Worrying is a Waste of Time

If there was anything my junior college Physics tutor taught me, it was definitely not Physics. She taught us one lesson which had nothing much to do with Physics and yet it was one of the important lessons in my life.

In one of the tutorial lessons, she told us, ‘don’t worry, 70% of our worries will not come true anyway. Worrying is a waste of time’ I had no idea where she got her statistics from but at that moment I took it in as it was. However, I have been using this to consciously remind myself every time I get too worry about something.

Over the years, through experiences of others and myself, I have also learnt that there are some situations which we can do something about and some which we do not have control.

Worrying helps especially in situations where we can do something to change them; it can act as a strong motivating force to propel us into action to change the situations. However, worrying becomes futile and energy draining when we cannot control the outcomes or there is nothing we can do about it. In additional, we risk physical and mental health issues when we are overly worried.

Duke Ellington put it best when he said, “There are two kinds of worries – those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.” Such a simple and straightforward truth and yet it can be a challenge for many to follow.

Just recently, my partially erupted wisdom tooth had been giving me problem; my gum was not only swollen but it had also caused my face to be slightly swollen. Eating and chewing became a slight painful experience. I had similar experiences before but the swell usually went down after a few days.

This time round the swell persisted. I knew the time had come for something to be done about it. I went for an initial dental checkup on Tuesday and made another appointment with a dental surgeon to have the partially erupted wisdom tooth surgically removed on Thursday.

I had admitted to a few friends that I was scared and worried about it. Although I knew that it was just a common and small surgery that requires only local anesthesia, I couldn’t help worrying about it. I believe you may have heard many horror stories of the drilling involved.

My main fear was the pain from the injection; I had a pretty bad experience with the injection when I was young. Perhaps because I was young then, so the pain was intensified many times.

Thursday came and I was punctual with the appointment. The registration process was prompt and professional. In about 10 minutes, I was already lying on the dental surgical chair. The dental surgeon approached me with the first injection and once she administered me with the first injection, my worry of the pain was all gone. I could barely feel the injection. Maybe a bite by a red ant is even worse than the injection.

Soon after the injections, I was blindfolded to protect my eyes from the lightings. The moments in between blindfolded and waiting for the dental surgeon to start was a little unbearable as I recalled the horror stories. But talking to the nurses helped. It was quite a lot of drilling after that and much pressures were applied by the dental surgeon. Before I knew it, it was all done. Did I feel pain? The local anesthesia worked well.

Worrying was a waste of time, the experience was not even half as frightening as I imagined it to be. I could have gotten over with it 2 years ago. However, individual’s experience varies.

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23 thoughts on “Worrying is a Waste of Time

  1. VanillaSeven

    Couldn’t be more agree with you BK. Sometimes my life is so worry free till it irritated people around me.
    “You should be more worried!” they said.
    “Is that solve the problem?” Then it silenced them.
    A very good post, especially the quote from Duke Ellington, love it 🙂

    Have a worried-free weekend BK! 🙂

  2. Natural

    very true and i was just telling this to a coworker who worries constantly. and then one day she was telling me how much her mom worries about stuff and i said well look who’s talking. and she pushed me. playfully.

    but it’s true, if you can change a situation, don’t waste time worrying about it.

    always a great reminder. for me as well. i do it on occasion.
    .-= Natural´s last blog ..Why I Miss The Rotary Phone =-.

  3. Stacie

    I really enjoyed this post. Your right worry is a waste of time when you can’t do anything about it. I was scared when I had my wisdom teeth out. I have one left and it decided it’s growing sideways. So now I have to see an oral surgeon.
    .-= Stacie´s last blog ..Saturday Linky Love =-.

  4. Dorothy L

    What a great awareness post.

    We must choose our battles wisely as they say!

    Everything must have a balance. That is what I use as my equalizer in thoughts about worry.

    My biggest fear is menopause…has been for years actually since I started researching womens issues and spending many hours with women.
    I finally came to the point where I am ready and armed for it. If I did not put my mind there…I would have worried senselessly about what I cannot control and what I am not even being challenge with as of yet.

    Building those bridges before you get there is so a waste of time and effort:)
    .-= Dorothy L´s last blog ..Love..Lust..Sex! =-.

  5. Petula

    I’m glad it didn’t go like you thought it would. You’re right, worrying doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s just makes things stressful.
    .-= Petula´s last blog ..Mama love =-.

  6. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ VanillaSeven, I guess whether Life is worry free or not, it really depends on how an individual handles challenges throw at him/her. If he/she does what Duke Ellington said, he/she can be worried free too. 🙂

    @ Natural, there are times we will forget to remind ourselves not to worry and most probably these are the times when we most needed the reminder.

    @ Stacie, it is time to make that appointment with the oral surgeon. You will feel great after it. I’m now looking forward to all the great food. 🙂

    @ The Fitness Diva, thank you.

