Are you someone who seems to spend every spare moment worrying? Do you wake up in the middle of the night from a deep and pleasant sleep just to find yourself shocked into worrying about this, that, or the other? If this sounds familiar, have you ever stopped and asked yourself if your worries are justified?
At certain moments in all our lives there are things that are justifiably occupying our minds. For example, if we have a loved one who’s ill, missing or in danger, it’s only natural to worry. In these situations, worrying pretty much constantly would be justifiable. Alternatively if we ourselves are in a situation whereby we risk either being in trouble of some description or risk losing something or someone important to us, then worrying is a completely normal and natural response. However the old adage that all the worry in the world won’t change the outcome still holds as true today as it did when it was first aired.
More often than not, our worries are based on assumptions and in many ways those are the most dangerous of all worries. For example, take a situation where a close friend walks straight past you in the street and doesn’t say hello. A non-worrier will think, I must call him later; he clearly didn’t see me. A worrier will take the opportunity beat themselves up by assuming that they’ve done something to offend their friend. It’s for that reason their friend didn’t speak to them and will probably never speak to them again. That worrier will then go off and search for reasons why their friend isn’t speaking to them and will go on to escalate the ultimate outcome into either a blazing row or worse still, a lifetime of non-communication with that friend that they were so very fond of.
Does this sound like you? If so, what can you do? At a very basic level, if you can rid yourself of the practice of making assumptions about events or situations, then taking yourself off on a journey laden with guilt, disaster and doom and gloom, you’ll find your head much more free of worry. If you can train or coach yourself take the stance of concentrating only on facts and seeing things for what they actually are, rather than making assumptions, you’ll already be a long way towards becoming free of worry. This isn’t an easy process, but it can be done.
No matter why you worry (unless of course it is due to an untreated medical condition, such as depression or severe anxiety), asking yourself this question, prior to taking off on a worry frenzy will help move you to a better place. The question is: Where is the evidence that x, y or z has or is going to happen? Repeatedly asking this question ahead of worrying will help you get your worry under control. Working on stopping making assumptions will let you get your worry characteristic firmly inside its box, with the lid firmly in place.