Issue No. 6
Table of Contents
- Guidelines for Dealing with Worry
Worry is one of the heaviest burdens of life. It comes regularly. It does
not leave after a thing is supposedly finished. It comes even when the
thing worried about is unlikely to happen. Worry causes ulcer, gray hair,
wrinkles, illnesses, unhappiness, poor interpersonal relationship. To know
how to handle worry, we must:
The reason why we worry is because worry is useful. It is a natural
inclination for a person to protect himself/herself. And worry is an
effective mechanism for such protection. For example, suppose you need to
pay a bank loan within one week or else you will lose your house. You
don't like the adverse consequence if you do not pay, and your mind
automatically sets up its worry machine in order to remind you that you
should do something about it. When a person does not worry about it and
does nothing about it, we say that such a person is irresponsible and
immature. We feel sorry if he loses his house, but we say at the same
time that he deserves it.
- understand the origin of worry
- appreciate the important role of worry in human problems
- look for an effective alternative that will replace worry
Worry, therefore, serves an important self-protective role in life. The
only problem is that it has harmful effects. It robs of us of sleep,
happiness, and makes us sick. It lingers even when we can not do
anything about a problem anymore. Therefore it is important that if we
wish to eradicate worry in our life, we must have an effective substitute
to worrying that will similarly help us do our best in solving a problem.
II. Guidelines for Dealing with Worry
Here are guidelines for dealing with worry:
- Be clear that you wish to remove worry in your life and find a better
substitute to it. Such decision is vital to make you persevere in
your effort to find a substitute to worry.
- Whenever you encounter a problem, determine that you will do your
reasonable best to solve a problem.
- Be aware of your own resistance in carrying out possibilities to a
solution. For example, you may have to talk to a friend about the
loan. At the same time you may hesitate because you feel embarrassed
to approach your friend. Be aware of this conflict and then make a
decision whether it is important enough to risk embarrassment. After
deciding, then do it. Another common obstacle is procrastination. Even
if we know that something has to be done, we consciously delay it
because it is unpleasant. Be aware of this resistance and decide
whether you will allow this resistance to make you effective or
- Keep a daily list of things to do. Do not depend on your
memory to do certain tasks that need to be done. Keep a "To-do" list
and update it everyday. When something is in your list, be determined
to do them and don't stop until you have done them for the day. If you
did not finish an item, then put it again in the next day and try to
accomplish it according to your timetable. This to-do list should be
part of a wider list of things to do for the week or month or year.
Live life with a purpose and clarify what things you want to accomplish
or achieve. Then set a program and timetable on when you wish to reach
- Do your best, more than that is no longer your duty. Annie Besant,
the famous reformer and theosophist, once said that in whatever she does,
she does her best. Whatever is beyond her best is no longer her duty.
She does not fret about what she is unable to accomplish or failed to
achieve. Devise your own personal methods in systematically doing a task
efficiently, and making sure that your personal habits do not stand in
the way of their accomplishment.
- Do not worry about things you can do nothing about. Suppose you
prepared very hard to pass an exam, then after taking the exam you are
not sure whether you will pass or not. Do you worry about the results?
This would be a waste of your energy and your own happiness. You have
done your best, and whatever is the outcome you must learn to accept
- Learn to accept consequences. Suppose you took a college entrance
exam of a prestigious school and failed. You may wish to inquire whether
you can apply for reconsideration. But if you know that the outcome is
final, then accept it with all its consequences. There is no point in
crying over spilled milk. Clean the mess and go and get another bottle.
Learn to accept consequences that you can't do anything about anymore.
Suppose you lost an arm in an accident. You realize that this will entail
so much inconvenience in your work, your personal chores, and your life
in general. Do you worry about this? Do something about it but do not
fret or worry about the consequences.
- Visualize and pray.
- Visualization: Use visualization to help you become more effective
in whatever you wish to attain. This is one additional approach
that will minimize your worries. If it is the health of a loved
one, visualize the person as being in a state of health. Your
thoughts will influence the person.
- When you have done your best, you may use prayer if you believe
in prayer. Prayer means different things to different people. But
research has shown that prayer affects situation and even the
health of people. Some people theorize that the efficacy of
prayer is due to the intervention of a Divine Being, others
think that we are tapping a Cosmic Intelligence from which we
draw help and strength, some think that it is mental telepathy,
where we subconsciously link with people who can help us.
Whatever is the reason, prayer works. It is possible to live a
life with a minimum of worry. You need to be aware of goals,
your opportunities, and your own weakness. Then do your best,
and whatever happens, be happy with it.
Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines
"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."