Monday, July 12, 2010

Saving Myself the Worry

"Worried Women"1988Image via Wikipedia

I read today that everything is a non-issue until someone decides otherwise. Which got me thinking about all the worrying I do, which I guess is a form of deciding that something IS an issue. Then I read somewhere else that 89% of what we worry about never comes true. Which got me thinking that all that worrying is just wasted energy, time and life.

The only good news I came across in trying to find the citation for that 89% statistic is that stress and worry plummet after age 50, which seems more relevant to me than I care to admit.

I'm writing this not because I think I worry to much; I am writing this because I think it is an empowering idea to let go and make fewer things
issues in my life.

I think a perfect example of this principle in action is the Frontline program I watched over the weekend: The Suicide Tourist. The program follows an American man living in England diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.) He talks about his impeding death and his plan to travel to Switzerland to end his life before his disease paralyzes and kills him.

If you watch this program, which you can from the PBS Frontline website, perhaps you too will be struck by how Craig Ewert makes his illness and his decision to die all a non-issue. Though the title and the subject matter will perhaps make you take issue with it, Craig seems to transcend his circumstances and make his decision seems matter-of-fact, rational and logical. Although Craig says he is an agnostic, I have to say I admire his faith through the process of weighing his options and deciding to just let go.

After all, ALS will kill him and it is just a matter of time.

Not currently faced with a life-or-death crisis, I think my quest to keep more things in my life non-issues will be more difficult. After all, I'm trudging through the minutiae of daily life which presents me with so many little things that could so easily get under my skin. Plus throw in my chronic illnesses and their effect on my mood and sometimes I appear downright volatile. I need to learn that this is my cue to take a proverbial chill pill.

I'm thinking that if I can master this, I might be left with more time, energy and life to do the things that are truly important to me.

So what about you? Do you think you could resist making non-issues into issues? What benefits could you reap from such an approach to life? Tell me in your comment...
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Migrainista said...

I'm a big guilty worrier - even more so since the onset of my chronic pain. Often I wish I would let more things go, even in the middle of some worry I'll wish.

What's the secret? How is it done? I used to be so good at it...

Selena said...

I think chronic illnesses like ours use up our reserves and make us more susceptible to stress. For example, I get all worked up when something good happens now ... not good! I think I just have to be more mindful now and remember to breath.