Commentaries | Sep 14,2019
November 21 , 2020
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at email@example.com. )
Sometimes, it is possible to wonder what a life free of worries would be like – aday where we go about our business, enjoy each moment, tackle whatever comes our way with determination and confidence, without the slightest of self-doubts. It seems that is the life.
Worrying is the brain's way of preparing us for the worst-case scenario or maybe even giving us a precautionary heads up for what could possibly go wrong. Life as we know it would have been completely different if worrying was out of the equation. This is even true of overworrying, because most of us over think, analyse and worry. Mostly we worry about our existence and incidents that can pose a threat to our existence. Even though we all know our life on this earth is temporary and limited, we somehow think we can add a couple of years by obsessing about what could be, could have been, and perhaps what will never be.
I envy people who can just let go and have faith in the universe or even higher power. On the other hand are some of us who cannot help but worry too much. I have caught myself worrying about my worrying and overthinking my over thinking on multiple occasions. The paradox about worrying, nonetheless, is that the more we try not to worry, the more we do worry.
Something that goes hand in hand with this is assuming the worst. I often obsess about the possibility of getting into a vehicular accident, especially if I am sitting in the front seat of a car –- not without reason, of course, considering that Ethiopia has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world. I almost go crazy worrying that something terrible would happen to my son if I leave him home with just the nanny. Every time a family member leaves the house and stays unreasonably late, without informing me, I start to think that they may have gotten themselves hurt, perhaps fatally.
All of these are normal, but what makes them different is their degree and intensity. But like many people, my worrying stems from my fear of death. Everyone has this obviously, but some of us have it worse than others, sometimes to a crippling degree. In particular, it is the fear of losing the people I love; not getting the chance to say my goodbyes properly; living the rest of my life with what I could have done differently.
"What is wrong with you. How could you possibly think that?" the rest say to people like us.
We cannot help it. It is not lost on us that this kind of thinking could lead to anxiety and depression. People who think something terrible will happen to them every time they leave the house, for instance, could avoid going out and outdoor activities, thereby limiting their exposure. In the long run, this could lead to depression. Worse still, by worrying about unrealistic things, we are telling our brain to release cortisol, a stress hormone that may cause long-term health complications.
Why are we like this?
It is controversial, but most likely it has to do with some evolutionary need for survival and reproduction –- almost everything does according to contemporary biology. There is a somewhat more romantic psychological reason for worrying though. When we hold someone dearly, we get overly attached. We point to that love as a reason for our happiness, and the very thought of departing from that object of love terrifies us to the core. The slightest possibility that that could take away our happiness becomes an imminent danger to our being. Indeed, attaching our happiness to people or objects is the main source of disappointment. But at the same time, having no attachment makes life dull. It is another dilemma.
It is not a completely hopeless thing. We can alleviate some of our worrying by taking the time to pay attention to our thoughts and reasoning out with ourselves. Practising mindfulness in this regard seems to help; being in the present and focusing on the here and now keeps our mind from wandering off.
We should also face our fears. This makes us often realise that our fears are blown out of proportion, and it is actually our brains playing tricks on us. If these thoughts get out of hand, it is perhaps best to get professional help. But it is never wise to give up.
PUBLISHED ON Nov 21,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1073]
Commentaries | Sep 14,2019
Radar | Nov 21,2018
Radar | Dec 19,2020
Radar | Jul 18,2020
Commentaries | Jan 05,2019
Radar | May 31,2020
Commentaries | Feb 01,2020
Sunday with Eden | Mar 28,2020
Films Review | Mar 02,2019
Fineline | Sep 28,2019
Fortune News | 35501 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fortune News | 15997 Views | Oct 12,2019
Fortune News | 14921 Views | Mar 19,2020
Agenda | 14517 Views | Mar 16,2019
February 13 , 2021 . By TADESSE TSEGAYE
In Arada, I stopped over by a hotel in front of Cinema Empire. I sat alone inside wit...
January 30 , 2021 . By FASIKA TADESSE
The Council of Ministers approved a regulation that will establish the Liability &...
January 16 , 2021
It was a sunny day on September 12, 1974. A machine gun mounted on top of a tank was...
January 3 , 2021 . By ABDUREZAK LESMAN
Women wearing netela, a white cotton garment with woven coloured borders, and men in...
On November 6, 2020, the Sudanese military carried out unprovoked aggression against...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
February 27 , 2021
That Ethio telecom would remain in the hands of the state was never a sure deal. A ra...
February 20 , 2021
The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was in parliament in 2010, taking questions on h...
February 13 , 2021
What most spooked buyers owning a billion dollars of Ethiopia’s Eurobonds was not a...
February 6 , 2021
The feeling of helplessness; the confusion to understand what is unfolding; and the d...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Sometimes two close friends get into a heated argument in front of us, and we are asked to step in and play the role of referee. This presen...
February 27 , 2021
Yinager Dessie (PhD) (right), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), awarded Abennet Gebremeskel (left), CEO of MIDROC Ethiopia, a...
February 27 , 2021 . By MAYA MISIKIR and NEJAT AHMED
A little over six-dozen companies are vying to buy 2,400 freight trucks with a credit facility from the C...
February 27 , 2021 . By MAYA MISIKIR
A steering committee led by the Ethiopian Investment Commission is under formation to streamline employme...
February 27 , 2021 . By FASIKA TADESSE
The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) is set to launch the final and long-awaited request for prop...
Or see contact page