Dealing with supposedly unsolvable worries

“As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.”
~Julius Caesar

Are certain worries unsolvable? Maybe not … if you use the definition that unsolvable means the situation has no answer or explanation. The cause of most worries can eventually be explained and therefore apparently solved. But just understanding the cause isn’t enough. You need to get rid of the worry. If there is no action that can be taken that worry should be considered unsolvable.

It’s hard to imagine that there is nothing you can do. There must be something you can change or at least try to. Worries about health, such as “What if I get cancer or diabetes someday?”, can lead to lifestyle changes to reduce the risk. Worries about your child’s safety, such as “What if she is injured in a car accident?”, can be minimized by teaching and insisting on her taking proper safety precautions. You may not have absolute control, but you do have influence.

Worries can be separated into whether they are externally or internally induced. Is the target for change someone or something else and therefore external, or is it yourself, and therefore internal. In order to take action the target individual must be confident and motivated sufficiently and that won‘t occur unless the target has moved through the decision-making framework and its five stages (awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, and commitment). For example, unhealthy lifestyles are the bane of today’s society. If you want to move yourself or others to adopt sustainable healthier habits you have to begin with the first stage (awareness) and then move through each of the next four stages.

Giving and getting advice is bound to crop up as you wrestle with external targets. Generally, advice doesn’t work. For more details refer to the earlier series of posts on advice. Advocating the benefits of a different approach to counter the dangers of the current approach must follow the decision-making framework.

If you have neither control, nor influence, you have to learn to accept the situation, forget about it or start praying.

There is still more to the idea of worries being unsolvable. What if the worry isn’t something you want to solve? You’d rather just worry! Worries can be categorized as those that you are prepared to work on as solvable and those that you are not prepared to work on as unsolvable. That’s what the next post will discuss.

“There are people who are always anticipating trouble, and in this way they manage to enjoy many sorrows that never really happen to them.”
~Josh Billings

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