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.♥

Advertisements