What are the costs of worrying?

“It is worms which destroy a tree, it is worry which destroys a man.”
Turkish proverb

The drawbacks of non-productive worrying are considerable. They take a heavy toll. Uncontrolled doubts and fears can be paralyzing. No action is taken to change the situation. The anxiety and pain continues.

Worry can interfere with your day-to-day life, distracting you from things much more important. You are unable to get on with fulfilling your purpose in life, worse still, you are unable to clearly see your purpose. You lose the motivation to pursue your goals. In short, you are not a productive member of your family and extended community. The pain continues and saps your energy at all levels of your existence.

“How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.”
~Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father, principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809 (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826)

Physical Costs
You feel tense and edgy during the day. Sometimes you are nervous wreck, unable to function properly. You are up at night unable relax and sleep.

“Heavy thoughts bring on physical maladies; when the soul is oppressed so is the body.”
~Martin Luther, German priest, professor of theology, iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546)

Emotional Costs
You are unhappy with yourself and the world around you. Your anxiety fuels your fears. Hopelessness sets in, then panic. You can’t help but feel guilty; you should be more conscientious and responsible. Eventually depression sets in.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
~Leo Buscaglia, author, motivational speaker, professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California, known as “Dr. Love (March 31, 1924 – June 12, 1998)

Mental Costs
Your thoughts are about doom and gloom. Your pessimism prevents you from being productive. You find it difficult to focus on solving your problems. You seem to just create more. It seems to be a habit you can’t control.

Relationships Costs
Relationships are strained, uncertain, and sometimes hurtful, both ways. You feel you are setting a bad example. You are failing as a soul mate, parent, friend,  role model or mentor.

In assessing these costs you have to ask several questions:
How much pain are you willing to bear?
How much longer will you put up with wasting your time, resources, and energy?
Why don’t you want to be more productive?
Is there more at stake?
Are you fulfilling your life’s purpose or responsibility?
Are you going to do nothing productive, but wait until a crisis forces you to act?

“I met a brother who, describing a friend of his, said he was like a man who had dropped a bottle, and broken it, and put all the pieces in his bosom, where they were cutting him perpetually.”
~Henry Ward Beecher

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