Sunday, January 27, 2013

Worry Worts Anonymous

 I have been invited via email to participate in an online course offered by Spirituality & Health magazine which will unfold over three weeks. It is on the subject of worry. What a good idea! Worry and anxiety plague many of us and we hear the stories of so many people who are doing okay trying to balance everything in their lives, then worry seems to get the upper hand. Others concede that they have been chronic worriers for as long as they can remember, often stemming from difficult childhoods. The leaders introduce the course, which begins this Sunday with these thoughts:
We smiled when we saw that Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein calls herself a "recovering worrier." She admits that she is one of those people who make up negative stories about what might happen, but then she tries not to believe them. Perhaps you, like us, can identify with that. We all too quickly forget Mark Twain's sage comment that most of the things we worry about will never happen.

Rather than just wish worries away, we can actually work with our worries to see what they have to teach us. Then we'll be better prepared to face them when they return or to get beyond new ones that emerge. Worry is such a common experience that it's not surprising that the spiritual traditions offer practices for worriers and recovering worriers.
It all sounds sensible to me. I would sign up, but then I might worry about having time to follow through each day. Worriers will get this humour.
What do you think? Are you are worrier or a "what, me worry" type?


IanD said...

I used to be a worrier (largely due to my own rather unfortunate habit of procrastinating on any major task) but a couple of things came together to help me get over it.

The first was taking charge of my own health at the gym. When I finally learned what I was doing in there, I was able to find a physical outlet for any kind of stress I seemed to happen.

The second was reading the first of Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits ..." books after a recommend from my principal at the time. The key idea that just hit me square between the eyes was (and I paraphrase): "Work to control the maximum percentage of your life that you can in order to be prepared to deal with the things you have no control over."

That one phrase made me realize that I didn't need to worry about money provided I had a balanced budget and self control. I wouldn't need to worry about my health (to a certain extent) if I took care of my diet and exercised properly. I wouldn't have to worry about relationships on any level provided I invested in them. I wouldn't have to worry about work if I used my planning time properly, etc.

That was about 8 years ago, and today I can't honestly tell you the last time I felt truly 'stressed.' In sum, then, I think there are ways to overcome 'worry,' and being proactive and rational in your decision making can be a big part of getting there.

roger said...

I don't tend to worry. I'm too busy feeling depressed, anxious, jealous, envious and self conscious to be worried.

Forail said...

I definately am a worrier. But only about certain things. In some cases my wife worries for me... In others, she can sleep, and I stare at the ceiling at night. Maybe we take turns? :P