Dec 272011
Worry by Murielle

As 2011 ends and 2012 approaches, it is a time to reflect. Despite the festive season, not all is rosy in the world today. Many of the major powers are facing problems of their own and how they manage will affect the rest of the world. This situation can be a cause for worry because they do not seem to be managing well.

While a little worry makes you cautious and instils prudence, too much worry can cripple you. For much of my life, I was a worrier. When faced with a problem whose outcome mattered to me, I could spend countless hours brooding over the worst-case scenarios.

But worrying alone does not change things. This was a lesson that I took many years to learn. I still worry today, but I no longer do so in excess. Instead, by understanding the nature of worry, I ensure that it does not work against me. How then can you deal with worry in a more effective way?

The Nature of Worry

Under ideal conditions, worry is a useful tool that can help you to attain your goals. When you react in the midst of a crisis, you are unlikely to make the best choices. To worsen matters, you may not be ready to seize the opportunities or to avoid the pitfalls.

Therefore, worry has its uses. It forces you to pause and take stock of a situation instead of charging forward without a clear plan. On the one hand, it makes you more prudent so you are less likely to make mistakes. On the other hand, you are more likely to consider scenarios where things could go wrong and prepare for them.

But in most cases, worry is a bad master. Why is this so? Taken to extremes, worry can paralyze you and prevent you from acting decisively to attain your goals. Therefore, to manage worry well, you need to understand its nature. With this awareness, you will be better able to manage worry in the future.

1. Uncertainty

Worry thrives on uncertainty. For many of us, we crave certainty for things that matter. Uncertainty however, leaves gaps that our minds need to fill. If your mind cannot find answers in reliable facts, it fills those gaps with its own answers. This is usually your mind’s own colourful interpretation of events far removed from reality. But because you are not sure which scenario is real, the uncertainty remains.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to create a measure of certainty. By reflecting on the most likely outcomes, you can prepare to manage them as best as you can. This is after all what you would do if you had certainty about an outcome. By focusing on the solutions instead of the problem, you can manage your worry better.

2. Hopelessness and Despair

Hopelessness and despair fuels worry. The more helpless and hopeless a situation seems, the greater your worry becomes. You feel as if your world is crumbling around you and there seems to be no way to escape. You simply cannot think of a way to turn things around.

Ironically, what you think becomes your reality. The more you allow your despair to control you, the less hope there really is for you. When you despair, you give up the struggle to find a solution. How then can you ever hope to turn things around when you have already given up and resigned yourself to your fate?

So as far as you can, never give up. Change your methods, learn from your mistakes, try new ways, but never give up. Avoid the tendency to develop tunnel vision in the midst of adversity. Try to come up with creative solutions to solve the problems you face. Adaptability is the key. If you cannot think of any ideas on your own, find help and guidance from others. This is how you create hope in seemingly hopeless situations.

3. Fear

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -Franklin D. Roosevelt

One of the key components of worry is fear. When you wish for an outcome to happen, you fear that things may not turn out the way you want. This causes you to worry excessively about it. You might imagine how bad things will be and make a mountain out of a molehill. Like worry, fear is actually useful in making you cautious and prudent. But often when you allow it to go to extremes, it will cripple you.

Fear is strongest in the dark recesses of your own mind. The more removed from reality it is, the stronger fear becomes. To manage fear it is best to bring it into the open and face it. One way of doing so is to write out what you fear and why. Then you can see for yourself if it is truly valid or not. When you bring your fear into the light, you will see its true size and not the disproportionate one cast by its shadow.

Detachment by Kalavinka


No matter how much you prepare, your control and influence over events is limited. Even so, you should not give up this control. Without even attempting to guide and shape your life, the changes that happen will toss you back and forth. While you may not be able to avoid some misfortunes, there are many that you can avoid with preparation and planning. And to make full use of good fortune, you have to be prepared to seize it with both hands. All this can only happen if you take charge and manage events as far as possible.

What you have to do is to prepare as best as you can for all eventualities. When you are prepared, it does not really matter too greatly even if the outcome is unpleasant. Unless it is something unexpected, you are ready. Once, you have done all that is humanly possible, there are no more regrets on your part. The only thing left to do is to accept the outcome, whatever it may be. Here it helps not to prefer one outcome to another if you can. This will allow you to adapt as needed as events unfold.

Taking Action

One of the obstacles to happiness is worry. Since this is the case, manage worry well and happiness can happen naturally. May 2012 be a wonderful year for you all! :)

What are your views on worry? How has worry affected your life? How do you manage it? Do share your thoughts and comments below! :)

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my RSS feed and spread the word below. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

  22 Responses to “The Nature of Worry”

  1. Great article Irving! Acceptance and detachment work wonders to turn off the negative voice in our head.
    Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted..‘Tis the Season to Forgive, Mend and HealMy Profile

    • Hi Angela,

      Yes you are right. After doing all that is humanly possible to manage our worries, the last things to do is to accept and to be detached from the outcome as far as possible.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  2. One of my favorite quotes, and I don’t know the origin, is: “You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future”. It’s so true.
    All the best to you in 2012!

