How do I learn to stop worrying and love...well, everything.
January 10, 2006 2:51 PM Subscribe
How do I learn how to stop worrying, and being anxious, and get on with life? One of my biggest flaws is worrying about a negative outcome in most aspects of my life. Even though I know that in general my life is ok, and indeed I am lucky in many ways, I worry daily about it all going wrong, and this is having a negative effect on my quality of life. How do I learn to live and enjoy life without unnecessary worry?
In the last year I have had a couple of health scares that have turned out to be probably caused by stress - and I think my own anxiety has started to become part of the problem - trying to track down my symptoms has revealed the host of improbable and mostly fatal things that also share those symptoms. Which I then of course worry will leave my children orphaned. And that's not fun thinking.
I worry in social situations, that everyday actions could be misinterpreted - a friendly look met with 'he's staring at me! Stalker!', my mishearing of what someone says leading to them believing I'm an ignorant sod and a snob who thinks little of them. I accidentally use an unsecured wireless connection at work for half an hour and I fret that Joe Q Crim now has all of my passwords - you name it, I can imagine a scenario in which it all goes horribly wrong.
I don't like being like this. There are things to be concerned about, and I would rather be concerned about them in a healthy, rational way. And not concerned about the things that aren't a worry, just a ridiculous improbability. While I'm sure it's human nature (and maybe even a little prudent) to be a little anxious inside your head - sociopaths aside - I think it has got out of balance in my life.
What I'm doing about it now includes starting to practice meditation, and trying to think positively and count my blessings, and recognise what's gone well for myself. I've also started exploring some Buddhist thoughts about recognising, and coming to terms with, impermanence, doubt, and fear, which seem interesting.
Any suggestions? Have you felt like this and really made a change in your life? How have you done it?
I'd be really interested to hear from anyone else who meditates - if you can recognise yourself in me, has meditating helped you? What else has worked well?
I'm looking for suggestions that don't include pharmaceuticals, please. I really don't want to go down that route. As I'm posting anon, thank you all in advance for posting, I really do appreciate it.
(Of course, I just *know* that the anonymous posting will go wrong here, my boss and social circle will read it and recognise that it is me, and decide I am a loose cannon. I will be shunted off into a dead-end role and I will get frustrated and walk out on my job and then find I can't get another, then my children will be put in an orphanage and given gruel and I will live in a cardboard box on the street and sell clothes pegs until the night-weasels get me. OK, maybe a little exaggerated, but I'm fed up of thinking along those lines about *everything*.)