    @ Dorothy, building those bridges before getting there may be a waste of time. Reading up about the subject will be good especially for someone who is proactive and can make preparation. Otherwise, it will indeed be a waste of time. Just like for the case of my wisdom tooth, I read about how the procedures would be done and was mentally prepared for what were to come. So it was not so bad. On the other hand for someone who is overly worried, reading all that information would be scared the person greatly.

    @ Becki, you must be a happy person. 🙂

    @ Petula, yes you are right, worrying can get pretty stressful and bad for our health eventually.

  7. Marlene

    I don’t quite remember when was the last time I got worried and what about. When I was younger, I used to worry a lot even for small things. But now that I’m older, I hardly know I’m worrying. Perhaps my experiences has changed me how to handle situations and keep me from worrying.

    Btw, there is now a some kind of paste that the dentists apply on gums so that you will not feel the needle being injected. Anyway, I hope it didn’t hurt bad when the anesthesia subsided.
    .-= Marlene´s last blog ..Friendship Award On Friendship Day =-.

  8. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Marlene, I guess through your past experiences, you have gained the knowledge to handle most of the things that you could have gotten worry about. Instead of wasting time to worry, you must have taken proactive actions to change them and for those you couldn’t do anything about it, you have taken it in strides. I didn’t know about the paste, but I could hardly feel the injections, thus there were no pain at all. And it wasn’t as bad after the anesthesia subsided too, I didn’t have to take the painkiller for the pain.

    @ Whiney Momma, it takes a lot of practices to get better at this. I certainly hope you don’t have to get a tattoo to remind yourself. Perhaps a quotation or a story; just have to constantly remind yourself until it becomes your second habit.

  9. Dr. Jeanette Raymond

    Worrying takes up a lot of emotional energy and can be a waste of time especially if you can’t be in control. But worrying has a purpose. It makes you feel like you are ‘on it’ and not ignoring things that would otherwise take you unawares. It’s kind of like advance action (even if it’s imaginary in the head) so that you can take yourself off the hook if things do go bad. At least you can feel you were attentive to the problem.

    Excessive worrying on the other hand is a distraction and can interfere with your life. It’s all about dealing with your need to control and predict. Not easy to let go of if you can’t trust the world or people in it – that’s why people engage in so much worrying.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Dr. Jeanette, worrying indeed takes up a lot of emotional energy and not only can be a waste of time but can also cause health problem. And I do believe that worrying has its purpose too as it can act like stress to get us to start moving and to motivate us. Worrying would be futile if things are not within our control and there is nothing we can do about it. It is not easy to just take it as it is and tell oneself not to worry. It will take a lot of practices.

  10. Ben

    Agreed. Worrying is the worst. And you’re probably right, 70% of our worries won’t come true anyway. I love the picture by the way, the leaf is a beautiful contrast on the rock.

  11. Pat jenkins

    IF is one of our most dangerous words. those two letters put together can cause so much anxiety!!… glad your dental work went well. your story reminds me of the time i had all four of mine pulled. the worst pain i have ever felt in my life… p.s. it is a good thing i told you that after your work, you might of worried about your pullings… he he…
    .-= Pat jenkins ´s last blog ..Unique =-.

  12. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Pat, it is good that you shared it with me only now. I may be worried sick. But I still have to go through with it. Just like the word “Unique” that you posted, “If,” when used positively can be a powerful word. 🙂

  13. mrs4444

    I agree; worry does no good. However, I think it’s easier for some people than others to let go and not worry. My poor husband needs 2 hours to go to sleep (he has to go through his worry list!)
    .-= mrs4444´s last blog ..Mostly-Wordless Wednesday =-.

  14. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ mrs4444, it is definitely easier for some to let go and not worry; usually they are the happier lots too. Did your husband really call it a ‘worry list?’ It sounds like a ‘to-do’ list to me. 🙂

  15. Eren Mckay

    What a wonderful and timely post. And I have to say that I love that teacher’s statistics.
    Last week the police went on strike for a day in my city. That took me back to 8 years ago when that happened and it was just terrible last time. Of course media coverage was very little to explain the amount of terrible things that happened here in Salvador(I live in Brazil, South America).
    But instead of me just waiting to see what panned out I began to worry and cry a lot. Then my friend said to me- don’t think it will be the same as last time- you don’t know yet how it will turn out. And that is what is keeping me okay through all of this.
    I just have to do what I can and forget about everything else.
    Worry can indeed make us sick.
    All the best,
    Eren
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Gingerbread man decorations & decorating gingerbread house kits plans =-.

  16. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Eren, you are right, worrying too much can have a strain on our physical and mental health. Very often we just have to do what we can. Glad that everything is back to normal and that history did not repeat itself.