Is there a purpose for worry?

Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 05:12 pm
I confess to having a flair for the catastrophic.

An... ahem... eventful life coupled with an overactive imagination can spell trouble. To me, it seems that if I worry about frightful, fantastical possibilities I leave myself open to the bliss of everything going well.

So maybe worry is a way to be happier.
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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 05:15 pm

I'm going to have to think on this a bit.....especially about what might constitute a necessary risk in the context of things we can't control.
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 05:31 pm
. . . and the courage to know the difference." - Serenity Prayer.
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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 05:34 pm
Well, if your band were starving, you might well take more risks in a hunt than when everyone was fat and happy! Or...you might risk trying an unknown plant without normal precautions.
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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 06:41 pm
All of your answers are wrong. Rolling Eyes

Worry is the side effect of a virus that usually spreads by skin to skin contact. Once it invades the host, the virus fills the host's brain with dopamine and sets the head spinning. The host eventually freaks out to point where he/she starts scratching, wildly. Warts form, "worry warts", which we generally don't even notice because they're microscopic. We shed virus through those lesions, infecting others with worry.

Of course, there are variants. There's an airborne form that spreads when we hyperventilate.

Does it have a purpose? Well ... maybe to the disgusting microbe that causes it.
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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 08:31 pm
boomerang wrote:

I can see that -- when we're worried about ourselves. We take care, we're precautions, we plan.

When we worry about things we can't control I don't see how that is a fight or flight instinct.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm really trying to get to the root of worry.

ok, I'm not going to be able to phrase this right....consider this a starting point.

I think that we have been convinced by society that X amount of worrying is a good thing. If we don't worry about some things by this amount, we're considered cold and unfeeling. If we go over, we're worry warts, leading to be very annoying, and causing others to avoid us. If we come across as cold, we get avoided too. So, there's this quest to worry the correct amount, over things we have control over, plus a little bit more, about other peoples troubles, to "prove" we care.

When you worry past a certain amount, don't you ask yourself why you're doing that, and so start to worry about being worried? It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe it's all part of this desire to fit in.
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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 11:16 pm
I think it's genetic. I went to school with a girl who was the classic worry wort. She worried about what people thought of her, she worried about money, she worried about freakin' everything.
Then she had kids. Her son was exactly like her. Afraid of cracks in the sidewalk, afraid to play with other kids, he worried about getting food on his clothing. It seemed as if from the moment he was born. Her second kid, more like her dad. She's way more freewheeling.
I rarely worry about anything. It's just not in my nature.
Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2013 05:00 am
I suggest that worry is just a by-product of having developed the ability to reason from experience and consider consequences. In most mammals, that's not a problem because for most mammals, the future extends for perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes. For humans, the future can extend for years, even decades. A useful mental tool can become an obsessive burden. In addition, we live in a much more complex environment than did our ancestors of even a few thousand years ago.
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Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2013 07:35 am
I think set and setting has to do with it as well. I grew up dirt poor with an emotionally unstable parent who was prone to hysterics and I constantly wondered where my next meal was coming from. In addition I was a really slight child and young teen and was bullied constantly. I never stopped worrying. Then I went through a long phase as a young adult and practically into my 40's, being carefree and not worrying about a damn thing. Today I worry constantly, mostly about money and security to the point that even when I have some I'm waiting for something to take it away. It's caused more than a few problems with squinney and I';s relationship over the years. So, inherited trait or reaction to life's circumstance?
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Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2013 11:26 am
I'm not a superstitious person but one day some years ago I noticed that if I got all worried about something going way wrong, it wouldn't, and if it didn't occur to me to worry about something, it did. I know better - that this was a kind of picking and choosing of occurrences and putting a story to them - but it amused me at the time and still does.

This in turn reminds me of another format I came up with - the (insert last name) theory of the inverse ratio of expectations to fulfillment. A wry thought, but again, just putting a story to some occurrences.

I try to only worry appropriately, that being enough to handle without silly worries. I do agree that worry and fear are at least related.
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Berty McJock
Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2013 04:22 pm
just finished watching a video about this sort of thing, kinda. they talk about epigenetics, a new form of understanding how genes work. turns out we aren't controlled by genes, genes are controlled by environment. it also says we function using 95% sub-conscious mind, and 5% conscious mind. the subconscious mind is a creature of habit. therefore if we can train our subconscious to be positive (apparently our sub-conscious is formed by age 6/7 and is limited by way of being essentially a "home" experience), by repeatedly trying to be more positive, and forming positive habits, we can have a whole new world outlook, and be healthier physically, psychologically, and emotionally. (i separated psychology and emotion as a generally happy person can still get angry or upset.)
i know it all sounds a bit "scientology", but if you can persevere with the video it is quite enlightening. its part of a mini series, and if you take the whole illuminati/nwo/freemasons conspiracies out of it, it's a fascinating watch.

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Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2013 04:38 pm
I think it's just a matter of people tending to do what they do best. I'm really good at worrying and I stick with it.
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Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2013 01:09 am
I agree, it's a form of fear. What you do about it is the evolutionary part. If you act in a positive manner you survive, if you only worry, you don't.

I worry about who I might attract when I post here. Shocked
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