“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” – Chinese Proverb
Worry can have a way of completely taking over your mind, especially in today's society, where hectic, busy schedules are the norm, along with huge personal and financial responsibilities. If you're like many people, you probably spend a large portion of your time worrying… probably more than you realise.
While worrying might seem like an innocent and harmless activity, it is definitely something that you need to keep a handle on. Perspective checks are important, to weigh up the genuine importance of each worry and concern. The future is always an unknown entity, so worrying about things that may never even occur is a severe waste of time, happiness and emotions. These consequences can impact other facets of your life too.
There are plenty of reasons why you should worry less. Here are the three most common and overarching reasons as to why it is a fruitless activity.
- It's a waste of time. Worries fall into two categories: those you can do something about, and those that are completely outside of your control. If a worry falls in the latter category, then you are better off removing it from your mental radar. If, on the other hand, it falls into the former, you should be spending your time proactively engaged in addressing the problem, rather than just worrying about it. Either way, worrying on its own serves no purpose. It needs to be paired with an appropriate action for any benefit to be felt.
- It's bad for your health. Stress, anxiety, and their close relative, worry, are all terrible for your health. Excessive worry and stress harms your immune system, increasing your chances of getting sick by making you more vulnerable to any illnesses going round. Worry and stress can disrupt digestion, trigger sleep problems such as insomnia, and even put you at a greater risk of hormonal imbalances and obesity.
- It will make you less productive. Chronic worriers often have trouble getting much done. Instead of focusing on their work, they allow their mind to be distracted by fear and anxiety. The more time mentally spent worrying, the less productive you will be… creating new issues and perpetuating the cycle.
Powerful words from Dale Carnegie:
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”