“If anything can go wrong, it will,” is not only reportedly a summation of Murphy’s Law, but also a prime tenet of a person who is consumed with worry. Worrying about things, leads to stress and a host of other conditions and as a negative emotional state attracts more negativity.
It is reasonable to be concerned about life, loved ones and life circumstances, but when concern overtakes rational thought, it becomes worry; and worry is a killer.
Worry is an effective demonstration of the power of thought, because:
What is worry?
Thought (or concern) out of control.
And worry tends to become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Why do people worry?
Unfortunately, worry does seem to make you feel like you’re in control. I mean, if you ruminate on the worst case scenario and it comes to pass, then you have not been surprised and there is comfort in seeing your predictions come true. “See, I told you so,” is the worrier’s mantra, which even makes someone with low self esteem feel superior in the moment.
Sorrowfully, the physiological, psychological and sociological impact of harboring worry and the stress it causes on the mind, body and spirit is dangerous.
People who have a tendency to worry about things are less well than their carefree contemporaries. Physiologically, worriers are prone to high blood pressure, blood clotting, heart attack, stroke, stomach aches, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, body aches and pains including headaches and back pain.
Worry can have a profound effect on respiratory conditions including loss of breath or asthma and even skin conditions such as dry skin, itch, rash or causing the worrier to break out in hives.
Worry compromises your immune system, increasing susceptibility to being overcome by bacteria, viruses, and other disease like hypertension, diabetes and cancers.
Worry also impacts out psychological paradigms leading to anxiety, phobias, and hypochondria, increasing restlessness, fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability, problems associated with sleep and may leave the worrier with a clinical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder.
Sociological impact can affect all your relationships, as your fall victim to paranoia and lack of trust which could lead to increased domestic disturbances and loss of interest in sex. Worry also affects one’s ability to manage finances, hold a job or conduct business as usual and if conditions persist may cause being disrespected by peers and an inability to cope with everyday life, let alone unforeseen disruptions or challenges that might arise.
Right, we all know we would be better off without being bogged down with worry. No one actually wants to be consumed by worry or be labeled a worry wart. Worry is bad, we get that, but to stop worrying altogether, is quite a jump because worry is a negative state of mind that could easily be an addiction.
How to Stop Worrying
To change one’s process of thinking is a process that takes time. The axiom, “one day at a time,” is totally apropos when deciding to shift from negative thought processes (especially if heavily ingrained over time) to more conscious, positive thought processes.
If you know it is time to change, you can stop worrying the moment you recognize it. Think of worrying like you are on fire, your body is engulfed in flames. What are the rules?
Stop, Drop and Roll
Stop the thought by interrupting it. Say the word, “Stop,” out-loud (if you’re in private) or slap your forehead (the one-handed clap, as my friend calls it). Drop that thought, like it’s a hot potato and roll it over into a positively spun thought.
For instance, if you’re worrying, “I’ll never be able to finish this assignment on time, and I may be demoted or lose my job if I don’t…”
Drop that thought, and
Roll it into a more positive one, like, “I am doing the best I can, maybe I can do better. In fact, if I rearrange my schedule and put a little more effort into this, it might be awesome and on-time. I might even get a promotion.”
Small shifts, like this, can have a huge impact on your life, liberating your from the ill effects or worry, so that you can go on about your life as you begin to enjoy all the good things this life has to offer.