Why We Worry

Worrying.  We all do it. Perhaps, it’s a built-in response to wanting control over things that we cannot control? As humans, we all want control and worrying is possibly one’s attempt at foreseeing everything that possibly could happen so that we can counter the not-so-good before it happens.  In short, are we in fear of not having control when we worry?

worrying

We are only fearing what we know is happening right now and what could come out of it but, we cannot worry about something that we don’t know may be a problem in the future or even the next moment.

The people in Manchester who lost their lives to terrorism during an Ariana Grande concert, may have worried about what outfits to wear, what their friends might have wanted to do after, during or beforehand.  They may have been concerned and worried about a medical test the next day or an exam they were to take later that week.  There’s a plethora of things that they could have been worried about and trying their best to do something about it in one way or another.  They knew whatever they were worried about would occur but, what they couldn’t worry about was what did happen because they didn’t know or even dream it was going to happen.  Losing their lives in that moment was likely the furthest things from their minds so, they weren’t worried about it happening or the outcome. That’s usually more the case than not.  It’s what we don’t foresee or know that we should have worried about trying to stop.  It’s likely that most people would have declined going to the concert or the concert would have been cancelled had anyone outside of the cowardly murderer, had have known it was going to happen.

All of us take chances every time we do anything in our lives.  Even staying in bed with the covers up over our heads and refusing to do anything to endanger ourselves or hear disturbing news, has the potential for disaster to happen.  The roof could cave in over our heads and kill us.  We could slip and fall in the bathtub and end up a vegetable, quadrapalegic or die from brain injury.  A drive to the mall to get groceries could be our last drive when we get into an accident.  We couldn’t have foreseen that happening.  Going up or down stairs can result in a fall or fatality.  Choosing apples, minding our own business can be the moment someone pulls a knife or a gun and ends our lives.  Yet, we don’t worry about those things because we don’t foresee them happening to us.  We might know we have a health problem or a loved one is in trouble and we worry endlessly about those things because they are known to us.  We don’t worry about hopping into the car to go to the grocery store, choosing apples or taking a shower because we don’t foresee anything bad happening to us.  We cannot worry about what we don’t foresee or know and, worrying about every possible scenario doesn’t help because even laying in bed, not living our lives is akin to being dead or the chance that the roof might cave in on us in bed.  It’s all taken for granted that all will be fine so, we do what we do.

“What If” is a dangerous road to go down for both our mental and emotional health as well as our physical health yet, it’s a game that we all play at some point or another with ourselves.  Asking ourselves “what if” can drive a healthy person into an unhealthy person in a relatively short period of time and render us ineffective and unable to conduct our lives.

A friend of mine, went to work one morning in his usual fashion.  His wife had gone out for the day and his children were also scattered about, doing their own things.  No one could have predicted with a “what if” that a horrid thunderstorm would brew up and lightening would strike his home, burning it to the ground, along with all of their belongings.  Even had their thoughts ran to “what if a lightening bolt hits our home today and burns it to the ground,” what could they have done to have prevented it from happening?  They might have moved their most cherished possessions out of the house had they known it was going to happen but, they couldn’t have foreseen it happening.  The chances of getting hit by lightening are extremely rare as we all know so, why would that possibility even have crossed their minds, let alone when, how and all that it would entail in trying to save a few possessions?  Should they have done that every day?  What could have happened had they done that every morning and put it all back in every night? It could have happened at night.  All of them may have sustained injuries from lifting, hurrying and worrying.  Even there, where would they have put everything? The list is endless as to what could have happened.  Instead, they chose to be grateful that they were all alive which is all that they could do or could have done.  They couldn’t have prevented it from happening.  How many thunderstorms had their house been through for decades and not gotten hit?

People often worry about things because they believe that if they worry, 2 things happen.  Firstly, they can avoid it happening by taking proper and cautious steps.  Secondly, they believe that if they worry, worry itself, prevents the “bad thing” from happening.  How true is that in all rationality?

Some worry may be helpful as long as it’s not for an extended period of time.  It helps us prepare in one way or another for what we fear happening or not happening.  However, for the most part, it’s not the things that we worry about that happen.  It’s usually something totally unforeseen that comes about.

Death is one of the things that is at the crux of most of our worst fears.  We worry about dying or someone we love, dying for the most part.  A lot of us, fear death more than anything else and yet, we know that all living creatures, die.  We can’t stop it.  Is it even able to be delayed? In most cases, we have little to no control over when we are going to die.  Death is as much a part of life as life is.  If we are living our lives, worrying about dying, we are already dead because we can’t prevent death in entirety.  We all have to face the fact that we’re all going to die some day, some way and somehow.  There’s no getting around that fact.  No one is going to find a way out of death.  It’s simply something we have to accept for both ourselves as well as our loved ones.  Worrying about it, doesn’t prevent it.  Doing stupid or dangerous things such as balancing on the edge of a cliff or building might be step towards preventing it at that point in time but, sooner or later, it’s going to happen to all of us.  It’s that plain and simple but, hard to accept.

Everything we put our minds to.  Every thought that we have and dwell on, we give power to.  By that, I mean that the more concentrated we are on something, the bigger it gets and the more power that thought has over us and ultimately, our lives.  Everything in our lives won’t always turn out with great or wanted results.  We are going to have to face as much, if not more, upset than good feelings.  It’s all part of Life.  Worrying about it, isn’t going to help us through it.  Worrying can change little, if anything but, it gives that mole that looks a little strange, catastrophic power over our sleeping, eating, fun and everything else that may be joyous or necessary to our wellbeing.  Going to see a doctor to have it looked at or removed is about the only thing we can do to help ourselves or change anything for the better.  Once we’ve done that much, whatever turns out to be, will be. Our next steps can only entail whatever the outcome is and the possibilities we have to choose from.  Even if that mole turns out to be benign, we can worry ourselves sick with more worry about another one going “funky” in the future.  Can we stop it?  Maybe by putting on sunscreen every time we go out but, beyond that, we are powerless and worrying does no good.  What will be will be.  What won’t, won’t.  Don’t waste your time and energy on worrying about things.

From my little corner of life to yours, push the worrying aside to the best of your ability and go on with Life.  Worrying is a wasted emotion because it isn’t all-knowing and cannot foresee everything that possibly and more likely does happen or when.

Be well, Blessings, Love and Light.

Have a great day or evening.

 

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