Why worry? A change in my household circumstances has led to my undertaking many activities with which I am not familiar. Many people, particularly housewives, would regard these tasks as routine and usually unproblematic. But to the novice they may be quite demanding. And sometimes, worrying.
There seems to be little relationship between a level of worry and the significance of a task. Were I to be in a death cell with execution due in the morning, some degree of worrying would be natural. But I suspect that my worry would be limited because the outcome is certain. Uncertainty seems to be at the heart of worry. Whether this or that important letter arrives in the next post might worry me more.
Worry is irrational. It is obvious that faced by a task we should think constructively about what steps we should take and then put them into action. Worrying may lead to exaggerating a task or putting it off as long as possible. So the effect is negative – we have only made matters worse. Realising that it’s negative does not take it away. In fact we can add to the problem the worry about how much we worry.
What is the source of worry? I imagine that, like so many of our instincts, evolution has played its part. We are always faced by problems and worry came about because we needed to be triggered to prepare for possible solutions. But when we are faced by uncertainty this can be difficult. I remember, as a young man, the occasions when my boss would ask me to meet him the next day – without mentioning why. From that point, overnight and the next day, there would be a little worry nibbling away inside. What might I have done wrong? In fact I cannot remember any meeting which turned out to be unpleasant. All that worry wasted!
Now you, reader, may have worries from time to time. But you have perhaps learned how to reduce these to a minimal level. In which case tell us how you managed that. Were the changes practical ones or did you change your internal attitudes? If nothing else you may find that you’re not alone.