We all know worrying doesn’t help us, and here are 13 reasons why:
It probably won’t happen anyway – Did you know that 95% or more of the things we worry about never happen? Or if they do they’re often way less terrible than we imagined. Yet we spend countless hours of mental and emotional energy on things that likely aren’t even going to happen.
It takes time away from thinking about other things and planning for things that would benefit us – When you worry you give mental and emotional energy to worst case scenarios. This often effectively puts your life on hold so you can’t keep working toward other goals. As a teenager I remember blowing my exams because I was worried to the point of being sick over something that had nothing to do with school. Because of this I had to work harder the next semester to catch up. All because I was preoccupied with something that never even happened.
It doesn’t change what the person you’re worrying about is doing – If you’re worried about a person, know that all your angst won’t change one iota of their attitude or behavior. Quite the opposite actually. If you worry and consequently keep nagging them about it, they’ll probably do what you don’t want them to do even more.
It doesn’t change the situation or event either – If you are worried about an upcoming event or specific situation, know that worrying won’t change it. Yes there may be some trepidation and that may be normal, but obsessing about it will only make it that much harder for you to deal with it when the time comes. And if you go in all knotted up because of worrying you probably won’t handle it as well as you could, which might make the outcome less positive than you’d like.
It saps your happiness and robs you of peace & contentment (and may even ruin things for those around you) – Take a normally happy person and add worry and what do you create? Misery for everyone! When you worry you let a person or situation steal your happiness. Do you really want an outside force to have that power over you?
It keeps you stuck in a loop so you can’t step back and approach things in a practical, logical way – When you worry your brain runs around in circles, thinking only of the worst possible outcomes. It can’t think outside that loop and it can’t come up with any kind of answers. If you’re dealing with a problem then you need answers, not an endless cycle of “what if.” Worrying blocks your exit from that cycle so you can’t get past the thing that’s causing the trouble.
It blocks your mind of seeing possible solutions and ways to deal with what you’re worrying about – Because you’re stuck in that loop, you can’t see any solutions or endings other than the ones in the loop. And because you’re worrying, those are most likely to be very negative or worst case outcomes. Like I said in #6, worrying blocks your exit from that cycle and because of that your creative mind can’t function or be open to any possible solutions except the worst ones.
It doesn’t create action toward resolving things – Worrying can be absolutely paralyzing! At the height of worrying about something, I’ve found myself so fixated on my problem that can’t get anything done. This does nothing to help my situation and everything to keep me stuck exactly where I am.
It keeps you up at night when you could be productively dreaming solutions instead – Yes you can dream solutions to your problems, as I outlined in a previous post. Also losing sleep makes you grumpy and unable to think clearly the next day, and if you do it a lot you can find yourself in a chronic state of zombie-like, worrying paranoia.
It gets you all freaked out about lots of possible scenarios that probably won’t even happen – Like I said above, 95% of what we worry about never materializes, so why freak out about a non-issue? Yet that’s exactly what worrying can cause.
It makes you grumpy and when you’re grumpy no one wants to be around you – Self explanatory 🙂
It can cause stress, paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks and a whole lot of really uncomfortable psychical symptoms – In addition to the general, freak out state that worrying can cause, it also creates psychical symptoms that can be quite uncomfortable. If you already have psychical issues the stress of worrying can even lead to major problems, and I’ve known people who have had heart attacks and other major health problems brought on by the stress that accompanies worrying.
It does nothing to change the future and everything to ruin the present moment – As I’ve already detailed, the act of worrying doesn’t change anything. If anything it makes things worse because it keeps you paralyzed and unable to take action toward your desired outcome. Plus it ruins today because your mind is too full of worry to enjoy the present moment.