Sunday, October 14, 2007

Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself

Can I really not have read a book since the end of August??!!!!! Maybe that's where my health problems are coming from :) I HAVE to read! I LIVE to read! And I HAVE read...just not books all the way through. Magazines, blogs, online articles have been my nutrition for the last few months. The summer months were bliss as I spent copious hours on the beach reading. Then fall hit. Copious hours are long gone. Free time is at a premium. Books in progress will be the topic of conversation here on the book blog.

The stack of books on my side table is about 12 inches high. The one I keep going back to (and just renewed) is "Worry" by Edward Hallowell. Worry does worry me, I have to admit. I can be a bit of a worry-wart, although I prefer to think of it as "being concerned". There IS a time and place for being concerned, or worrying. Some of us take it to extremes, though. Another great book I read awhile back was "When the Body Says No" by Gabor Mate. His theory is that stress can cause physical illness. Given my present physical problems I'm starting to wonder if what I considered to be my laid-back (albeit sometimes worrying) nature isn't so laid-back after all. Maybe when I THOUGHT that I wasn't bothered by something, I really was but suppressed it till finally my body said NO! Just a theory.

Back to "Worry". I can't seem to find the time to just sit down with this book and read it through. I read bits and pieces that are all so interesting I want to finish it. Finally, I flipped to the end - at least I can hear what he suggests we DO about all that worrying. From page 245: "Instead of letting worry bore into your brain, the next time worry strikes try immediately to put the sequence of EPR into motion: evaluate, plan, remediate. If you can make this a habit, you can control many worries quickly before they control you.

For example, let's say you experience a pain in your chest while walking upstairs one day. Instead of spending the next few hours worrying what it meant, and dodging the question, you could do as follows:

1. Evaluate: This was a kind of pain I don't remember having felt before. It was sharp, in the area of my heart. It passed when I paused for breath. I do not know what this means.

2. Plan: Since I do not know what this means and since I do fear it might be serious, I will seek expert advice.

3. Remediate: You call your physician right away."

This is actually a technique that I have learned to some extent in my years as a messy. One thing that caused a lot of worry and stress was "where are the keys?" Years ago I made a place for the keys and always put them there. No more worry. On my desk are two stacking filing units. There's a slot for every part of my life. All bits of paper and important information goes into its respective slot. Now when I get that "yikes, where did I put our passports for the trip (or whatever)" I can relax immediately because I know they are right where they should be. A place for everything, and everything in it's place. An old cliche, but a true and useful one.


aneta said...

Don't worry about not finishing the worry book! ha!ha!
The thing about worry is, when things do work out (with no action on one's part at all, because maybe it was out of one's hands)one wonders why he/she expended so much energy on worrying - wasted energy. I know this from experience. Every time something solves itself without my help (God is working behind the scenes, I say 'okay, NOW I have learned to trust.. I shall never worry again'. Well, I wish it worked that way! Talk to you soon!! And listen to some quiet uplifting music when you are totally stressed. It helps me.

aneta said...

Oh, and good to see you are blogging again!! Welcome back!