At first glance, concern and worry look the same. However, there is a difference between the two. Concern is focused on a problem, with the intention of solving the problem or hoping for a positive outcome. Worry is focused on a problem and what negative consequences it could bring. Being concerned is projecting positive energy, while worrying is projecting negative energy.
Concern is caring about important issues, events, and decisions. A concerned person takes steps to find resolutions and makes changes where necessary. Concern is an essential component of emotional intelligence. You recognize a problem, but you know that you can act upon it. When you put some effort in you can likely change the outcome.
“Worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” – Unknown
Worrying drains your energy, and it can be paralyzing. When you are worried, you can’t think about anything else, and your brain shuts down. Your mind flies to the future, wondering about problems and threats and crises that may never actually come. It makes you anxious about things that may never even happen.
Occasional worrying is natural, especially when you are going through any major life changes. Worry can be beneficial to you when it helps you imagine the future and plan ahead, and when it enables you to take control and respond to your environment. The goal is to avoid potential problems being realized or becoming larger problems.
However, worry can turn into a serious problem when it gets in the way of your life, causing health problems, and interfering with your relationships.
Worrying Is Self-Destructive
Persistent worry activates negative energy in your body, causing various health issues. It makes you ill, physically and emotionally. Some of the health problems worrying can cause are insomnia, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, memory loss, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and weakened immune system.
It can destroy your relationships with the people around you, at home and in the workplace. When you constantly worry about your loved ones, you may be pestering them with calls and texts every minute, wondering where they are or what they are doing. At work, you may be worried about your colleagues saying something against you or talking behind your back, or job security.
You Need To Learn How To Let Go
When you are fixated on a problem so tightly that it prevents you from focusing on a resolution, you have to learn to let go. Release it once you’ve set a solution in motion. Focus on other things while you wait for the outcome. Try meditating, reading, exercising – anything that will keep your mind occupied.
Sometimes when you stop overthinking better answers will present themselves and you’ll realize you’ve been spending wasted energy worrying for no good reason.
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Challenge Your Anxious Thoughts
When you catch yourself being anxious, challenge your thoughts. Are you worried about a situation, or do you just have some concerns? If you are worried, that’s not good. You are wasting emotional energy. If you are concerned, then you care about an outcome but realize that fretting over aspects beyond your control is detrimental.
If you are worrying, ask yourself if there’s evidence that it’s real or only your perception. Think about whether there’s a more positive or realistic way to look at the situation. What’s the probability that what your worrying about is going to materialize? Are your thoughts helping you or hurting you?
Look For A Support System
Rather than immediately dismissing your worries or concerns, allow yourself to think about them and discuss them with a trusted friend or family. Find someone who will be willing to listen to you in a caring manner. It may even help you to put your thoughts into perspective and decide if it is worth all the emotional energy.
People often mistake concern and worry as being the same thing, but they are not. Often, we worry about things that may never happen and we have no control over, and it only leads to stress which doesn’t solve anything.
There are a great many things that are out of our control. Worrying about these things will get you nowhere, it just doubles the problem. Life is full of things you should and can care about, so spend productive time doing that.