Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Worrying vs Caring

I was reading a great article yesterday about different ways that we can deal with stress. Now, I've got to say that I'm not a stress ball, but I have said some of these very same things to some people close to me who tend to stress. Often times, me not stressing about stuff comes off as not caring. I love that this snippet of the article does such a great job detailing the difference between worrying and caring. It's like music to my ears! (The entire article is great, but I have just provided one point out of ten)

Sometimes, our mindset can boost stress, so a small issue mushrooms into a pile of problems. We continue worrying, somehow thinking that this is a productive — or at least inevitable — response to stress. But we mistake worry for action.

Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D, talks about the idea of worrying versus caring in his book, The Worry Trap: How to Free Yourself from Worry & Anxiety Using Acceptance & CommitmentTherapy. “Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it,” whereas caring is taking action. “When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about.”

LeJeune uses the simple example of houseplants. He writes: “If you are away from home for a week, you can worry about your houseplants every single day and still return home to find them brown and wilted. Worrying is not watering.”

Similarly, fretting about your finances does nothing but get you worked up (and likely prevent you from taking action). Caring about your finances, however, means creating a budget, paying bills on time, using coupons and reducing how often you dine out.

Just this small shift in mindset from worrying to caring can help you adjust your reaction to stress.

So, what do you think? Does this author have a point?