Worrying yourself silly . . !


MY daughter’s dog Noah has been left at my home for a few hours as she and my son-in-law have gone out for lunch.

I watch him as he paces all over my home, looks through the window anxiously and watching him, I know his thoughts, “Will they come back for me?” He’s still a pup, and soon will learn that they will always come back for him, but till that day arrives, he will remain a ‘worrier’!

I’ve noticed a lot of us carry unnecessary worry. Says a psychiatrist. “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.

If your problem can be settled by an expert in some field, go quickly to him or her and take their advice.

For instance, I remember an aunt who was in a terribly nervous state trying to decide what to do with an old apartment house.

I said, “Go to a real estate broker, who is an expert, take his or her advice, then we’ll put an ad in the papers and sell it. And sell it we did.”

Another point is, try not to worry before going to sleep. Because at night, little mice become mighty monsters. 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!” Whatever it is, deal with worry immediately and there will be nothing to stay worried about.

Now if only Noah, would listen to all this, he would stop pacing around, go to sleep, and wake up joyously when his master and mistress return! But then why blame him, aren’t we doing just the same? And he’s still a pup, whereas we are not, and yet we worry ourselves silly..!

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