Thursday, March 25, 2010

From Zero To Panic

Do you ever worry about things? Let me rephrase that. Do you ever worry unreasonably about things that on an intellectual level you know are just silly? I worry about things. Oh, yes I do. I can go from zero to panic in less than 60 seconds. Most worry is completely unnecessary, but I think the part of the brain that controls worry is reptilian, and we often can't control it. On my research about what part of the brain controls worry, I found this:

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is in the front half of the brain. It is responsible for our focus, planning, impulse control, emotional control, empathy, judgment and insight. Healthy activity in the PFC leads to conscientiousness, thoughtfulness and a goal-oriented personality. If the PFC is low in activity, it can make a person disorganized, easily distracted and sometimes antisocial. On the other hand, if the PFC is overworked, it can cause anxiety, inflexibility and impulsiveness.

Interesting. Well, I am not inflexible or impulsive, but I do worry about the most idiotic things. Once, when I was about 13, I had a teeny, tiny freckle on my arm that I was convinced was something bad, and I tried to convince my parents that I needed my arm amputated -- now -- before the freckle spread. I couldn't understand why they laughed at me. And when I was about 10, our next-door neighbors belonged to a particular religious cult that believed the world was coming to an end very soon, and they kept telling me to be prepared. Oh, goodness, how many hours did I spend worrying about that? Don't even ask.

For the most part, my set point is fairly easy-going. I'm a creature of habit and and routine. I prefer peace and serenity, rather than chaos, and I want everyone in my life to be the same way. I would prefer folks to be healthy, happy, serene and content every day -- in other words, all of those things that are almost impossible in our modern world.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia." ... Charles M. Schulz

19 comments:

SparkleFarkle said...

When it comes to worrying, the wart doesn't fall very far from the tree. Meet MY DAD.

SparkleFarkle said...

P.S. God, how I look forward to reading your blog! I worry that you'll be elected president of Bloglandia, which will cut into your writing time and POOF! someone else will have to fill in for you and, heck, it will never be the same. *pant-pant, puff-puff-puff* Can you sign a contract or something, stating that you owe it to your fans to keep on with the blog, even it it means giving up certain luncheon engagements with Royal ministers and, and-- MAN ALIVE! How quickly my worry goes completely nuts (and me, too)! Hmm. I think it's time for me to change into something more "comfortable." Has anyone seen my White Jacket? You,know, the one that wraps in the front and ties at the back?

The Bug said...

LOL SparkleFarkle!

I am somewhat of a worrier, but mostly when it comes to Dr. M's happiness - & hypochondria. I have this spot on my fact I've been meaning to have checked out :)

Jo said...

Sparkle, you are TOO FUNNY! But thank you. *heh* Gosh...! And that is a compliment coming from you, because you have one of the best bogs in the blogosphere! :-)

Bug, oh, goodness, you have no idea the things I can worry about. Sometimes I think I would make a good science fiction writer. *heh*

scarlethue said...

I'm a little bit of a worrier as well. Just yesterday I got myself all worked up because my dog is getting older and I know one day he'll die. He's only 8. But the inevitability... like worrying would fix it anyway.

One of my favorite song lyrics, from Tom Petty's "Back to You"-- Most things I worry about never happen anyway.

Katy said...

If I worry about anything it has to do with choseing things. I hate being the person who has to make final descitions. That and I have a touch of hypocondria. It helps that one of my best friends is a nurse who can tell me that I'm being insane at times.

Smalltown RN said...

I am a worry wort extrodinaire....I worry enough for everyone....I wish I didn't but I do. I worry that folks here are far more wittier than I and how can I measure up...

Ah worry, such a waste of energy....I love the quote...how true...cheers Jo....once again you have outdone yourself!

PinkPanthress said...

Ooh, I know that so well!
I have a Libra Sun & a Taurus Moon, which means I can be a worrier & brooding. I can so easily go panicky in no time! :D

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yes, I have that gene, too. I had parents who worried compulsively and whether by inheritance or proximity, I acquired that unfortunate quality.

I think the secret to sanity may be learning to distinguish between the authentically worry-worthy issues and the ones that are just a knee jerk reaction because we are used to worrying.

Kimberly said...

I worry about people being mad at me. I had rather not wear lipstick for one year that have someone be mad at me.

KrippledWarrior said...

How long it takes to go from zero to panic, isn't as important as how long it takes to return from panic back to zero...

leilani said...

Jo i would worry if i didnt worry! LOLOL.. water makes my brain worry free=0D ! I love your posts JO!

ρομπερτ said...

That's why I usually walk on foot, slows me down and after a few miles even inside.

A wonderful Friday for you.

Pauline said...

Set your stove timer for ten minutes. Worry steadily until it goes off. Later, when the same worry appears, tell yourself you've already worried about that so you don't need to anymore :)

Mac the Mom said...

Well, I would say you're the Ferrari of panic. You can go from zero to panic in much less than 60! {Delete if you want to!} :)

Cloudia said...

how dare those neighbors scare little you!




Aloha from Hawaii my Friend


Comfort Spiral

myletterstoemily said...

charles shultz, the quintessential
worrier! i love all his quotes.

that was a really fun and informative
post.

i never know what i will find here,
but i always enjoy it.

Jo said...

*Heh* I'm glad to see I'm not entirely alone in my "worry" mode. And yes, I am the Ferrari of panic -- oh, goodness. :-) Oh, well, at least the world didn't come to an end -- at least today, anyway.

Paula Slade said...

I love the quote!!! Talk about synchronicity - that's the third time I have been presented that quote in less than 24 hours - I think the universe is telling me something!