How to Stop WorryingApr 16, 2006
Worry has become an epidemic. We seem to almost always have a background sense of worry. Worry means to feel uneasy or concerned about something; to be troubled; to cause to feel anxious, or distressed.
All worry is the same thing and we need to learn what it really is: An irrational habit of imagining a future that often doesn't come. We ruin this moment when we worry. We think we're helping ourselves by planning for the worst, but it's a very negative, and unhealthy way to live.
We can see that worry is useless. Once we see it's uselessness, why would we ever let it affect us again? The next time we are deep within a situation, we tend lose perspective. We think that the new situation is the most important situation ever. "If I don't get this work done, my boss will be upset." Often our fears are not even true, but even if they are, it often doesn't matter as much as we think. We end up being irrational about the consequences.
Does your worrying about something help the situation? I bet you work better, faster, and more accurately when you're calm or in the zone. Worry tends to lead to mistakes. So it's a very illogical place that we find ourselves: 1) we've created a small situation (not an earthquake tsunami, but rather filing papers!) to worry about. 2) We've chosen a less effective state of mind to deal with whatever "problem" exists. This is a horrible habit and a huge error for humans.
Examples of worry include things like our safety (staying away from strangers), humiliation (work projects, being bad at something we have to do), etc. When the thing worried about actually happens, the event itself is often no big deal. Yet beforehand we act like the world will end.
The fix: Learn to bring your attention back to your breath. First realize you're worrying, then drop it. The practice of meditation helps learn to drop the situation. There is no use in holding on to worry. Worry is ALWAYS IN THE FUTURE. It can't exist here. So bring your attention here to drop it.
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