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Worry -- and how you can combat it
Tanya Munshi
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December 04, 2006

You chew your nails and worry yourself sick. Whether it is a presentation, a date, an exam or an interview -- you always have butterflies whizzing through your stomach, creating havoc.

"Everyone experiences anxiety or worry in their life," says Prachi S Vaish, a practising clinical psychologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune. "We worry when an event is perceived stressful by us and we do not have sufficient resources (material or emotional) to cope with it. The situation, however, can be helped -- once we decide to help ourselves."

Worry overpowers us when we adopt a fatalistic attitude towards life. We tend to attach too much importance to the most trivial task; a failure in achieving even the smallest goal makes us lose confidence. As a result, the next time a bigger task comes up, instead of facing it with enthusiasm, we panic.

Pune-based instructional designer Rahil Mahtani, who is 27 years old, says, "During a stressful situation, I take some time out from my daily routine to visit a calm and quiet place; this clears my head of all the mess and helps me think rationally."

Let's take five scenarios in our lives that can be potential factors for worry...

Work: Looking at greener pastures

Have you noticed a friend/ colleague who cribs about work all the time? Perhaps, he/ she does not have the correct job profile.

This can happen to anyone at any point in life. It isn't easy dealing with the fact that, despite having the qualifications, you're not blessed with the desired career break or are dissatisfied at work. Sometimes, you're overqualified for the job you're in and feel frustrated that your colleagues, who have fewer qualifications, are getting the same package. Or, for that matter, the fact that your batchmates from college are making pots of money in their jobs.
Remember, the grass will always be greener on the other side. It's time you took stock of your own life.

"Objectively viewing your life can help you cope with such situations," says Vaish. "Ask yourself why you quit your previous job and be honest with yourself. The reasons could be as basic as poor salary, poor treatment at work, boredom, dislike for your boss, criticism, etc."

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Relationships: The achy breaky heart

Love is one of the most complex emotions known to mankind.

We love, get hurt, and yet we fall in love all over again -- proving that we can't escape it. We know things can go wrong in love, for reasons like not receiving enough love in return, gnawing insecurities, feelings of jealousy, betrayal or the fear of getting dumped.

Imagine the worst-case scenario -- getting dumped. Is that the end of the world? Let that teeny-weenie voice inside your head scream "NO!" No relationship is more important than you yourself.

Whenever you depend on others to make you happy, you will be dejected. Work towards feeling secure within yourself. Concentrate on your work, friends and family as well. Do not make that one relationship the centre of your existence.

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Pre-event jitters: Meeting/ exam/ presentation

When our worry/ anxiety exceeds normal levels, the most common physical reactions are palpitations, headaches, diarrhoea, hyperventilation, dry mouth, excessive sweating and giddiness.

"Although it is normal to experience a slightly faster heartbeat before entering an interview room, it is pathological to have it beat so fast that it feels as if you are having a cardiac arrest," says Vaish.

You know you have crossed the normal level of anxiety/ worry, when worry start interfering in your daily activities and you're unable to perform tasks for the fear that something might go wrong. "This does not have to be deliberate on your part; you might genuinely feel you're sick, nauseous and weak. What is actually happening is that your nervous system is telling you you're very anxious and that's when you use this sickness to escape a seemingly threatening situation," adds Vaish.

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Low self esteem: I'm not good enough

Underperformance in academics or sports, your looks, weight, family background, mental makeup, etc, can be culprits when it comes to low self-esteem.

Sometimes, even failure in love can lead to low self-esteem. When the so-called 'perfect' man/ woman walks out on you, it leaves you with a feeling that you're not worth it.

For the lower age group, even basic factors like low marks in class, not having many friends to hang out with, not having trendy clothes to wear, or having to wear spectacles can lead to low self-esteem.

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Poor health: When your body fails...

Chronic health problems like asthma, allergy, etc, can pull you down. You may worry about what is actually wrong with you. Things tend to get to you when you can't go out and enjoy life the way others do. But the truth is -- every worry has a solution.

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Number of User Comments: 18

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Posted by Mathangisankar

Sub: Worry-worry: Yes and NO?

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Posted by Sarita Rane


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