I sometimes worry too much. Some say worry is just the price of intelligence, but too much worry is not smart, in fact it is bad for your health.
It took a nice relaxing weekend to realize that I’m pretty tense right now. I visited a meditation center, played some music, danced, and went for a long romantic walk on the beach with my girlfriend. We had a nice talk about the future over Valentine’s Day dinner.
What holds us back sometimes is an overdeveloped ability to have negative visualizations. Some ability to imagine what might go wrong is adaptive and it can keep you out of trouble, but too much focus on fear leads to “tension, anxiety, anger, and exhaustion.” Luckily, I don’t have the symptoms of GAD, (other than occasional irritability), so I’m not really worried about the fact that I worry too much. Still, there is always room for self improvement.
Don’t ignore your fears
In most countries, odds are good that you won’t die of embarrassment, a shark attack, spiders or snakes, crotch bombs, shoe bombs, murder or starvation. Here are the top 10 real leading causes of death from 2007 according to the cdc:
- Heart disease: 631,636
- Cancer: 559,888
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
- Diabetes: 72,449
- Alzheimer’s disease: 72,432
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
- Septicemia: 34,234
How to Stop Worrying Too Much
Get enough sleep. Eat right. Exercise daily. Meditate. Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Write down your worries and develop contingencies. Try behavior modification tapes (? where ?), repeat to yourself over and over not to waste your hard earned time and energy on worry. Make sensible plans and prepare for the future, but make the most of the present. Get help if you need it. Decisions terminate panic. Keep busy, focus on your faith in something other than yourself.
I liked this final tip best, probably because it is the one I most need to hear:
Each time you find yourself worrying about some future event, remind yourself that you are capable of handling the problem when it arises. Develop a sense of trust in yourself to handle anything that comes your way. The best way to develop this trust is to charge your “confidence battery.” Reflect on all of your successes…the times you succeeded in something on the fly. Spend less time worrying about what could happen with thoughts of what did happen-and how well you handled it.
Great, now after some research I’m slightly worried that my 3 week cough is a sign of a Chronic lower respiratory disease. So I say to myself, “I’ll research it more later. Put it out of your mind. Get some sleep. Don’t worry!”
Then, just in case my computer on my chest is bad for me, I finish this post, turn off the laptop, and get some sleep.