By Adam Oakley
Feb 21, 2015
Worry is a habit that we usually pick up from other people. When you were a young child you probably never worried. But then you learned about something called time, you probably learnt negative ideas about the world, and you probably learnt that you are responsible for your life. All this together, with the additional belief that worrying will help with all of it, creates a troubled human being.
So how to deal with worry?
Rather than needing to fix or correct any worry-patterns you may have, it may be useful to just see if it helps you. Intellectually it is easy to say “I know worrying does not help”, but is it possible to view the movement of worry as it arises, and directly see if it creates any positive action?
How To Deal With Worry - An Example
Someone may be lying in bed. They may be worrying about a financial situation. Round and round the worry goes, like a song stuck on repeat. They feel lost in worry. It is not comfortable, and so they may try to talk themselves out of it. Thoughts like “I should just stop worrying", “I have enough money for now”, “there is no point worrying” can all arise, and rather than disabling worry, just create a greater conflict with the mind.
If however, whilst the worrying was happening, they simply no longer argued with it, what would happen? Worry gives you a problem and then attempts to solve it for you. What if you completely gave up trying to stop worrying, and fully let yourself worry?
Worry lives on resistance, if you give up resistance to it, it runs out of food.
You may also notice, that as worry rises, contorts and speaks, it is not actually solving your problem. The person worrying about money may see that as they allow the worry to flow, the worry leads in no way to creating more money. If anything, it just uses up energy and allows no space for any new or fresh ideas to come through.
Nothing Needs To Be Done
So nothing needs to be done. Let it play out, call its bluff, smile at it even as it attempts to convince you that it is a useful tool for life. By itself, it will lose its grip.
Here is a recent quote from the Facebook page on how to deal with worry:
“If you find yourself ever feeling negative or worrying about something, it can help to simply see if it helps. Does worrying about money help you get more money? Does worrying about tomorrow make tomorrow go better? Does worrying about your job help you get a better one? Does worrying about what you will say make you a more effective speaker?
Worry can live in us when we unknowingly believe that it is serving us. If it is seen in itself to be a futile movement of energy, then it will not likely live on for long. If, however, you believe it helps you in some way, then it will probably feel stuck with you.”
You may find that as worry comes and goes, you are the untouched space in which it moves. You don’t have to actually work out how to deal with worry, just give up trying to fix it.