Self-Happiness Manifesto Part 1: Worry Less!

16 Feb

worryworryworry

source:here. Beautiful artwork, btw.

Worry:
2 a : to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat b : to shake or pull at with the teeth c : to touch or disturb something repeatedly d : to change the position of or adjust by repeated pushing or hauling
3 a : to assail with rough or aggressive attack or treatment : TORMENT b : to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort
4 : to afflict with mental distress or agitation : make anxious
Source: Merriam-Webster

Well, isn’t that lovely definition just the most pleasant thing you have ever read? To be completely honest, I find it really fitting that this is the first article in my manifesto series, considering that of all the various components of said manifesto, this may very well be the part of it that I struggle with the most. With that said, this is a plea to me, as well as the other chronic worriers out there – please try to worry less!

People worry for various reasons, usually as a hypervigilant action designed to prevent bad things from happening down the road. While using our brains to anticipate various obstacles down the road can be highly useful – this is usually considered concern, not worry. (More on that later.) Worry, at its worst, can take hold of your life and lead to panic, anxiety, and a host of other medical problems!

So first thing first:

Make a list of your worries.

A worry can vary from the mundane (“I feel like I look funny today”) to the peculiar (“I hope aliens didn’t steal my dog last night!”). Obscure or not, worries can distract us from what is going on in our life. Think about the various worries that you have and get them out, so you can analyze them properly. Illustrate your list with evil, scary monsters if you wish.

Analyze the list

Consider this question honestly: WHAT are you worrying about? And does your worry contribute to your future success, in any way? Is your worry something that you have power over? Or is it something completely out of your hands? Is it probable? Or even possible?

Not to be rude, but if dog-snatching aliens truly had your pooch in mind for a top-secret intergalactic kibble experiment, sitting idly by and nibbling your fingernails off in terror certainly won’t stop them!

There are times when your concerns are founded, and considering them is legitimately necessary. Being concerned about someone’s health, or your grade point average, or your job situation – these can be highly important concerns and by no means am I attempting to discourage you from thinking about them. But when your worries are figments of your imagination and often times are uncontrollable and/or improbable, it does you good to …

Embrace uncertainty

The difference between concern and worry is that concern comes from life possibilities; probable moments that have a higher possibility of occurrence. Worries, however, tend to be pulled from the deep, dark recesses of your mind – nagging doubts that may or may not be likely, let alone happen to you.

While it is certainly reasonable to be concerned about an exam, I think it is alright to be able to step food outside your door without worrying if a rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex will sweep out of nowhere and gobble you up, don’t you think? It very well may happen but is it worth you ceasing your life, just in case?

Life is chock-full of risks, but without risking yourself to an extent, you can miss out on a myriad of experiences that simply aren’t available by playing it safe.

Talk about it

Ignoring your worries and letting them fester often makes the situation worse, not better. Get it out in the open, in a journal, with friends, or even with a therapist or counselor. Sometimes, hearing the words out loud or echoed back by another person can cut their power significantly – you never know until you try.

Bore yourself calm

Repeat your worries over and over until they lose power. Make sure to reassure yourself that you will be alright, even in the face of uncertainty. Remind yourself that you are a smart, capable person, and can handle what life throws at you. You can take it, and you won’t let silly worries stand in the way of your fantastic life and the wonderful opportunities that are waiting for you.

Make yourself uncomfortable

This is something I personally struggle with. I had never considered myself an “extraordinary” person – I never thought I was smart, qualified or compelling enough for anything that wasn’t firmly nestled into my self-created “safe zone”. I finally came to the conclusions that if I put myself in a strange situation, it would only be for a limited time – and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t ever have to do it again. One life-changing experience later, I truly started to realize the kinds of things I was missing out on! Trying everything (in moderation, of course) once can be a life-changer; you never know what would appeal to you. And if not, well – you know that now too. So go for it: try sushi, travel to Istanbul, go bungee-jumping, shave your hair and dye it green, apply for that crazy-prestigious position, go dancing, write a novel, sing karaoke, or just plain make a change!

Remember that it’s never as bad as you think it will be.

Without getting past my fears, there are many things I would have never done – traveling abroad, taking a difficult language, heck, even riding roller coasters! In fact, it stands to be noted that many times, when there is a wrench in the works, it usually isn’t the mishap you were expecting – and that’s alright! Most of the power from worrying comes from not knowing, which tends to exaggerate the risks and consequences immensely; when you try things out, most of the power is taken away, and those scary things might look much easier in hindsight.

I hope that helps you (and me)!

Finally,

What are the nagging worries you just want to banish?

xoxo,

Tara

Some information sourced from Web MD.

2 Responses to “Self-Happiness Manifesto Part 1: Worry Less!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Self Happiness Manifesto Part 7 – How to Embrace Change! « love, tara. - March 24, 2010

    [...] 1. Worry Less [...]

  2. My Happiness Manifesto/a! « xoxo, tara. - August 29, 2010

    [...] Author Tara Melissa Self-Happiness Manifesto Part 1: Worry Less! → [...]

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