreciate the amount of internal gloom we generate just by worrying about things that may not need any worrying. That doesn’t mean we abandon responsibility and neglect to set goals to achieve more, but rather that we try each day to be the best we possibly can be.

I remember the old poem about ‘I will be happy when I am old enough to go to primary school/’, ‘I will be happy when I get to high school,’ etc., until we have wished away our life placing happiness at some future time in our life. Choose to be happy now and find joy and significance in the moment.  Let the journey of life bring joy rather than the destination being the ultimate goal. Let our character be developed even in the patience of waiting.

Depression and anxiety are everywhere. People worry about not being good enough or worry about being rejected or worry about the economy or worry about not having something to worry about. We worry about losing our job or losing our hair or losing our phone or being late. All this does is drain our energy and make us a bore to be with. The truth is you will be hurt in the future, people will let you down, it will rain and the wind will blow, the dollar will drop in value. Yet tomorrow is another day we have been given and we can use it for good or abuse it by filling it with useless worry.

Eradicate the burden of worry from your life by pumping some positivity in your mornings every day. Turn off the negative news, send in your resignation to the worry club and you are guaranteed to feel a lift in your step. Now that gigantic yoke you were hitched up to is gone from your shoulders and you are free to explore a whole new world of peace and fulfillment.

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