Sunday Sayings – Worry

Does worry serve or support us?

Our mind perceives a potential threat and becomes stuck on seeking an answer or solution, a way forward to a safer or more secure state where everything is more predictable, controlled or orderly. This is worry. For some, worry leads to anxiety.

For every behaviour, there is a perceived mental pay-off. What’s the pay-off for the time we devote to this practise of worrying?

Do we feel better for worrying? Or worse? Does it rob us of valuable time and energy?

WEEKLY PROVERB

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow”

~Swedish Proverb

sunnfjord
Sunnfjord

WEEKLY QUOTE

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.

That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else”

~ Sara Blakely (American businesswoman)

Great ocean Road

Worry takes our attention away from the present, from what is real and we are dwelling in possibilities – either in the past, or the possible future. The more possible outcomes, the more we worry, and the harder it is to let go.  It makes us feel helpless or trapped.

Sara Blakely’s words can apply to many different situations.

Let your uncertainty be your strength.

More on worrying here.

How do you see worry? Does it serve a purpose for you? What have you found effective in counteracting worry?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

65 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – Worry

  1. “Why on earth are you worrying in advance ? – it’s not going to change anything !”
    Wise (and frequent) utterance from my late husband, who knew me better than I did. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I never used to worry – then I got older….. it just came naturally, and has a habit of shoving its pesky nose into my mind in the wee hours of the morning! I noticed you had a Design Home pictured in your side bar Amanda. Are you new to Design Home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those middle of the night worries can be stubborn in preventing a return to sleep, Chris. The mind is not tired enough to rest but is awake enough to replay to us every horrible, embarrassing mistake we have ever made in our lives or bring forward those exact fearful thoughts that we’ve successfully buried until this moment. I started practising bead mediation for these moments. For me, it does work to stop the full cinematic experience of ‘failure’ re-runs from starting up in my head! I once posted about it:
      https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/ways-to-reduce-stress/
      I don’t play any internet games at all with one exception: Design home. Love it. Helps me get design ideas for my home! And some of the exact pieces I see in the stores are the same as in the game! I will have to look for you there, too?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I played Design Home last year, and became hopelessly addicted. I deleted it Christmas, but have just downloaded it again. This time though I’m mainly doing just the daily challenge. I’ll have a look at your post on bead mediation.

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      • I will have a read of that when I finish work today, Chris. Thanks for that. I do like the game and it is the only one I play butI never pay money to play it. I feel it stops me getting addicted if I just play with the free dollars and diamonds. It is a good way to limit game time. I have been playing for 2 years now without spending a cent. I feel a bit guilty about that but share on my social media when I get a win so feel I compensate the gamer developed that way by free advertising.

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      • My daughter rarely pays anything either. She sometimes buys a bundle when a new series comes out, but that’s all. I had a big break from it, and now I’m back on I’m not going to spend anything. It’s a great game to play , as long as one doesn’t lose control. – like I did. It did give a better understanding though of what kids sometimes are going through.

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      • Any of us can fall victim to an addiction. Some people even are more prone, as is having an addictive personality. It can be anything: not just games, or alcohol, or sex, it might also be reading, or craft – think quilters and how much fabric they accumulate and never use. It can even be self-harm that becomes addictive. It is the self-awareness that is important. If you are aware of it, you can rise about it, or break away from it. It you are focused on what it gives you more than the bigger picture, then it is very hard. Look how many folk can’t give up smoking even though they have had legs amputated from giving up smoking via poor circulation, or the alcoholic with a failing liver. I am not suggesting you are anything near this level, Chris, but that is because you have self-control and looked at what you are doing. The game designers actively design ways to keep you engaged and in this way contribute to the problem of addiction. The more time you spend on the game, the more benefit for the advertisers. I have just got home from work so will check out your post about this. It will be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think I could have an addictive personality if I let anything get hold of me. I’m usually reasonably self controlled though, but this game took me by surprise. I did absolutely love it, so it was easy to get obsessed. I’m giving it another go, but this time I’ll be very aware and strict with myself. I’ll have to connect with you via FB so as we can borrow off each other?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sure! We can do connect on Fb. I try not to be on there too much but as I have a couple of groups there, I have to check it daily. I have a cousin who sets a timer for 30 minutes allocation for social media time. I think this could work well for games too. Once the timer goes, you put the phone down. It was very brave of you to post about this. I think many people would hide it as a dark secret. Well done to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great topic of discussion, and the quotes you shared go well with it. I really like the questions you asked about worry and worrying – do we feel better for worrying, or is it a waste of time. For me, I am the kind who worries and really thinks about a situation to the deaths, thinking about every possible outcome in the face of uncertainty, what is there, what’s lacking and every possible solution if something goes wrong. A lot of the time at the end, things usually go alright or at least not bad and I needn’t had worried.

