How to Stop Being a Worrier, No Matter What Happens in Your Life
Are you a worrier? There are a lot of us about. Perhaps especially as we get older. Personally, I’ve been a worrier all my life. There is so much to worry about!
The State of the World
We can start with the state of the world. There is global warming. Isis. The Middle East. Korea. Politics of all kinds, whatever political persuasion you happen to be.
We worry whether the world we are leaving our grandchildren is as good as the world we inherited. And whether there is something more we should be doing about it.
Then there is your family. Children are always a source of worry – when they are small, and especially when they are teenagers. Remember that period? At that time, we worried about one thing or another about them from the moment we woke up!
But it doesn’t end even when they’re all grown up. Indeed, if they are married or have a partner, the people to worry about doubles.
Does everyone have the right job? Or, for that matter, the right partner? Is everyone coping all right with day-to-day matters, such as getting that possibly dangerous car fixed? Or are they becoming too obsessed with social media?
People whose adult children have serious problems – such as bringing up a child on their own, a tendency to depression or even moving house – have even more to worry about.
I am told there is an old Chinese proverb that states mothers are as happy as their least happy child. It resonates with me, a lot.
We also worry about our grandchildren. Are they getting enough attention from their parents – or, perhaps, too much? Is their school giving them the education they need? Do they have enough friends? All the worries that you experienced when your children were small emerge all over again.
I worry about a lot of things, but I probably worry about my own self the most.
Did I say the right thing to the woman at that party last week? Have I remembered to do that favour for a sick friend that I said I would? Was the person who said they liked my new haircut – or, worse, my latest book – really just being nice?
Not to mention all the silly things we inevitably worry about, such as did we turn off the gas on the stove when we left the house? Or did we leave a window open where a burglar could see it?
Doing Something About Worrying
If you are a worrier, what can you do about it? All my life, people have said to me that I worry too much, that I should relax. I don’t know how other people react to such admonishments, but they mildly annoy me.
First of all, they won’t make any difference. Worrying is part of me. Asking me not to worry is telling me that I should be a different person. At some point, I realised that if worrying is a part of me, I should simply accept it and live with it.
And second, what does worrying too much mean? Yes, if you are making yourself ill with worry or turning to drink, that is one thing. But worrying too much is also a matter of giving due attention to getting things right. It can be a good thing.
Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control
Fortunately, I have a husband who hardly ever worries. He says there is no point in worrying about something if there is nothing you can do about it. Since this covers most contingencies, he is a very relaxed man.
Do you worry a lot? What do you worry about? Do you worry about worrying too much? Please share some of your worries to lift the burden!
Ann Richardson is a writer and grandmother. She is fascinated by other people’s thoughts, experiences and emotions and loves to write books where they can express their views in their own words. Her most recent book is Celebrating Grandmothers: Grandmothers Talk About Their Lives. Ann lives in London, England, as do her two children and two grandsons. Please visit her website here.