Worrying and worriers..!


EVERY evening around 6 o clock my dog looks out of the window with a worried expression. He is scared of crackers and feels any moment, the sky will light up with a firework display and there will be a big noise. I’ve noticed a lot of we humans carry worry with us.
Says the great Dr. Austen Riggs. “First ask yourself, is this my problem? If it isn’t leave it alone.” For instance, suppose a mother has fretted herself into an illness because her daughter cannot make up her mind to accept the proposal of marriage from some fine, well-to-do man, “tell the mother she is foolish because it is not her problem – it is the girl who must decide what to do!”
The next question for a worrier is, “If it is my problem, can I tackle it now?” If the person can get right at it and settle it, he should do so. Once he has it settled, he ought to leave it alone, and not open the subject again.
The first bit of advice from Dr. Riggs is, “If your problem could be settled by an expert in some field, go quickly to him or her and take their advice.” For instance, I remember a widow who was in terribly nervous state trying to decide what to do with an old apartment house. I said, “That’s easy; go right off to your banker, your lawyer, perhaps your income tax expert, and then to a real estate broker, who is an expert on apartment houses. Take the advice of these men and settle the matter quickly.”
Another point I make to people is that they should try hard not to do their worrying at night. Problems ought to be thought out and settled during the day. Night is a time for sleeping.
All worriers would do well to take the advice of the great physician Sir William Osler. He told his patients to live in “day tight compartment,” in other words, never to brood over the mistakes of the past or to worry about what might happen on the morrow. As Thomas Carlyle said, our job is to do quickly and as well as we can the work that lies close to our hands.
Says another doctor, “Some worriers find great comfort in religion.” Your prayer can be, “Oh Lord, if you will only reveal to me where I can get help, I will go and get it.” In other words, let a worried person go to a priest for spiritual help or consolation, and to physician for reassurance in regard to the state of the body. Whatever it is deal with worry immediately and there will be nothing to stay worried about. Now if my dog would only listen this..!