    On one hand, worrying can heighten anxiety or make us feel anxious, maybe even angry and aggravated. It’s also a way of us trying to control what could be – and as you said, it takes our mind away from the present. On the other hand, worrying can make us feel more prepared for what’s to come or at the very least be a bit more organised. It makes us see different perspectives.

    I think many of us have different ways of expressing worry. Some of us might say our thoughts out loud, venting what’s worrying us to others, and some of us might silently worry and keep our worrisome thoughts to ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mabel for your comment and lovely to have you back here with your always valid contributions to the discussion. I hear that you are saying you spend a lot of time worrying and that you admit it might often be unnecessary as things usually go alright?
      Worrying can prepare us indeed and that is the positive side, but where do we and how can we draw the line in the sand – when too much worrying is detracting from other things we could be doing?
      For me, worrying incessantly can detract from my concentration on other things and this can sometimes lead to making careless unfocused mistakes, and then get cranky with myself for that.
      You also make another positive point in that worrying out loud can help vent or even dispel the worrying thought. Those that silently worry to excess are perhaps the ones that most need to ask what purpose worry is serving them.
      Diverting our focus on to the present is the best way to reset the Worry-thought train.
      Worrying has a genetic component in our family, and I think it is definitely related to uncertainty and anxiety. Yet I am much better at recognizing it and its tentacles these days. Awareness is the best first line of defence!

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      • It is a good question, where to draw the line when it comes to worrying. It is interesting to hear you say worrying can detract your concentration – which is a very valid point as when you worry, you tend to focus on one task at hand. For me, I feel worrying heightens my senses and I am more aware more my surroundings as much as what I am dealing with, always on the lookout. When I worry about one thing, I might start worrying about other things too lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed. Worrying may heighten the senses. I am thinking you mean something like this, Mabel: example, if you worry about getting mugged walking on the streets on the way home, late at night, you will choose your route more carefully, avoid groups of shady types gathered on a corner or cross the road at certain times. You will walk with purpose, perhaps like me, with your keys in your hand and eyes peeled checking the environment! Healthy worry about personal safety protects you and equates with preparedness. Worrying about personal safety at other times when you are safe at home means a person might be worrying far too much, which is unhealthy. If we think of worrying as potentially unhealthy, in certain situations, perhaps we might be more aware of its negative effects, on our bodies?

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      • That is a good scenario think about worrying, personal safety. Definitely. When it comes to going home late at night, the slightest sound behind me makes me more alert even more so about my surroundings. I think worrying becomes unhealthy when all we think about is worrying and can’t seem to focus on things we need to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with leggypeggy, the Swedish one is the best. For me worries are a major obstacle to enjoy the present and to go the way of the heart. Worries come from the mind and build up fears. Certainly they have some justification and maybe a protective function, but on the whole I think, they are more of an obstacle to our happiness than an protector!

    Liked by 1 person

      • You are certainly right! Although this “retraining” is not ONLY based on habit and adaption (which is the basic of training), but also on understanding and interpretation. Failures or bad experiences are also dependent on the rating and also on the expectations.

