How many times have you heard someone say “Don’t worry, it’s going to be all right.” Well, if they mean to say that not worrying will solve the problem, they have it all mistaken. Not worrying will not solve the problem. But neither would worrying about it.
It’s really simple to understand actually. It does much more bad than any good. Worry does not help at all in most cases.
A better way to understand this is by taking an example of a conditional situation that quite a few people face when boarding a plane, either for the first time in their life or even after having had a considerable lot of flying experience. It’s the worry/fear of the plane going down.
Well, in this case, worry literally serves no purpose. Firstly, statistically speaking, your odds of dying from a plane crash are 1 in 205,552, that is lower than a 0.000005% chance of your death on an airplane. It’s much, much more likely that you died from a car crash whose odds are 1 in 107 in the United States (that is almost 2000 times more likely than a plane crash!)
Either way, taking a hypothetical situation let’s say that you are sitting on a plane that is indeed going to crash. You somehow got on that one plane of 205,552 which is going to crash and you know it since the plan has been hijacked by terrorists and they’re going to crash the plane. What will you do? Worry about your ultimate death? Will you be seated fearfully on your airplane seat and worry? I don’t think I would. I would either: (A) Try to formulate a plan with some help of my fellow passengers discreetly to take over the terrorists and the plane. Or alas if that doesn’t work out and all hopes of staying alive are crushed, I would (B) stay in my seat and flash back all the amazing memories of my life and be grateful for living an incredible one.
I won’t worry. That’s just useless in this case is what I think it is. I won’t pray for help. I will try helping myself and the other passengers by thinking of something to get control of our plane back. Worry won’t do anything in this scenario. And it doesn’t do any good in the majority of situations. And I say majority and not all since worrying is a human characteristic that is actually important in a few cases. If there wasn’t a thing as worry or fear in our lives, we would be willing to take on the world’s biggest risks like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or walking straight through fire. My guess is that if we didn’t have worry or fear as a biological factor for humans, we wouldn’t last here on Earth for a considerable time. So worry isn’t that bad as it seems. But it is really worthless in many scenarios.
Instead of worrying about some ruin that’s inevitable, you should rather create a strategy for what you will do if that ruin comes forth. Worrying about things that are not in our hands is also a futile task. But some things that are not in our hands are still our responsibility. So we need to be prepared with a plan for when we know ruin is going to strike. Not waste time worrying about it.
So to rephrase our cliché phrase, “Don’t worry, it may or may not be all right. Make a plan for next steps if it doesn’t be all right.”
Links for statistics for the plane crash deaths:
How safe is flying? Here’s what the statistics say / SBS News
Preventable Deaths, Odds of Dying / Injury Facts NSC