BY KIKELOLA OYEBOLA
ALL emotions have physical manifestations. Negative emotions such as anger, hatred, worry, anxiety, jealousy or even envy are corrosive and are capable of adversely affecting those who harbour them. Anyone desirous of living a good and productive life should be careful not to display or indulge them too often. Take worry for instance. It is simply a feeling of apprehension or fear. It gives some sort of uneasiness to the mind and affects whatever activity the individual engages in, as it tends to paralyse all rational thinking and logic.
Worry arises from many factors. Because of the enormous pressure and responsibilities many are grappling with, they become troubled and anxious. In this day of competition, people are under pressure from all sides — deadlines, bosses, family, societal expectations and personal desires among others.
The fallout from this is the poor state of health of many people globally. Many are suffering from all forms of stress-related clinical conditions such as insomnia, muscle tension, pain, headaches, digestive and cardiac problems and high blood pressure among others.
It can also affect them socially resulting in isolation, brooding, nervousness, frustration, lack of concentration, indecision and a general loss of control. This same emotional problem has been known to send some to premature death while turning some others to pill consumers. The worst stricken have ended up either in psychiatric hospitals or rehab homes.
Research has, however, shown that most worries are unfounded. Indeed, 92 per cent of what people worry about may never happen while nothing can be done about it if it is a past issue. Accordingly, only eight per cent of what surrounds us is worth thinking about.
Some of the recommended remedies for worry and anxiety are:
Changing how you think: An ancient philosopher, Epitetus said: “Men are not disturbed by the things that happen but their perception or opinion of things that happen.” So, if the source of worry is a mistake, it is better to just learn from it and not brood over it for long. Another philosopher, Santideva said: “For every problem under the sun, there is either a solution or there is none. If there is, look for it but if there isn’t then why worry about it?”
Controlling your emotion and situations: Become a problem-solver for worthwhile problems. Identify the things that tend to irritate or annoy you and learn to avoid or deal with them. It is equally beneficial to learn to be calm in all situations. If things go wrong, you don’t have to go wrong with them.
Living for today: As it is said, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift and that’s why it is called present. Banish the past from memory particularly if it is distasteful, hurting or ugly. Learn to plan for everyday and if you are not able to meet certain targets, don’t be too hard on yourself, leave them for another day. Anxiety over the future robs today of its strength. Allow tomorrow solve its problem.
Re-adjust your schedule: Learn to relax at every given opportunity. People who worry a lot have problems relaxing. So, while waiting for a friend or a bus, calm your nerves by reading a good book or listening to soothing music. If you have difficulty in sleeping, take a footbath to clear the head and chest. Eating light before bed also helps a lot. Incorporating exercise into daily activities boosts the general sense of wellbeing.
All the above notwithstanding, learning to strike a balance in all things is very important. Wisely making provision for the future and striving for a full and interesting life can maintain emotional balance. Individuals must learn not to depend on anything or anyone for happiness. This is where the spiritual development of one’s life comes in. It takes special place in the scheme of things.