Monday, February 12, 2018

Day 3036 - How much time should we spend on worrying?

Are you a worry wart?

What is worry?  Why do some people worry more than others?  At what point is it OK to worry?

Worry is important for human survival.  If we weren't worried about getting hit by a car, we'd continuously step out into the traffic.  As with most negative emotions, worry stems from fear.

What happens when our levels of worry become so intense and overpowering that it's damaging our quality of life?

It's normal to worry about stuff like finances, health, safety and the general threats to our livelihood.  Worrying is healthy when it's within our control and we can actually take the steps needed to alleviate the worry.  Worrying becomes heavy and damaging when we're anxious abut the stuff outside our realm or sphere of influence.  The stuff we can't actually do anything about.

According to a 2009 article in the UK Daily MailBrits spend around 2.5 hours a day fretting, which is half an hour more than they did the previous year.  "Over a lifetime, this adds up to 6.5 years of agitation".

I wondered if us Aussies worried that much.  We're well regarded internationally as the "she'll be right mate" nation.  "No worries" is a well known Australian catch phrase that not only means "no need to worry about that" but also brings with it a feeling of friendliness, optimism and a light-hearted approach to kicking worry to the curb.

But does that actually mean we worry less than, say, our British counterparts?  Or are we just better at hiding it?

I don't consider myself much of a worrier.  Although it's possible that others don't see that in me.

My natural instinct is to think about every possible outcome as I wander through life.  My head works at a rapid rate to assess all scenarios and every "what if" which could well peg me as a worry wart.  I don't feel as though I'm anxious about it though, I simply want to be prepared for whatever the world is going to throw at me and do what I can to get the best possible result.  This process actually helps me to worry less, because I've already got my plan of attack ready to go.

I guess this process helps me to feel less afraid and once the fear is gone, so is the worry.

The key to worrying less is finding the good in all situations.  The cost of running a car is rising but imagine how fit I'll be walking and riding my bike.  My books may not be a global sensation but they've made many Aussie kids happy.  It's possible our mortgages will never get paid off but I hear the life of a grey nomad is unbeatable.  Ageing has its challenges but getting older is better than the alternative.

Some challenges feel insurmountable.  So big we can't fathom ever getting to the other side. We can choose to spend our time worrying about them or we can brush worry to the side, take action and push through them.  It's at this point, more than ever, that we must believe in the possibilities.

We can all spend less time worrying by:

(1) Working out what it is we're afraid of

(2) Taking action to make the situation the best it can be within our areas of control

(3)  Finding the opportunity within the challenge and seeing the positives

(4) Talking it through and asking for help

Today is Monday.  It's often the day of highest anxiety as people head to work and school.  It's the day many people worry the most about their careers, their income, their bills and their health.

Today is the perfect day to grab our Aussie mantra by the balls and shout "no worries" as we crank up some Bobby McFerrin and worry less, live more.

Don't worry.  Be happy.

Am I actually a worry wart without realising it?

How do you get through your worry?

Any additional tips on how people can worry less?


  1. I'm one of those 'every possible outcome' people too, Leanne. Thanks for the Bobby McFerrin clip too!

    SSG xxx

  2. Hi Leanne! I tend to worry about little things and make them much bigger than they are. When it comes to major worries I seem to take them in my stride! Weird! Have a great week and sorry I can't make the lunch on the 24th.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  3. I also tend to run through the options quite quickly in my head. I don't know if it helps or not though.

  4. I heard the same song as your video clip, Leanne. I think then act. I don't let my worry sit in my mind too long. I use the 12 simple ways that I wrote on my blog to overcome my worry when it happens.

  5. I think the trick is to o lay worry about things we can influence and not worry about things outside our control?

    Gee that sounds good in theory but sometimes I find it so hard to abide by.


  6. I used to worry a lot. Now I worry very little. I don't know if it's an age thing - figuring out at some point that a lot of the things I worried about were never as bad as I thought they would be and so now, I have a frame of reference by which to judge things.

  7. Good take on this prompt. I was listening to Brene Brown describe how she foresaw every.single.thing. that could possibly go wrong on her life and practised her reactions to be ready for these things (When I listened almost 2 years ago I was nodding because I used to be like that). Then she spoke of how she fell to pieces when her mum got sick and all the preparation in the world had not helped. I hear that. Sometimes we just need to 'let go and let be' and AND out. Take care dear Leanne.. there is a lot you must be thinking about now...that is actually beyond your control and that is HARD. Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 7/52. Next week's optional prompt: February Is...


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