Thiel: If you’re alive, you’re worried

The human condition means it's most likely that you are worried about something.

Worry, fret, be concerned or anxious, agonize, lose sleep, vacillate, suffer or wrestle with something; This is the human condition. Like it or not, if you are alive it is most likely that you are worried about something. It seems to be a constant in our daily lives.

Oh, our distress can engage most anything; from our hairline to our finances, children, marriage, our gas mileage, mortgage, lawn or the way we think we look. It is indeed endless.

I am as guilty as this as anyone. One of my earliest childhood memories was that of my father (my Obi Wan) saying to me “Markus, you worry too much, cross that bridge when you get to it”. I thought he was nuts. If I can anticipate that bridge, I won’t have to cross it. To this date, it is amazing how few bridges I have had in my life. What is even more amazing is how much time I wasted looking for them.

This is important to me as a health care professional because I know the way worry or stress can affect our body and set up the stage for the manifestation of disease.

Have you ever met an old friend of yours, one you rather like, one you have not seen for a while and during our time together you feel tormented because while you are talking you are anxious the fact that your parking meter has expired. It robs you of the experience you could have had. Insert more worry.

Plainly put, worry is a wasted emotion. It affects you physiologically and emotionally (not that the two are to be separated). In a state of worry, we are not living in the present or the now, we are living in the future…more concerned about the ‘might be’ rather than the ‘is’.

I believe that there is no such thing as the future, nor the past. There is, and always is only the present. Great things were never done in the past or the future. They were all done in the present.

Ok. Let’s get rid of the airy-fairy metaphysical stuff and look at science. I know this guy, not me but a friend of mine. He is always worried about stuff. The worry is noted by my, I mean, my friend’s adrenal glands. That gland secrete a hormone called cortisol. In small measures, this hormone is important. It helps to make other important hormones. If however, this individual is under chronic stress and worry, the cortisol will hurt them.

Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as: impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia, decreased bone density, decrease in muscle tissue, higher blood pressure, lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, as well as other health consequences like increased abdominal fat, weight gain and sleep deprivation.

Cortisol is the result of sustained worry. It literally robs you of your life force. Have you seen the face of someone who always worries? Compare that face to that of one who does not. And no, Botox will no reduce the amount that you worry; only you can.

My best advice is to live in the present, plan for the best, expect only the best and do like my children used to do: you can have a load of doody in your diapers but they didn’t  have a worry in the world because they knows things will be fine. Simply put, worry is a wasted emotion. Bad things will happen, that’s a fact of life. Waiting for them to happen is death. Luckily we can choose.


Just Posted

Two people safe after falling through ice

Kelowna Fire Department urges caution around icy waters during warm weather

Missing Kelowna woman sought

RCMP are asking for assistance in locating Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer

Plane lands safely after takeoff issue

An airplane departing Kelowna International Airport had an issue with a landing gear, landed safely

KSS rocks and rolls for 37th straight year

Kelowna secondary students let loose with annual Air Bank competition

YMCA launches teen program for mental health

Starting April 5, the Kelowna Family Y will host its first run of Mind Fit

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Captain Cal Foote is Rockets’ MVP

The Rockets hand out their annual team awards Sunday at Kelowna Community Theatre

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Cancer fundraiser takes to Okanagan Lake

Penticton and Naramata joining growing fundraising event

Elke’s Garden Tips: Good time to prepare

Lake Country garden columnist talks about what to do at this time of the year

Letter: Crying fowl over goose cull witness

Kelowna letter-writer says Canada geese come with many issues

Letter: I was born in Kelowna in 1930…

Kelowna letter-writer has some ideas on how things should run nowadays

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read