“Don’t worry, be happy” sings Bobby McFerrin on the radio and some days you smile and ‘want to sing it note for note’; then on days when life throws you a curveball you grimace and dismiss it as a meaningless cliche, something easier said than done. Let’s admit it, we all worry…some a little more, some a little less and those who rise above us ordinary-worrying-kinds, i am convinced have attained or are about to attain nirvana!Those two words ‘what if–‘ start the process of building worst case scenarios and ‘if only–‘ add the finishing touches. Females by nature are probably more susceptible…and as my mother and mother-in-law loved to say “when you are a mother, you can’t escape from worry…it finds you automatically!” So what causes these anxieties. First and foremost, we live in a universe which is inherently unpredictable, we are surrounded by situations and events that can turn dangerous and deadly within seconds. In that context anxiety (and the worry it generates which generates even more anxiety) can be understood as a sub conscious perception of life’s insecurity. As we grow older this awareness becomes more acute and we worry even more. On top of that psychologists will have you believe that “worry is a behaviour–a habitual way of thinking. If your parents were worriers, chances are you will be too–then you’ll pass it on to your children” Now if that isn’t a worrisome scenario, what is??!!
The other day in the weekend-leisure-pages of the newspaper i came across some interesting statistics about worry. It said studies show that~
40% of the time we worry about what never happens…in essence over what is a sheer waste of time.
30% of what we fret over has already happened. You need to just ‘let it be’ and move on.
12% are needless worries like what others think of us. Remember that quote “Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back, they’re behind you for a reason.”
10% are unimportant but we still obsess over them…like am i putting on weight (perpetual preoccupation!); will the maid come or not; what clothes to wear etc etc…
8% of what we worry about actually happens and it is important to figure out how to deal with this minuscule percentage that really impacts our lives. Half of these are beyond what is called “our circle of control”. Here you just need to give them time to work out on their own, even as you keep busy doing what you can. It’s difficult but if you can just breathe through the tough time…it does come to an end. The other half of this 8% are things that depend on your actions or the consequences of your inaction. Worry here won’t fix things. What you need is a to-do list to resolve the issue and the will to take the steps required to put them in action. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but the process leads to acceptance and inner peace.
And above all a little prayer always helps. Someone once told me that prayer won’t take away your troubles, it’s grace will just make “the edge of the impending sword as insignificant as the prick of a needle” for you. You don’t pray for mitigating the circumstances, you pray for strength to tide through the crisis when there is one.
Then you sing along “Don’t worry, be happy…”