Worry- Paving way to Depression
Why do we Worry
There are lot of self help books which provide emphasis on how not to worry. It is stated that worry causes negative effects both to our mental thinking and also influence how we perceive a situation. Excess mental strain can cause us to have a negative approach towards life and in time we feel depressed, lonely and anxious.
But all things aside why do we still tend to focus on the negative aspects more compared to the positive. Some of the factors that contribute to this behavioral pattern are
- Programmed to worry:- We are taught from child hood that the world is a dangerous place, followed by expressions such as "Life is a bed of nails and not a bed of roses". I do agree there is little bit of truth in these statements, but the emphasis here is not to take life for granted. No where does it say, we should suffer in order to be happy.Contrary to that, Happiness is mainly obtained when we enjoy life and have a positive outlook towards it. Alas, we believe in the former theory and try to find more ways to think and think till we reach a dead end.
- Endless loop of thoughts:- This is one of the most common path that our mind takes during a tense situation. A prerequisite to worry. When we are confronted by a problem, our mind automatically processes a logical solution. So far so good. But then to contradict this solution, a second question arises. Remedy to this gives rise to another and this goes on. The "what if " will always remain unanswered in our mind and what started as a simple thought cascades into a endless loop of thousand and one suggestions.
- Expected to be someone else :- Comparison to others started in my school years. First it was towards the brightest boy in our class, followed by an indefinite urge to be like a superstar. Time and again, this was strengthened by society views and lofty ambitions. But what I got in return for this, was a low self esteem and years of depression.
- Options, options and more options :- Take any aspect of our life and this is the situation. There are thousands of ways to do it. Be it career, relationship you name it. What happens is that we get lost in this turbulent sea of thoughts. Which option suites us better is hard to find and 99 percent, unlimited information tends to give the opposite effect.
The main tendency to limit our worrying thoughts is to suppress the feeling. Or in other cases try to hide it or apply pressure until it is suppressed.
This technique is fine for a short term period, however these suppressed thoughts come back with a vengeance in full effect, in later part of our life. So we end up in a more unpredictable situation than before.
What needs to be done is to understand the pattern of thought, the flow and the source cause of worry. By eliminating the source, we uproot the tree of tension.
Here are the counter points to what was stated before
- "Tell a lie over and over again. Slowly it becomes the truth". This phrase can be considered self hypnosis but that is reality. From a very young age we have been fashioned to believe that world is really complex, contains hidden dangers and if not careful can result in disastrous effects. This gets imprinted in our mind .and the action we perform goes in sync with this. Now the counter theory. if you look at the facts, reality or life is very simple. It is the outlook we give to it that makes it complex. Our thoughts tend to over estimate a situation more than it deserves. But once the event is faced the simplicity can easily be understood. Most intellectuals believe that this is caused mainly because our mind fears the most it cannot understand. For example we get spooked by supernatural things. This fear tendency is due to the fact that we have never experienced a ghost or an entity before. Same principle can be applied in the case of our fearful thoughts or worries.
- The thought train is a very common phenomenon. Everyone experiences it when dealing with a complex situation. The mind is always inclined to actions which presents zero risk. Any form of change which affects the minds comfort zone is rejected. That is why when we are faced with a tough or unexpected situation, we try to justify our thoughts or try to repeat them again and again in our mind. The best way to avoid this loop of thought is to take an action. As stated in the first point, the mind tends to overestimate a situation regardless of its true nature .
- Having a person as an idol is a strong motivational factor. It is also recommended to have some good traits associated with him/her. However the line should be drawn when this feeling turns into an empathy. We are different from each other in many respects. The bright boy in our class was not good in arts or sports. But I topped these two fields. It shows that my talents and skills lay in a different field and if I am able to nurture this, my ability would be well recognized. Same goes with every person. We have our own skills which might be the envy of others. In time these talents will project itself and help us be in par or even exceed others.
- Prepare a mental vision of what you want to be in the future. Align these vision to your strengths and see if they parallel to each other. if so, we have a steady direction to our goal. Now this a trial and error method. i was not able to get it right the first time. It took me several tries to get the optimum one. However this goal setting helped me filter out unwanted options and de cluster my mind. of too much information.
- One lesson I learned in my life is "it is never too late to invest in a new beginning". We are not provided the route to our destiny beforehand. It is through as stated before trial and error method, that we find our true calling. If we see the life of successful people, they are life learners. That means they have larger doses of failures than success. However these make their success much more sweet. Add to it the emotional maturity one attains in this process.