On Worry



Worry is like toothache. When I succumb to it, I find it is impossible to ignore. It’s always there, lurking in the background waiting to explode. At other times it’s centre stage demanding my attention.

It’s a pain.

Worry drags me down, consumes me, chews me up and spits me out. I am fragmented, a kaleidoscope of the past and the future.  I am never in the present — the present moment passes by unnoticed. I am not self aware when worry has me in its vice. I am ruminating about something far away, something I cannot know, see, touch, smell, hear, taste. Worry is an enigma, a mirage.

Worry drains me, depletes me of energy. It resides in and around me. Magnified over and over it is bigger than the biggest thing.

Mental problems feed upon the attention you give them. The more you worry about them, the stronger they become. If you ignore them, they lose their power and finally vanish. 

Annamalai Swami


I have come to recognise that to worry endlessly isn’t worth what it costs me — tension, poor sleep, irritability, fatigue, problems concentrating and general unhappiness — let alone the hidden, unknown damages infiltrating my body.

Worry is a human condition, and as such it is part of us, we need it to survive, but excessive worry, beyond context, worry that grows to become like a toothache is both damaging and unnecessary.

I have learnt to remain alert, self aware and with this skill I can assess worry when it arises. I can question it, welcome it when justified or repel it if it’s not. How? By:

  • Calming my nervous system by practicing yoga and meditation or by engaging in engrossing creative pursuits like writing and painting
  • Noticing — my emotions, thoughts, feelings and staying curious about my motivations
  • Embracing uncertainty
  • Living in the present
  • Facing my fears
  • Staying connected to Nature


What about the writing?

This ‘On … ‘ series is me practicing writing pure exposition. I hope it will help me find ideas; one of the main engines to power my memoir. I hope it will help me find my voice; the power of my own unique way with words. This ‘On …’ series is not about writing scenes, showing events, writing narrative, writing dialogue, no, rather it is about me writing from my desk in the here and now, offering information, my opinions, ideas and analysis  i.e. expositional writing.

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