Why worrying is not pointless

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why everyone is saying that worrying is pointless

One of the things i learned as i treated the so many psychological disorders i suffered from in the past is that most people are uninformed when it comes to psychology including certified ones and large institutions.

Today almost 99% of professionals agree that worrying is totally useless. Their argument is actually simple and logical. According to those people it makes a lot of sense for a person to worry if you they a lion because they need to act in order to save their life but it would make no sense at all to worry about something that is very less likely to happen.

The argument seems very logical in the beginning. After all what's the purpose of constantly worrying everyday about a rejection , or any other issue, that could hardly happen?

The mistake those people made is that they looked at worrying from the saving-oneself-from-physical-damage angle and totally overlooked the fact that worrying can happen to prevent unbearable psychological damage. See What triggers worrying.

Yes worrying about a lion attacking you might seem more rational than worrying about what would happen tomorrow with your boss. But as we examine the psychological damage that might happen to you if your fears came true then the true purpose of this worrying will become clear.

Worrying has a purpose

One of the biggest mistakes people might make when trying to understand worrying is not assessing the psychological impact of the worst case the person is afraid of. When a person worries he won't really care whether the possibility of the worst case is 5% , 2% or even 1%. As long as this thing can happen then the worrier will worry. See Why do i worry when i try to do anything.

For example a chronic worrier might always worry about being kicked out of his job even if the possibility of this happening might be very low. Now the question here isn't whether the possibility of being kicked out is high or low but the right question is how will that person feel if he got kicked out?

The answer will certainly differ from one person to another. For some people being fired is no big deal for they believe that they can simply find another job and move on. But for others being fired might sound like catastrophe because they are unsure whether they can find another job or not.

And this is exactly why the second group is constantly worrying. In most cases the mind of the person who worries wants him to adapt to a certain case even if it has a low possibility of happening.

This is the reason why problem solving skills and self confidence has a lot to do with worrying. In the Ultimate guide to becoming confident i said that when you have faith in your ability to solve the problems you might face in the future then certainly you are going to worry less for you will believe that everything is under control.

In other words worrying always has a purpose. And in 90% of the cases this purpose can be getting you prepared to face the worst.

Why most people fail to deal with worrying

If you understood the previous sections then i am pretty sure you can answer this question on your own.
Most people fail to deal with worrying because they do the exact opposite of what they should be doing.

When people worry they follow inferior advice such as learn to embrace uncertainty, dedicate a special time for worrying or tell yourself that your worrying is irrational. See Why those methods will never help you stop worrying

All of those solutions will never calm the mind for they never responded to its concerns in a proper way. Get yourself prepared to face the things you are worried about and your worries will be over for good.

Once you understand that worrying has a purpose then handling it will become much easier.

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2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

Want to know more?

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Why you are worrying for no reason

The connection between worrying and self confidence

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