The dictionary defines the word worry as ‘the state of being anxious and troubled over actual or potential problems’. Sound familiar? Statistically, the UK has one of the highest percentage of worriers in Western Europe and I’m proud to say I’m apart of this statistic. I am a worrier. I worry about anything and everything. I mean I’ve come along way but every now and then I have to stop, do my breathing exercises and intentionally let go of those unproductive thoughts that plague the mind.
So why do we worry? Our ancestors many moons ago lived in what researchers called an Immediate Return Society meaning our actions in those times gave us an immediate benefit. When we were thirsty, dehydration would kick in and our body would feel stress, encouraging us to drink, and once done the stress is relieved. When we saw a dangerous animal in the distance, stress would fill the body, energising us to run, and when we’ve found a safe place the stress is relieved. We live in a Delayed Return Society. This means that most of the choices we make today won’t have an immediate benefit or reward. It’s how this modern world’s designed. A lot of us work work work in the words of Rihanna to then get paid after 30 days. We’re told to save money now for our retirement in the future. Today we face different problems. Will I have enough money to pay my upcoming bills? Will I ever be promoted in my current job? So now what’s happened is that our brain that’s lived in an immediate return environment for tens of thousands of years, is now living in a delayed return environment. The world has evolved much quicker than our mind has. We’re now in a time where the delay in return breeds uncertainty and worry, the state of being anxious and troubled over actual or potential problems.
Worry is such a big topic, so big that I’m going to dedicate this month of August to it. This blog is merely an introduction into this. I’m excited to explore this in more detail. The next coming Mondays of August I will be speaking on worry and giving out tips on how to work worry in your favour! So here’s my first tip: Plan and Review. We can’t eliminate all stresses and worries, but we can remove some uncertainty by planning and reviewing our steps. For example, we don’t know how much we will have in our retirement but having a plan to put x amount of money away each month will rid some of the worry. You can’t predict when you’ll start a family or get married, for some that’s a worry. But we can look at how active we are in meet new people. With our money, looking at your spending habits and having a revised spending plan/budget will help prevent the worry of will I have enough for my bills. This is a very simple way to think but hugely effective. It won’t solve everything, but it will help clarify the situation at hand and help you focus your energy on the things you can control.
Now what’s a blog without an ending quote heyy! The old Swedish proverb says, “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”