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I’m known by some as a bit of a worry wart. Not very endearing, I know.
If worrying is an inheritable trait, then I get it honestly. My grandmother used to worry about everything. It was as if she needed to have something to worry about. I can remember her saying things like, “Okay, well I’ll worry about that now.” Or, “That’ll give me something to worry about.”
But I don’t like the way worrying makes me feel.
It leads to a downward spiral of emotion that has no resolution. While there may be some value in that worrying helps us prepare for the future, dwelling on “what if’s” is a slippery slope. Our thoughts give way to our emotions, and our emotions, left unchecked, sometime give way to physical illness.
Working ourselves into a tizzy–often before we even know all the facts–can do some pretty terrible things to our body.
That’s why not worrying was my self-care practice for the day.
In anticipation of an upcoming doctor’s appointment (one that I admit has been difficult not to worry about) I decided NOT to worry. It wasn’t easy. Instead of doing extensive amounts of research in advance like I would normally do, I limited myself to just 30 minutes the day prior to the appointment.
Sifting through medical information on the internet is a bit like sifting through a dumpster. Some of it is out of date, some is still useful, but for the most part it stinks. Varying opinions make it difficult to arrive at a meaningful conclusion. Even some of the most reputable websites paint an ambiguous picture of various health conditions (in part, I’m sure, due to liability). They give broad overviews of the good, bad and the ugly, but then leave you with parting gifts like “the research is still inconclusive” or “no consensus has been reached” with respect to treatment.
And reading message boards doesn’t offer much comfort either. While there may be similar threads among stories, there are vast differences in life circumstances, making it difficult to see how they might apply elsewhere.
My decision to NOT worry was a good one. Collecting information in stages helps keep worrying at bay. How do you tame your worries?