The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

~ David M Ogilvy ~

You Worry Too Much

May 13th, 2014 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 45 secs

There is something to worry about everywhere.

There is something to worry about everywhere.

Face it, if you had a newly minted coin for every time you worried you’d be phenomenally rich by now. Unlike all the pushing and shoving to get to the specials or find those limited offers, worries are plentiful. In fact, there are worries enough for everyone.

Now you and I may never meet, but an educated guess tells me you worry too much for your own good. It’s easily done of course in this post GFC, post 9-11, post Millennium Bug, pre-apocalyptic, environmentally damaged, and globally overheating world. If you ask me, it takes a steady nerve just to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee to put it all to one side.

Never before have people been beset with so much to know. Even if you do know, what hope have you got of keeping up with what’s coming up next? Media intrusion is complete. Internet reach is global. You are only a tweet away from what is happening in Kiev and who isn’t fretting about the 200 or so girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram in Nigeria?

Too much information? Probably. It’s enough to leave you feeling powerless and filled with unease, which of course is what thinkers say reflects the spirit of the times.

Worry reveals our anxiety about what we can’t control and there’s plenty of that.

So no wonder you fret. Gone are the days when your concerns were mostly domestic. Now we worry on an international scale, and if we don’t people feel that’s not very sophisticated.

Yet there is a dizzy limit to our worrying ways and I believe we have already reached it. Call it “Peak Unease” if you like (but then you’d have to explain that you don’t mean a small fluffy dog but high anxiety which is something much heavier and hairier to handle).

Even little kids in quiet streets are now immersed in a world of worry. Picking it up from grown ups they fret about things children needn’t think about, like:

“Is my make up okay?”

“What if everyone thinks I’m too fat?”

“How can I be cool enough for people to like me?”

Somewhere in our collective sea of anxiety we need to grab onto something solid and take stock. If we don’t, then our fears take control of us, leaving us floundering and ruining the beauty that we have the power to share.

Pushing through our perceived fears and focusing on what we do want to contribute to puts worrying back in its box. The more we achieve with deliberate concentrated effort the less headspace we have for frightening feelings. And that’s just as well.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed with worry, do something about it:

  1. Talk to somebody sensible about your feelings
  2. To mop up all those stress hormones take physical action with a brisk walk, run, workout, or wild tidy
  3. Encourage someone else (it will empower you and lift them too)
  4. Laugh at your attempts to carry the weight of the world on your small unpadded shoulders
  5. Do something creative to redirect that worrywart energy into something helpful and healing (for me personally, the answer is almost always photography but pick your own pleasure and do it often).

Worry is often regarded as a sign we care and, it’s true, it can reveal that. But too often worrying is a go nowhere behavior, much like jogging on the spot. It might build up a sweat and wear you out but it is never going to take us anywhere or bring about better outcomes.

Instead, stick to what you can control and let go of stuff you can’t. Concentrate on being productive in your own realm and worry will stop being so dominant. So what better reason do you need to do the tidying up? Or, better yet, cranking up a nice cup of tea of coffee. Talk to you later.

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