On day 147 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored “not worrying” as an act of self-care.
I’m known 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, “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. It just spins around in our head while our emotional tank drains. While there may be some value worrying, such as helping us prepare for the future, dwelling on the “what if’s” in life is a slippery slope. Our thoughts give way to our emotions, and our emotions, if left unchecked, can give way to physical illness.
Working ourselves into a tizzy–usually 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. But 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 on the day prior to the appointment, mostly so I would have some questions prepared for my doctor.
Sifting through medical information on the internet is kind of like sifting through a dumpster. Some of it is out of date, some is still moderately useful, but for the most part it stinks. Varying opinions make it difficult to arrive at any 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 leave you with parting gifts like “the research is still inconclusive” or “no consensus has been reached” when it comes to treatments and expected outcomes.
My decision to NOT worry was a good one. Collecting information in stages helped keep worrying at bay. How do you tame your worries?