4 Remedies 4 Worry
Some people are finding this period of the lock-down very worrying. Some I have read about/heard about, one or two people have told me in conversation. It is hard not to worry, especially if you have family directly affected in some way (eg working in the hospital) or you feel particularly at risk from the virus yourself. Some worry (not sure that is the best word, maybe “caution” is better) is natural and healthy, but severe worrying is not.
I have been reading about 4 aspects of worrying which can make it worse.
The first is Catastrophizing ie thinking that the worst possible thing will happen. But keep your perspective! Is the worst possible outcome likely? When the storm blew up on the lake and the disciples had to wake Jesus they said to him: “Don’t you care that we are about to die?” They were catastrophizing. After calming the storm, Jesus said to them: “Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?”
The second is Overthinking. This could include Catastrophizing, but not necessarily. It is where the same thoughts go round and round in your head. The solution might be to look for distractions – things which take your mind off into something else. Or to allocate a certain 15-minute slot which you can use for ruminating – but that is it! No more! Sometimes Jesus put a stop to the disciples overthinking things, as at the Transfiguration when Jesus says to the disciples who were prostrated in fear on the ground: “Get up. Don’t be afraid!” and led them down the mountain. “Peace” he said when in the Resurrection appearances he found the disciples fearfully hiding themselves away. On many other occasions it seems he thought they weren’t thinking enough!
The third is Self-blame. This is where you try to blame yourself beyond what is reasonable. You should be able to cope! You should have planned ahead! You have brought this situation on your own head! Actually you need self-compassion, not self-criticism. You need your own kindness. Jesus said: “Love your neighbour as yourself” not “Love your neighbour instead of yourself”.
The fourth is Self-doubt. This is often associated with low self-esteem or self-worth. I’m no good at anything! I can’t make any sensible decisions! I can’t think how to manage in the lock-down! Nobody will help me because people don’t like me! Well, we should never think less of ourselves than how God thinks of us. Each one of us is loved by Him. And, look to your talents! You might not be good at budgeting, for example, but you know how to prepare a simple nutritious meal cheaply.