All my life I’ve been told I worry too much.
When I was a child it would be silly things – did I love my parents enough? Would they be sad if they knew I was worried about that? I was genuinely worried that they would be upset about my worries. It was a vicious circle.
I was bought worry dolls – those tiny little matchstick-sized dolls that come in a sweet drawstring pouch – and would place them under my pillow each night, to whisper my troubles to. That helped me feel better.
When I was a teenager I purchased a clear quartz – if you hold it tight enough it can draw the worries from your body and mind. I liked that too.
Now, age 25, I have no need for quartz or worry dolls, and tend to manage my thoughts better. But I still need to remind myself not to worry.
I repeat this little flow chat in my head, like a mantra.
I decided it was time to make a dramatic change when I offered some advice at work – advice that I’ve never followed.
My manager; a confident, intelligent, no-nonsense woman told me she was “panicking” about something work-related. As her PA, I wanted to offer support and said “don’t panic, nothing can be solved through panicking.”
She simply responded “true” and her face seemed to clear slightly.
I felt quite proud then – I’d managed to help in some way, albeit a very simple one.
But then I thought, “hang on, why can’t I follow my own advice?”
Nothing can ever be solved through worry, fear or panic.
All worrying does is make me sad, and affects those closest to me who can feel the worry radiating off me.
So whatever my problem is – money, other people, the future – I’m now learning to shrug it off.
Can I do something about my lack of funds? Yes, I can save more. I can create a budget, maybe sell a few items on eBay. So don’t worry.
Can I do something about what other people think of me? No. They will think whatever they want, so there’s definitely no point in worrying about that. One of my mother’s favourite sayings to me is “what other people think of you is none of your business”. I repeat this a lot too.
Can I do something about the future? Well, yes and no. I can guide myself along a certain path but there will be elements out of my control along the way. I can’t see what’s coming, so why worry?
It’s difficult, and I can’t change overnight. But I already feel calmer, more at peace, by not letting the little things bother me.