        If we understand how we and our fellow human beings function, the appraisal is more real and more objective, and we can also adjust our expectations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are right, and often the distress must be great enough to change the inertia of habits into a better habit. Often, this way you want to go is evident, and yet not easy.
        But sometimes the way is not evident! If we do not realize what exactly prevents us from getting what we want, we swim and may be are so affected by so many individual parameters that it’s not just about discipline, will and training.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a feeling i told you about this already: in my language, Slovenian, there is the same word for both verbs, to worry and to take care: “skrbeti”, and the noun “skrb” for worry and care.

    Worrying runs thick in my family. There is a very telling photo with my mother, grandma and great-grandma standing over me, taking care – or worrying? – that I don’t fall. Let me find it.

    I did and I noticed that you liked this post already. Here is the photo: https://manjamaksimovic.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/a-life-of-a-child/#jp-carousel-3296

    It must be working… I still haven’t fallen. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mistakenly posted the Swedish worry proverb again, Manja. Although it is worthy of a second. posting, we did discuss the Slovenian words before. A good conversation. Your ma and grandmas were lovely to care for you. Did you remember that day or were you too young? Sometimes I recall events because I see them in photos of me when I was young.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good point about the futility of this ridiculous, yet sometimes unavoidable practice, Colonialist. S..t happens whether we worry or we don’t. The point is more about how we deal with the fallout. Energy and brainpower is better spent on dealing with that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I guess what you are saying, Heather is that there are times when worrying is valid, and I agree with that. But there is a limit to ‘healthy’ worry. When it affects you in a negative way and is not assisting you to quickly problem solve and move forward, how is it serving you? If on the other hand you are suggesting that you think you should worry more about yourself, as a worrier myself, I don’t know if I can relate to that. I have wasted so much valuable time in my life worrying over petty things that matter little, and in doing so, slightly warp the actual version of events. Replaying incidents in one’s mind can change how individuals remember them. That is not so healthy. Can you explain a little more of what you mean about worrying more about yourself? Is it related to privacy issues?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I’m glad I don’t have to explain! I guess it’s not so much worrying about myself but having concern for myself. I’m no saint, though. I do have things I needlessly worry about – mostly to do with how I’m perceived by others – but I’m trying to let go of some of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh how much time do we spend in our lives worrying about what others think of us/what we did/say or will say if we do xxx – I am also guilty of that. But aging can be so leveling and freeing. The care ascribed to other’s feelings lessens, or perhaps our self concept cements and hardens with age? Let it go, Heather. (Easy to say, of course but harder to do). The only people you can really count on is your family and usually they are the one that accept us unconditionally. If they have your back, that is all that really matters. Everyone else’s opinion is just that – their opinion. I am over seeking social approval. It never really gets one anywhere.

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  6. Love the first proverb about not knowing something so you can do it differently. We all should be coming at something from our own unique angle. I’ve told you before my take on worrying. I was a professional at one time. I could worry about anything and found it helped not one bit. Most Virgo’s are worriers. Now, if I see a problem, I ask if it’s something I can do something about. If not, I let it go. If I can, I make a plan. Also, congrats on the green light for the new house. People take council positions because the crave power over others. They never fail to exert that power. Most want to tell everyone how to do everything and quick to add to their coffers. It’s the same everywhere in the world. I’m sure all will go well for you from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Virgos are worriers? That would explain my mother’s personality. A chronic all encompassing worrier. She would be the Champion worrier and has never learnt to deal with that in a constructive way. No matter what anyone says to reassure her, they are wasting their breath in her mind. No one can reassure her to stop worrying. But to reference the quote you liked, she does things differently. And I am sure there are benefits for her in that. She gets more attention from it, perhaps than anything else? Planning when you can’t do something about it, is a great strategy. It gives the mind something constructive to think about. ie: What CAN I do, rather than what CAN’T I do about the situation! We did discuss worry recently, so I made an error to re-post this saying however, it is not a bad thing as many folks worry.
      Re the house, it will go well, Marlene. After all, it is my lucky year 😉 ( despite a little setback! It will all work out)
      How are things with you at the moment? Maintaining the equilibrium okay?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Since you have decided that all will go well, it will. Focus on the good, ignore the not as good. You are correct in deciding how it will play our. I’m doing better than Drs. expected. 😉 I intend to fool them. 😉

