Worry usually entails mental distress, or agitation from an impending or anticipated situation. The nature of the mind is to worry and attempt to solve perceived problems. It doesn’t matter whether you worry about the past or the future. Let’s face it, worrying about the past doesn’t change the past. Worrying about the future may manifest what you are worrying about. The term worry comes from the old English wygan, which means to strangle. Yes worry strangles us, because we can’t experience the freedom and clarity of being in the moment, while having a peaceful, calm mind. It has also been said that 99% of what we worry about never really happens. Keep in mind, what we think about we bring about.
Excessive worry leads to anxiety which is dangerous to our good health. Chronic worrying can affect our daily life so much that it may interfere with our appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.
The antidote for worry is trust and faith. Trust implies a feeling that what you expect to happen will happen. I have found that most people have a difficult time trusting in the process of life. Trust is about keeping our mind in a positive mode and expecting good things to happen. Faith is having the confidence that they will happen.
There is a message about myself buried down deep in why and what I worry about. We need to ask our self, “What can I learn about myself and how can I raise my awareness about worrying?” For instance, I worry about my child’s relationship. I wonder why they are together. So I worry and think about reasons why they shouldn’t be together. I became obsessed and tired of thinking and worrying about this. It interfered with my sleep and did not serve me or my child. In fact, I began to distance myself from my child. I decided to train my mind to stop worrying. Every time my mind focused on this situation I would take a deep breath and think about something I am grateful for. Sometimes I would say to myself those thoughts are not me. I remember a saying about worrying that makes a lot of sense. Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
My child’s situation taught me to look inward at myself and realize that I have a choice in what I think about. My thinking was too attached to being right, wanting a more suitable partner for my child and not realizing that children have to live their own life. I finally accepted that I couldn’t change my child’s mind or the past. I was actually ruining the present by worrying, getting angry and alienating my child. If we can be open to it, our children can be our teachers, because I learned not to react to my thoughts.
So the trick for me is be concerned, which is a form of love and realize that worrying is a form of fear. I need to develop detachment, which is the ability to view my experience from an objective prospective. Not judging this situation, because there may be a bigger picture happening that I am not aware of. By being detached, I am taking the pressure off my child to not be concerned about what I think. I am holding back from the need to rescue, save, or fix my child. This does not mean I am cold or uncaring; rather I have self-contained mental boundaries. I know this is easy to say and at times extremely difficult to maintain as our emotions tend to run us. From my own experience success is not only possible, but what a relief it is.