What is a good definition of worry?
Worry is a process of imagining the worst possible outcome or result or future in a particular situation and creating a living and active image of it in front of the eye of your mind, and then using the energy of that negative image to flow inside your consciousness so as to completely overpower or weaken your spiritual and as a result your physical self to evoke fear in the self.
When people are asked about this process, a person who is attached to this process and is involved in the process very regularly the whole day in different types of situations, one who is a habitual worrier, responds “But it’s important to worry, it’s good to worry. If we don’t think of different possible negative outcomes, how will we prepare for them?” It’s important to realize that the belief, that by worrying, we prepare for the worst in the future is a false one. This belief causes us not to realize the truth that all worry is simply an incorrect and fruitless creation. It is a wrong use of the positive, constructive and imaginative capacity of our mind and intellect which, instead of empowering the mind and intellect, weakens it.
Preparing for the future is important and necessary, but very often while doing that, we enter the territory of worry, which leaves us, defeated or weakened. There is an extremely fine line between proactive preparation (necessary preparation in advance) on the one hand and worry on the other. The preparation can be done without creating an excessive number of possible negative outcomes in the mind.
On the other hand, imagining possible positive outcomes or results will have a double effect of not only keeping the negative outcomes away from us (even if there is a possibility of them occurring), but will also attract the positive results towards us. But to ensure that both these processes happen, it’s important not to attach possible negative results to the same, even to the minutest extent, otherwise the probability of positive futures becoming a reality reduces. Worrying is another word for this attachment process.
Worry is a type of mental habit, which arises from the belief that it’s good to worry. This belief gets acquired during our childhood. And then it keeps getting strengthened from our life experiences. We start from this belief. That attracts negative circumstances; as a result the belief gets strengthened further, because you think that with life full of so many negative circumstances, it’s important to think of negative outcomes beforehand. You don’t realize that these negative situations occurred in the first place largely due to this belief. When we are faced with a negative situation, again we worry because we hold that belief. Again it’s the same result. In this way, we are caught in a vicious cycle. How do we come out of this cycle? By changing this belief to – ‘it’s not good to worry’. Once we do that, there is no guarantee that negative situations will completely stop arising in our life, because we have performed negative actions in the past (either in this birth or past births), which need to be settled in our present, but the extent of negative situations will be minimized. And even if they do come, they will bid goodbye sooner, if we have a worry-free consciousness.