Monday, August 19, 2013

Guilt and Worry

Guilty and worry are other forms of anxiety disguised under different names.

Guilty feelings have to do with the past.
And worry has to do with the future.

First let’s talk about guilt:

“I did this, and I did that, so I don’t deserve to be happy.”  Sometimes people wallow in their anxiety because they feel like they did something to deserve it.  Feeling “good” can cause anxiety too because you feel you don’t deserve it and you are afraid that you are going to have to pay for the happiness somehow.

Are you letting feelings of guilt, or shame, determine how you live your life?

If you do anything out of guilt, eventually, you will resent doing it.  Because “guilt” is not an honest feeling.  (Not that it’s made up or that you are experiencing a feeling that isn’t real.)  No, guilt is from the enemy.  It is usually based on fiction or some unrealistic expectation.

This is where the distinction between “self-esteem” and “self-respect” come into play.  Self-esteem has to do with the past.  It is one’s view of him/her self based on past accomplishments or achievements.  In today’s society, adults are worried about the “self-esteem” of the kids and feel like they have to give everyone a trophy.  Everyone wins.  They think this will help them develop a positive self-image.  This approach, in my opinion, is not effective because it is not real life.  The real world is not fair and not everyone wins.

Self-respect is the better attitude to have.  It is about the here and now.  It doesn’t matter what you did in the past, what accomplishments you achieved, what you did or didn’t do, or your’s or other’s expectations.  Self-respect belongs to every person no matter what.  Because you are alive, you have self-respect.  Because you are created by God, you deserve to be treated a certain way.  Most people don’t realize that they deserve “self-respect” because they are too busy trying to fit in. 

OK, now about worry:

Worry is, specifically, the dwelling on things that have not yet happened, things that are more or less out of one’s control.

Do you worry about your physical health, like getting cancer, or another illness, or dying?  Are you a hypochondriac?  Are you worried about outrageous things like being poisoned, being the victim of a crime, physically being hurt by someone?  Are you always concerned with how you feel, or the things you eat?  How about the country, the president, politics, etc?  Or are you worried that you will go crazy and lose your mind?  Do you worry about other people’s problems?

Sometimes, when we worry, we make believe we can control the situation just by worrying about it.

Worry is hereditary.  We learn how to worry from our parents and those close to us.  It definitely runs in my family.  My mom and my dad are worriers.  When we were kids, we used to hide when we got hurt because our parents (mainly mom) would overreact.

When you have anxiety, little problems become big problems, big problems become catastrophes, and other people’s problems become your problems.

But, here’s the thing with worry: 99 % of the time, everything works out OK.  The bad things you worried about don’t happen.

Worry is a waste of your precious time.

Learn how to “under-react” instead of over-react.  Being an “under-reactor” means that you take time to think about the situation realistically before you respond.

Another way to put it is:

Work on being less affected and more effective.

You have no control over your surroundings or you environment most of the time.  And you have no control over what other people do.  If you let situations or other people get under your skin, you will be ridding an emotional rollercoaster.

Instead of focusing on being a victim of your circumstances, focus on how to be more effective.  You DO have control over yourself and your actions.  Maybe you can’t change the negativity of your co-workers, but you can change whether or not you have a positive attitude.

So the moral of this story is; get off the guilty and worry marry-go-round because it’s not taking you anywhere and only making you dizzy…

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. I needed to hear this as my worry levels have been off the charts lately lol