Reflection #7: Worry

Webster’s Dictionary has defined worrying as, “to touch or disturb something repeatedly”, “to feel or experience concern or anxiety” or even, “to move, proceed, or progress by unceasing or difficult effort”. Really, worrying means to struggle. I believe our tendency to worry is based on our personalities and life experiences.

My experience has been that I worry a lot.. and then I worry some more. I worry about many things, and it really does feel like a struggle at times. Certain worries give me the drive to do better; what should I do with my life? Is there a career that I will enjoy? Will I pass this course?

Other worries cause intense anxiety and even panic attacks. Do my loved ones care about me? Do they miss my absence? How can I endure this struggle to be perfect? Why do I punish myself for making mistakes? Why are there such evil people in the world? How can I help all those that suffer? What if my loved ones die? How can I be happy without them? Why do I feel so much? Why do I feel the need to prepare for social interactions? What’s wrong with me?

By the time I turned 20, I realized that worrying was having a pretty negative impact on my life. So I worried some more. Over the past few years I have struggled between trying to live in the present moment and worrying. I am now 25; I have learnt a lot and I respect that worry can have a positive place in my life. One where it gives me enough anxiety to get through my challenges as well as my goals.

However, I recognize that I deserve to live an enjoyable life. One where I am able to limit my worries and live in the present moment as often as possible. I remind myself not to worry about the situations I have no control over. I try to make time for the things and people that I love, to limit my future regrets. I offer comfort and advice, but I remind myself that they are ultimately responsible for making the change.

The sad reality that Tom Petty has helped me realize came through in these lyrics:

“I’m so tired of being tired; sure as night will follow day.
Most things I worry about.. never happen anyway.”

I know that in the future I will again be debilitated by my worries, but I strive to limit these occurrences. I will give myself permission to feel, and then use the skills I’ve learnt to overcome my worrying mind.

My friends, I invite you to forgive yourself for your flaws. You are human and your feelings are real, but you do have the strength to overcome your struggles. You deserve to be happy, and live for the moment.

How has worrying affected your life? What coping skills have worked for you? Please share your experiences.

With love, friends.♥

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6 thoughts on “Reflection #7: Worry

  1. I experience a lot of the same things you mention here. I ruecognice this pattern of worries, doubt and self blame. I don’t think there a cure for this. I recommend you to practise the relieve of letting go. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to ay whatever, and just move on. I know it’s difficult I do not master this myself. But it has helped me a lot over time and it’s a great tool.

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    1. I agree Niko! I have also found that when I remind myself of situations where I have no control, and “let go” it helps me to move on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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  2. I love this article as it tells me I’m not the only INFJ in the world who has these feelings. I think when I worry and worry some more, I eventually find myself as being ridiculous and laugh about it once I’m feeling good again. As introverts, the best thing to do is to think until you have exhausted yourself, have a cup of cocoa and then head off to bed. 😀

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! 🙂 I agree, it can be amusing how ridiculous our worrying can get and is good to be able to laugh at it after the fact! Thanks for sharing, friend! Happy holidays.

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  3. All of the worries that repeat themselves in your head are ones I also experience. Thank you for making them seem that much more normal! It can be endlessly frustrating when these worries steal your present joy and peace of mind. But with the right tools and resources applied daily, we can learn to rewire and change our thinking habits that would otherwise lead us straight down the path of uncertainty and worry.

    I love the Tom Petty quote that perfectly fit with this topic 🙂

    I’ve always had a sense of worry ingrained in my personality, being a timid and cautious child. Excessive worrying transpired in my life when I reached young adulthood (~18). I’m not sure if it was the change in stability I felt around this time that caused this turmoil, with moving from high school to university; my core group of friends inevitably being split up and knowing I would no longer see them everyday or ever in some cases; the start of my first long term relationship; my first job. Everything was a first and I no longer felt the comfort of being a kid. Over the next 5 years I worried so much about a range of things that life did get to the point where I felt it was no longer worth living. Every moment of reprieve from the worrying was so fleeting and then I’d be left paralyzed again, unable to shake worrisome thoughts and feeling like sleeping for hours on end during the day was my only option since at least sleeping shut off my brain. I experienced anxiety and depression during those 5 years and no treatment seemed to be working. In October 2016 I scared myself so much with thoughts of suicide that I had to call a crisis prevention hotline and meet with staff from there. Later that day I told my older sister what was going on and she took time from her work day to take my call and stay on the phone as long as I needed. I opened up to her like I never had to any family member. It felt like a burden of shame had lifted. She suggested getting more excercise, eating well, and meditating. I knew all of these things would contribute to a better sense of wellbeing but for some reason, I felt a strong sense of commitment to truly getting better and taking these treatments to heart. From that day forward I began meditating every day, implementing mindfulness and gratitude when I could, and shortly after started yoga thanks to the beautiful and magnificent person that is Ash! I have never felt so happy and so capable of keeping my worries at bay. I don’t want worrying to ever steal my life again like it did those 5 years. I still have my moments where I worry excessively about losing loved ones, growing older and not realizing my potential, and worrying about how I came off in any given social situation. I’ve been learning to love myself and look out for my wellbeing and I think it is so remarkable that you are doing the same. ❤

    With love,
    Jacqueline

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with worry Jacqueline. I am sorry that you have struggled so deeply with this, but I am glad that you were able to find the strength to reach out to the hotline and later to your sister, and that she was supportive! Sometimes just having someone supportive that knows what you are dealing with can be a big help. A lot of people can’t find that courage to reach out to someone, I am happy that you did. Thank you for sharing the things that can help you keep your worry at bay! I find that these things work for me as well, but it is frustrating that sometimes I can’t find the motivation to do them – despite knowing how much they help. I also want to give meditation another try. Thank you again for sharing dear. ❤

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