Many times it looks like we live for our worries. They surround us and follow us everywhere we go. There might be a lot to worry about or just many tiny issues that pile up and make us uncomfortable. Worries are always subjective and they also evolve over time. We learn to cope in life and do not stress about the same things over and over again. Our subjects of worrying change, but the basic concept remains intact-we keep constantly stressing about our future and survival.

We build up expectations and then start to stress about possible future outcomes. What-if scenarios with different variations fill our mind and we cannot get past the mind's loops. Some of these worries may turn into obsessions and even disturb our sleep and daily activities.

We worry because we cannot imagine anything else that we are aware of. This means that our limited perception and knowledge does not allow us to solve the puzzles our mind has put in front of us to solve. Often, we are going around with our thoughts that are dependent on factors that are beyond our control. We desperately would like to know what happens before the actual reality materializes. We cannot stand uncertainty. Actually, we are only afraid of the uncertainty. Even knowing what is going to happen, no matter how bad, is more bearable than the great uncertainty.

We can continue worrying about everything in our life non-stop. We can never know the future and, therefore, there are always possibilities to come up with new unknown issues or situations. This is not necessary, however. We do not need to stress about life-it's totally unnecessary. The paradox just is that we have to realize this first and then we are liberated from the catch-22. It is the same with most of the important facts of life-we have to live them true, gain an insight first. We have to see the pattern that our mind repeats every time. It identifies some unknown issues and starts to process them. This way, our mind keeps us busy-after all, our mind exists only when we think.

The process to stop worrying can be started by gradual steps: accomplish the small things first and move to bigger and more significant items later. When we start to realize that things do get sorted out and worrying really is unnecessary, we will finally stop worrying altogether. Worrying has a lot to do with self-confidence and acceptance. We have to know and trust ourselves. When we are confident that we can handle and manage in life no matter what comes our way, this inner confidence will guide us and provide us with inner peace. We stop worrying about other people and their responses and thoughts about us. Our greatest concern will then be to act according to our own intuitions and feeling about what are the right choices and actions in the situations at hand. As well, we realize that things that are beyond our control should not be worried about at all-we simply have to accept them, as they are and without any denial or resistance. Facing the facts is often the most difficult part. We do not want to admit the reality, even though we might somehow realize it. It is just something too painful to accept.

By worrying we lose a lot of energy. Our mind keeps us occupied and in the negative thoughts that tie us in a destructive loop. Instead of finding solutions or positive outcomes, we are trapped in a loop of thoughts that lead nowhere. The time we use wondering about our possible future we cannot then use to find and identify new opportunities that may bypass us in the meanwhile. Often, the very answers we look for are offered to us but we simply cannot see them-we are fixed in our thinking patterns and projected outcomes. In other words, we are too busy worrying and life, and many good moments and opportunities as well, passes us by.

Those people with great wisdom have always said that we should stop worrying. Still, we do not believe them. Our life has taught us that it will give us unpleasant surprises and living hurts. We are afraid of the outcomes. Therefore, we constantly try to avoid any imaginable disturbance or negative incident. Still, these incidents come when we least expect them-we cannot avoid them. We even die one day-no matter how much we worry or think about it. Worrying does not help us to live. Actually, it does not allow us to experience and enjoy life as it comes, and it keeps us obsessed about some future incident that potentially can happen or may not happen at all. The only one who loses in this game is us. Worrying is time wasted without any positive outcomes expected-one of the great lessons to learn in life.

The article is an excerpt from Peter Cajander's recently published book: Fragments of Reality (
Cajander has an extensive international experience of living and working in multicultural environments and countries around the world. He lives a fast-paced Western-style life, with interests ranging from quantum physics to business strategy, jazz, and modern art.

Copyright 2006 Peter Cajander