Day 7 — After a night of unnecessary worry about my husband, hearing my husband’s voice on the telephone was a huge relief.
While writing my blog post last night, I learned of an earthquake in Trinidad.
Internet search confirmed that a quake of Magnitude 4.9 occurred at a depth of 110 kilometers in the Caribbean Sea off shore between Trinidad and Venezuela. I read that at depths of 80 kilometers or more, the Magnitude would need to be 6 to become dangerous. Reports indicated that the earthquake affected Trinidad and Grenada.
I could not reach my husband as he habitually turns off his phone at night.
So I worried for most of the night imaging nasty scenarios. I finally reassured myself that the earthquake could not have been severe as it was not on the news headlines.
When I spoke with my husband today, he was not aware of an earthquake. He had felt no tremors.
Since it was Carnival Monday — a time for parades, street parties and huge festivities, he told me that an earthquake was not even in any of the Port of Spain news.
Dealing with Unnecessary Worries
My worries were unfounded and totally unnecessary.
To my credit, I used some well-known strategies in dealing with my worry over the safety of my husband.
A review of key strategies to effectively deal with unnecessary worries might help me in future and, will hopefully help Postworksavvy readers.
A useful starting point is to get all the facts. To my credit, I did some online research about the earthquake and I also checked prominent news feeds. I had some reassurance that the quake was not major.
By recognizing that fear creates many worries, it is possible to separate reality-based worries from worries that stem from an over-active imagination. I was afraid for the safety of my husband. That fear was real and exacerbated the worry.
Another strategy is to identify what aspects of the worry are within your control. I had no control over an earthquake nor the destruction that may have occurred. I felt helpless.
Over-reaction often occurs when there is uncertainty. From the online information I knew that the quake was not major so I considered whether I was over-reacting. Over-reaction can increase worry and can result in thinking that is incorrect.
Making a plan of action is a practical method of dealing with unnecessary worry. I knew that the first step I would take would be to phone my husband to hear directly from him about the earthquake.
I did fall asleep when I put things in perspective. I understood what happened, I had a plan, and I knew that 2 am worries are usually wrong or exaggerated.
‘Worry gives a small thing a big shadow’
This Swedish proverb provides an excellent summary for unnecessary worry. It certainly describes my experience during the past 24 hours as I worried unnecessarily over something that did not happen to my husband.
Practising the strategies identified in this post will help to analyze those ‘small things’ before they become the ‘big shadows’ that cause unnecessary worries.