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  7. I like what Mabel wrote about worrying being part of getting prepared for what might happen. It makes great sense. And I love the Swedish proverb you posted; I hadn’t heard that one before 🙂

    Ad for myself, there are things I do when stressed or worried, and one of them is music…

    But usually I don’t bother worrying too much about things. I prepare, and then I try to put it aside. (and “try to” is rather correct here; I do not always succeed 😉 )

    There is a popular saying (or belief, in many cases) that:
    “Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.”
    – Ana Monnar

    And that is something which I very much disagree with. Yes, sure, there are some things which we can do very little about – black holes wandering into the solar system springs to mind, for instance. But they are actually few and far between. Fatalism is, to my mind, just an ignoble surrender of responsibility for your own fate. There is almost always something you actually can do. And in that way also, “worry” can be a very good thing 😉

    I do know people who take it to unfortunate extremes though – kind of like it sounds your mother is doing, Amanda:
    “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.”
    – Michel de Montaigne

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    • Hey again, N. Dragon. It is great that music has provided you with a way to deal with stress and worry. I have a son, who is a musician and he would most definitely agree with you. Music is the way he has sought refuge from life’s biggest problems. But it does not unfortunately pay the bills, unless you are Dire Straits.
      Preparing and then putting aside worry is great training for your brain. It prevents the negative neural pathways from being overly stimulated and reinforced. Some folk allocate “worry time” – and this allows them time to worry with limits so that they can stop when time is up! It didn’t work for me. What does work for me, is music (loud and heavy), sometimes, preparedness at other times, and thirdly, acknowledgement and acceptance of the things that one cannot change, and that I have no control over but will happen anyways. This is not really fatalism per se- as it frees me to concentrate on things that I can do to help the situation. And I totally agree with you on this point: there IS always something you can do, be that little or large. And always learning opportunities in mistakes. Thanks for a great conversation!
      I think Colonialist’s sayings is the best of all. It exemplified the futility I feel in excessive worrying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amanda, “worry time”? What a wonderfully pragmatic way to deal with it!! I don’t think that would work for me, but – great concept! 🙂
        I read somewhere recently about a technique where one would put it aside, physically – relegate it to “the chair over there”. I actually tried to see if that would work for me, and I think it might be possible… 😉
        You are right, of course. Music will not pay for any bills (will actually just make more of them! :D), but it does make life easier even so 😉
        And yes, once you have prepared/done what you can, then it is important to put it aside. Otherwise, it will just grow…
        As you said: “Be careful, aware and sensible but not paranoid.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • The worry chair. Sounds silly but hey if it works for you, why not? I did use the technique of putting personal worries in an invisible basket at the door of work, before I entered, each morning. That way I wouldn’t end up walking around with a worried look on my face, in the workplace. When things were dire, it did help somewhat. For me, I think the value of smiling works best, and is underated, even if it is a forced one, it is a mood lifter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My main issue with the “worry chair” wasn’t really whether it would work or not – but that I felt that it would be uncomfortable to sit in it afterwards 😀
        I like your “worry basket” much better – great idea Amanda! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh gosh, you designated an actual chair from your house?! Now I see your concern, whilst humorous, is a valid point! My basket was entirely imaginary although a real basket might give the practice more significance?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Being worried is a defense mechanism. But when it becomes a lifestyle, then it destroys, darkening everything around and within us.
    It is up to us to decide, in which world we want to exist. To live, and to experience.

    May it be filled with Light and wonder, rather than worry… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Light and wonder is a choice that folks who are negative thinkers have to make for themselves. If not, anxiety and depression might darken one’s doorstep when life challenges make coping hard. Some folks defence mechanism is triggered more often than others. They are more sensitive. Do you think we can teach those people to be resilient or to be a positive thinker?

      Liked by 1 person

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