How to worry nonsense seems to be in the papers this January. It’s no surprise given the bent of most articles this time of year is how to be “better” both physically and mentally. However, I was shocked to see the headline in this Washington Post article, Don’t Try to Worry Less. Worry Smarter” The title sounds good in theory, i.e. worry!, but just do it in a way that is better for you — smarter for you.
All I got from this title was now you are worrying wrong. Ugh! Must there be so much judgement even on our worries?
The article is filled with lots of tips and tricks to acknowledge your worries, i.e. find it in your body, problem solve, and then let go. Oh so simple. If we could do any of these things, would any of us be worried? Probably not according to this article.
Worry is more than what is going on in your mind at the time. Often worries are deeply embedded in earlier experiences where we were left alone, let down, our expectations were not met, the worst happened, and more. When the events, people, or whatever comes up in our here and now and we “worry” it is often calling back to these earlier woundings and hurts.
That is why it is almost impossible to worry smarter.
How about using our worries as a place to get to know ourselves better. Inviting the worry in and letting it breathe. It certainly has something to tell us about our present concerns and where we have come from. If we can tolerate looking at ourselves from this lens, our worries can lead us to know ourselves in deeper ways.
It’s not always about being smarter and better by letting go and getting rid of the (what has been deemed) “bad” stuff. Sometimes it’s about tolerating our worries and anxieties, allowing them space to breathe, so we can then hear what they are trying to say and learn more about ourselves.
My two cents.