Worry can make you sick. Did you know that? There’s a whole gamut of physical effects it can have on your body. Do a google search on “can worry make you sick” and you’ll soon see lists of the effects of worry on your health.
I’m a worrier. I’ll admit that, but over the last couple of years I’ve been working on it, and I had it pretty well under control. I’ve been proactive in controlling my tendency to worry – with meditation, mindfulness, yoga, positive thinking, enjoying my photography, setting myself goals (distractions) etc. I was pleased with myself and feeling quite calm and zen-like …. until Dad got sick.
My worry then went into hyper overdrive … like a runaway train with no driver and an inevitable crash looming. I could feel it like a nasty buzzing beast beneath my skin – worry laced with a nasty dose of panic and fear. I wasn’t only worried about Dad but I was worried about Mum and my sisters. I was worried about Mum worrying and not sleeping and her daily trips to the hospital. I was worried about how my sisters were coping with their worry. I have a brother too … but I wasn’t worried about him as he is quite strong and not prone to worry (well at least i think so).
All in all – my worry was like a loose cannon, flying free with glee after so long being controlled, careering out of control and latching on to anything and everything possible to worry about.
On Thursday afternoon I came down sick with a temperature and am still sick with it now. I’m typing this post on my laptop from bed. I tend to think that worry has made me sick. Of course, the worry itself didn’t give me the temperature, but I think the worry affected my immune system (which is dodgy anyway) and made me vulnerable to get sick. It’s likely I have picked up some virus or something.
So how do we protect ourselves from the effects of worry when worry is unavoidable? How do we stop worry getting out of control?
Of course I’d be worried when my Dad has been as sick as he has been (refer to THIS post). So would anyone! I’m thinking I should have been more present and conscious of the fact that I needed to take particular care of myself during this time. I probably should have taken some time to calm and relax myself each day, e.g. listen to one of my meditation cd’s, soaked in a bath by candlelight with soothing music (this calms me), practiced some yoga etc. None of which I did because I was too busy being worried!!
There’s a lesson in all of this.
Worry can be ‘silly worry’ about things that might or might not happen or worrying over things you’ve said or what people think etc OR worry can be ‘real, unavoidable worry’ like has been the case with me with my Dad being very ill.
‘Silly worry’ can be managed if you put the right steps in place, some of which I’ve mentioned above BUT sometimes there is ‘real, unavoidable worry’ and we need to have a game plan ready for that kind of worry too – don’t you think?
Now because I didn’t have a game plan in place and didn’t take appropriate care of myself during the ‘real unavoidable worry’ about my Dad, I can’t visit him in hospital until I am well again. I can’t be taking me and my temperature up there now can I?
By the way, my Dad is doing much better now. As I said in a recent update on the MinsMash FB page, there have been lots of scares and problems and ‘worries’ along the way, but it looks like the worst is behind us now – thank goodness!! He is still weak and sore and has a way to go before full recovery, but now that the scary stuff is in the past he will start to improve, gaining strength bit by bit, day by day and I couldn’t be more grateful. I can’t wait to see him back home with Mum where he belongs.
So people … BEWARE OF WORRY … it’s a nasty critter! Have you got a game plan ready?
Yours in zenful calmness,
Categories: Health, Wellbeing, Happiness