Why Do We Worry and How Do We Overcome It?

By Amy Taylor on September 14, 2012

Thousands of years ago, there were two cousins who lived in the same cave. They were Bernie and Charlie. Bernie had the habit of worrying too much. He worried about whether the fire was going out, whether the giant cat that ate his neighbour will come back and attack them, whether his son could go home safe, and so on. Charlie on the other hand, was more relaxed. He knew the fire wouldn’t run out unless everyone slept at the same time, that the wild cat perhaps only visited once every ten years, and that his nephew would arrive home safe like he always did.

Today, Charlie and Bernie still live. But there seem to be more Bernies in the world.  They are the people who constantly worry about almost anything. They worry that the plane carrying them would crash, that their friends might interpret them the wrong way, that the door in their house was left unlocked, that their children might meet bad people along the way home, etc.

Worrying is a tool for survival

Well, there is actually nothing wrong about worrying. In fact, it increases our chance of survival. People who worry about things cope with the unpleasant emotions with strategies that will prevent the possibility of their worries becoming a reality. However, too much of it is not good. When worrying starts to negatively impact our life, it becomes more of a disorder rather than a survival mechanism.

Also called anxiety disorder, constant worrying could lead to many other problems such as fatigue, stress and depression.

Thinking like a cat

While humans have developed from Australopithecus Afarensis to Homo sapiens throughout the years, cats remained the same. They are still the carefree creatures who seem not to care about anything. Unlike humans, cats aren’t overwhelmed by many things. They do not care whether they offend their masters as long as they get what they want. And if ever they don’t get what they want, they just meow, that’s it. Cats easily forget the negative emotions. If they couldn’t get that crisp fried chicken on the table, so be it. No big deal.

Cats and humans are opposites. They don’t have bills to pay, no boss to please, no children to send to school, etc. All they ever need is to eat, sleep, and play. We humans do not really have to act like cats because we can never be. But we could follow some of their traits and apply them on our life. Sometimes we just have to sit down for a while, relax, watch TV, sing, chat with a friend, read a book, or do anything that makes us feel contented. Brush the worries away and think like a cat. Savour every moment of this once-in-a-blue-moon joy and care not about what needs to be done next.

Life is too short. We should spend the most of it enjoy and learning, rather than worrying.


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