Stop the worry habit and look at the silver lining

Losing the freedom to carry out daily activities can be worrying. (Rawpixel pic)

As creatures of habit, it is understandable for humans to feel uncomfortable with any sudden changes in lifestyle.

A habit is how effortlessly your action is done without you engaging with much energy or thought into it.

The Covid-19 outbreak has struck Malaysians hard, both professionally and personally, hence you are unable to continue your habitual activities. Everything seems uncomfortable, perhaps even unproductive as you struggle to get used to the changes.

You have a valid reason to worry but as Dale Carnegie puts it, break the worry habit before it breaks you. Worry is always thinking of unpleasant things that may or may not happen, or of problems that you have.

By understanding and accepting that the root cause of worry is in your mind, take a deep breath and work on fixing that. The ability to manage your worries can shape how you view yourself and that in turn shapes how people view you as a person.

Here are some tools that you can use right now to help you overcome worry:

“Break the worry habit, before it breaks you” is a time-tested saying that fits well into the current movement control order (MCO) in the country.

Firstly, keep yourself busy. When you are restricted from your usual activities, you are forced to change your habits. Most will find themselves at a loss of how to manage their work and personal matters as both are entwined nowadays.

Pick up that book you have been meaning to read. Sort out the drawers and cupboards you were too busy to even peek into on normal days. Try a new recipe. Once you have cleared your mind enough, you are ready to carry on with whatever work you may have.

Secondly, don’t fuss about trifles. Trifling matters are small things that can accumulate and plague your mind into unnecessary worry.

Keep yourself occupied by learning new skills. (Rawpixel pic)

“I am scared of being infected”. Well then respect the MCO and stay where you are.

“But what if I am out of supplies?” The retail industry is doing their best to provide you with enough supplies.

As long as you follow the precautions when going out on a supply run, such as sanitising your hands, wearing a face mask and respecting social distancing, you can be assured of your health and safety.

Third, cooperate, as the MCO is inevitable. There is nothing you can do on a personal basis to stop this. These are natural forces beyond your control and you need to respect it for what it is.

You respect the MCO and do your part to ensure that Covid-19 in Malaysia is managed by the brave men and women at the frontlines of this war.

Lastly, decide how much anxiety something is worth and refuse to give it more. If it is your nature to be afraid of the unknown and you’re feeling anxious, then rest assured that you are not alone.

Sit down and take a deep breath to sort your worries out one at a time. How anxious should you be of getting infected?

Well, if you take good care of your health and follow the guidelines given by the government then there is not much to fear.

How anxious should you be when you hear of a case occurring close to where you are? Avoiding the infected location and keeping your house clean should be more than enough to keep you healthy.

Remember that you have better things to do besides worry all the time, so don’t overthink and do what you enjoy – be the narrator of your own story.

Dale Carnegie famously said, “Keep busy. It’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is”.

This is not to say that you should be oblivious and ignore the reality of what is currently happening in Malaysia, but always be aware that things are not out of control either.

You are living in a time where you are forced to change your habits and are increasingly worried of the situation as it unfolds. But do remember that everything is manageable if you take your time to sit down and think about it.

“The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming”.

Ilhan Mohamad Radzi is a Performance Consultant, Dale Carnegie Malaysia. To read more articles like this one, visit the Dale Carnegie blog, Linkedin, Facebook or their website.