Dismiss unfounded worries | Sunday Observer

Dismiss unfounded worries

20 August, 2023

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that they worry without working.- Robert Lee Frost

People rush around worrying in all directions. Parents take their children to school worrying about their safety and future. Schools-leavers worry about higher education. Those who leave universities after graduation worry about finding a suitable job. Those who are lucky to get a job worry about finding a life partner.

When they get married, they worry about putting up their dream house. Those who are happily married and living in their dream houses, worry about their children’s education. It looks like everyone has something to worry about.

Worrying is a normal part of human life. However, when you worry about something, you waste both your precious time and emotional energy. During war, most wives were worried whether their husbands would return home safely from the battleground. When terrorists were exploding bombs in trains and buses, everybody was worried about their children and themselves. Those who had no such problems were also worried about imaginary fears. It looks as if worrying is an integral part of living.

If you are constantly worried about something real or imaginary, there should be some way to overcome worries. The good news is that most of the things people worry about never come to pass. The celebrated French essayist Montaigne made this point eloquently when he said, “My life has been a series of catastrophes – most of which never happened.” Therefore, do not entertain worries, simply refute them.


Anxiety is another name for worrying. When a patient is admitted to a hospital, his kith and kin are worried about him. Even if the doctor says there is nothing to worry about, they keep on worrying. Instead of worrying, make a firm decision that you are not going to worry until you know something to worry about. When you adopt such a positive approach to worrying, you can keep your emotions in check.

If you know that there is a real danger or fear, be prepared to face it. Try to find answers to questions such as:

What is the worst that can happen?

How likely is it?

What would you do to handle it?

What can you do to prevent it or prepare for it?

The answers to such questions will help you to prepare a game plan to face the impending danger. You can be proactive rather than reactive. Whether it is a matter of health or finance, you will be able to face it with confidence.

You have to remember that worry is an emotional response that is stressful. If you can replace fear with concern, half the battle is won. A concerned person can face a stressful situation with courage and determination. He will know how to remain calm and find a solution.

One day a child asked his father to buy him an expensive laptop. Days passed and nothing happened. The child realised that his father could not afford to buy him such an expensive item. When he grew up, the child told his father gently not to worry about things he could not do. Such intelligent children may be rare in modern society, but you should be able to understand the other person’s difficulties.

Common trend

Long distance worrying is quite common today. When you prepare for an examination well ahead of it, you tend to worry about the final outcome. If you can do your studies well, you need not worry about it. Even if you fail an examination, there is nothing to worry about it. You can either re-sit the examination or switch over to do something else which is more stimulating.

Most people are preoccupied with a whole A to Z of worries. We should remember that life will be happy without worries. However, if there are no worries, life will be dull.

At the airport you are worried whether you have packed everything for the journey. Sometimes you keep the passport in your trouser pocket and look for it in your travelling bag. When you finally realise that it is quite safe in your trouser pocket, you will feel a sense of joy. Do not think that you are getting forgetful. Such events take place in everybody’s life.

Worries are like children’s toys. Children do not want to discard their old toys. Similarly, adults do not want to discard unwanted worries. This is part of human nature. Almost all of us experience unwanted worries in our lives. However, excessive worrying is an exhausting problem. When you know that all worries are not so harmful, you will realise that such worries help you to plan ahead.

According to psychologists, excessive worry or ‘toxic worry’ is unproductive and it is a disease of the imagination. It diminishes your ability to enjoy life. When you are overcome by toxic worry, you lose your perspective.

You can develop perspectives in many ways. Psychologists remind us not to worry alone. When you worry alone, you intensify it. If you explain a worry to another person, you begin to regain a perspective on it. If you are unable to find a sympathetic ear, talk to yourself.

It will help you to find a way out of your worry. Another method to dispel worries is to maintain a journal. If you write all the problems you face in the journal, most of your worries will vanish. A journal is more than a memory goad, it is therapeutic.


The simple act of opening a journal stills the crosscurrents of worry drawing to focus the essential thought patterns that best define us. A journal is one of the few anchors the human condition allows us.

There are occasions when you are unable to make an entry in the journal. On such occasions, go for a walk or play your favourite game. Such activities will drain excess worries and frustrations. They will also enhance your sense of wellbeing. However, most people do not know that such simple activities are natural anti-worry agents humans have.

If you are prone to worry, read the following poem written by an unknown poet:

Take it easy
Do not worry, do not fret,
Time will pass and we’ll forget
All the problems of the resent
In a future far more pleasant
Grief will go and joy will come;
For you and me life’s just begun.
A smile of joy, a sigh of bliss
To be sure we’ll never miss
With our head held high,
And keep our eyes open wide
We’ll go along, taking things in stride
And never let our courage die!

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