    • Hi Barbara,

      That is a lovely and apt quote.

      A good way to make use of the present is to plan and prepare to shape the future or outcome we want. By doing so, we manage our worries in a more productive way. Doing something is better than just worrying.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  3. My daughter gave me a book about dealing with ‘Worry.’ That should say mountains about my status. I think I have gotten better at it. I have removed the need to be who I felt others wanted me to be! That was my albatross for most of my younger years.

    I am looking forward to 2012. Not sure what it will bring, but I am ready. :-) Got my smile on, the sun is shining on my spirit, I am ready to move on….
    Barbara recently posted..Christmas Eve Sunrise… PanoramaMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara,

      Everyone worries. It is how we manage it that really matters. I am glad to see that you have gotten better at it over the years. It will certainly improve the quality of your life.

      I am glad that you are looking forward to 2012, may it be a great year for you! :)

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  4. I was shocked with the floating body…LOL..Thanks for the nice post still…
    Margoax recently posted..Buy 1300 numbersMy Profile

  5. Getting worried is a human nature… But if you are living with truth, you will feel less worry. I love your post, you have a great views and ideas to conquer worries.
    Diana Grant recently posted..Write For CritiquesMy Profile

    • Hi Diana,

      That is a wonderful point. Facing the truth may not be easy, but once we accept it, there is less to worry about and we can start to take action.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  6. Instead of worrying about what might happen, I’ll just make sure to be prepared for whatever happens.

    Of course I can’t prepare physically for everything. But that’s a point where spirituality helps me a great deal: When I practice being in a place of joy, love and gratefulness I know this will also help me in the darker times. I’m trying to look into the eyes of my fear every day (not by worrying but by challenging it! ) so that I’ll be prepared when I’ll have to deal with it.
    Alice recently posted..To The Pavlina CommunityMy Profile

    • Hi Alice,

      Being prepared is the best way to deal with worry. When you resolve the source of your worries, your worry disappears naturally.

      Being in a place of joy and facing your fears each day is perfect preparation and training to manage difficulties. I have no doubt you will have less worries this way.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  7. You are right. Worry does not do us any good. It can be paralyzing. It is possible to manage worry. Sometimes, just sitting down and working out the consequences can lead us to see that there is no cause for concern. When we worry, we let fear have the upper hand. Learning to manage worry can put us back in charge.

    Thank you for sharing this enlightening article on worry,
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..Tiny Buddha Interview on Life’s Hard QuestionsMy Profile

    • Hi Evelyn,

      I agree. Our worries are magnified in our minds. When we work things out carefully on paper, we will see the true nature of our worries. From there it will be clear to us if our worries are valid or not. More often than not, our worries are magnified compared to the actual problem.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  8. Hi Irving,

    Detachment is one that seems to help me when I feel that worry is taking over. Fear also can hold us back and keep us locked in negativity, so learning to let go of fear and live in the present moment is helpful. Thanks for a wonderful post!
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted..Reminder: You Are Not Alone on Your Addiction JourneyMy Profile

    • Hi Cathy,

      Yes, fear is strong enough to hold us back and keep us locked in negativity. It is something that can cripple us if we allow it to. Like worry, if we see the true nature of our fear and bring it out into the open, we find that it is not as fearsome as our thoughts make it out to be.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  9. I’d have to admit those first two are prevalent here and there for me. Matter of fact, I started 2012 right in those places, and I’m happy to have finally pulled myself out of it and gotten back to a good place. It can definitely keep one from progressing.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Sleeping, Eating & BloggingMy Profile

    • Hi Mitch,

      Uncertainty, hopelessness and despair are not easy things to grapple with.

      I am glad you managed to rebound so quickly and take control of your life once more. May 2012 be a good year for you.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  10. Hi Irving,

    You are such a good writer. I could relate so much to the point you made about worry being caused by uncertainty. This crippled me too. It took me a while, but In order to get over this, I consciously made an effort to do the opposite and embrace uncertainty. This helped a lot and continues to do so.
    Hiten Vyas recently posted..Stuttering Hub connects with 2achieveyourgoals.comMy Profile

    • Hi Hiten,

      Uncertainty can indeed cause us to imagine all sorts of things and to add greatly to our worries.

      I am glad that you had the courage to embrace uncertainty. Truly, we must not let uncertainty stop us from taking decisive action. Instead, we should plan as best as we can to manage. This is the only way to live a good life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  11. I agree with you that one of the things that hinders you into happiness is that the worries. Worry made from selfish thoughts and afraid to do something. As a human we all worry and that id definitely part of our life it is depend upon to us how are we going to fight and carry it. I was impressed in your article and thanks a lot for this one!
    Annette Golphin recently posted..Timber Windows – a renovators delight.My Profile

    • Hi Annette,

      Yes it is true. Worry can prevent us from feeling happy. It should not, but it does.

      Since worry is a part of our lives, the only thing we can do is to manage it as best as we can. We must not let worry cripple us from living a good life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline