• kaye bewley


Updated: May 27

“Twizzle!” a good friend said that I should say it more often.

“Twizzle? What does that mean?” I asked, in all innocence.

For the past few weeks I’ve been stressing and worrying about other people’s thoughts - about me. There are certain things that I’ve said and done that I wish I could take back. But I can’t. What’s done is done. What’s said is said.

It’s not like me to worry overly much. I usually take on the positive point of view, irritatingly so. But, of late, I’ve gotten to anxiety attacks during the day, and sleepless nights filled with horrible dreams that I really cannot hope to fathom.

So, where’s my problem?

I realise there are many ‘problems’ with my sex, but there’s one in particular that jumps out at everyone: we (women) ruminate. We think a lot. We worry a lot. About the world, our kids, our homes, our men, our clothes, our shape, and even our place in the world.

We worry that we’re not going to fit in. We are anxious that people are not going to like us, and that we won’t be accepted into the ‘group’. We worry, constantly, about what other people think about us. A lot.

Why? It’s in our nature. It’s instinct. We use our ‘creative right brain’ to gather facts, to see ahead, and we use words to help us get through each day. Sometimes those words are not right, sometimes they are downright clumsy, sometimes they blatantly get us into trouble – because we don’t watch what we say, it just comes out – and once it’s out, that’s it. It’s out.

But there is a scientific reason to why we worry and why we chatter. The reason is why we are afraid. Of everything.

Women have a very big need to feel safe. Women are (biologically) much weaker than a man. Our muscles and bones are not as strong, so our lack of physical strength determines that we need to feel safety within a group – or with an individual who will help make us feel safe. When we don’t feel safe, we worry and that makes us chatter.

If you find this hard to believe, then think back, say 40,000 years, when we were called those oh so familiar ‘hunters and gatherers’. If women were typically the gatherers and men the hunters, while the hunters were away women would need to survive in the bush, without the protection of the big strong hunter.

How could we survive on our own? If some nice big tiger came after us and our baby, there was no way we were going to win that battle. So we had to stay in groups.

To remain part of the group, we had to chatter. We had to gossip too. There’s a scientific reason for the nature of that gossip too. Gossip bonds us to the group. So, if a woman doesn’t indulge in gossip, or agree with another person within that group, what happens to her? She’s out of the ‘clique’. She’s not part of the group.

Apparently 40,000 years ago, when we depended upon the group, not indulging in gossip was dangerous. Whereas, taking part in it, helped a women to survive. It still does (to a lesser extent) today.

But why the constant chatter? Well, if we were gathering food from bushes and plants in the fields, we had to scare away the creatures that hid in the bushes that we gathered from. And a way of scaring them away was to chatter - to warn them of our coming. Women’s lives (and the lives of the group we belonged to) depended on it.

So, bring that character trait forward 40,000 years – to today – and put it into context. Why do we chatter and gossip now? We don’t have to be part of the group. We don’t have to scare the creatures away.

Maybe it’s because the animal instinct (in our emotions) is telling us that we are frightened of something?

Why the anxiety? Why the worrisome ruminating? Why bring stress upon ourselves?

Anxiety, in itself, is not a bad thing – if used wisely (sports and businessmen use stress wisely when they are attempting to achieve a target or goal). Anxiety is a chemical response to a stressful situation. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s an animal instinct within us that tells us something is not quite right.

Therefore, worrying for a woman is a ‘healing’ thing. It’s a way that we ‘offload’ our anxiety. With the worrying comes the chattering, so there is no actual ‘point’ to the chattering - it’s an emotional thing - and women are all about emotions. As long as we are chattering, we’re offloading our emotional tension and helping the worries to ease – i.e. making sure the creatures in the bush are scattering fast away from us. It’s that ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response – it’s that gut instinct that helps us to survive.

The animal brain in our head can’t decide between a ‘real’ or an ‘imagined’ threat. So, it goes on the alert subconsciously. And if we are not aware of this – then we’ll use it till it tears us apart at the seams and causes all sorts of other problems.

And that’s what I’ve been doing of late. That’s where my problem is. I’ve been turning things over and over and over in my mind. Ruminating on imagined events, picturing horrible scenes and mapping out ugly pictures in my mind - ahead of the actual happening, worrying whether something is going to be said or done against me without having any solid proof.

Until this morning, when I woke and read that small paragraph about thoughts. And then I remembered my friend’s comment: “Twizzle!”

What does twizzle mean? It means … sticking one finger up to the situation/person/event, or whatever, and basically saying ‘sit on this’.

In other words ‘LET IT GO’.

As soon as I thought of those words, I eased up on my worrying. The fever in my head cooled and the sickening sensations in my gut calmed.

I released it.

It doesn’t matter what people think about us. That’s their judgement of us. And it might be a judgement that is not necessarily right. We may have said something, but meant it in a different way. We may have done something that was meant to be a gracious act. It doesn’t matter how another person perceives our actions, thoughts, words or deeds. As long as you know that you are doing it for the right reasons and intend no harm.

After all, we’re not in the bushes gathering berries anymore!

In summary, think about it. We are on this planet for only a short time. During that short time, there’s no point in wasting time wondering about what other people think of us. We have a choice: we can either spend hours doing nothing, holding onto our own self-made pain and sink further into despair, or we can get on and do something that will make a difference – not only to our life, but to someone else’s life.

“Your life is in your hands, but you must learn to gain control of your thoughts. All of your problems of fear, failure and doubts are because your MIND is ruling you. Your mind has taken over and you are the slave and victim of your uncontrolled negative thoughts. It is as simple as that. Take control of your mind and your thoughts. Every day, bit by bit, watch your thoughts.” The Secret, Daily Teachings Rhonda Byrne

What I’ve said in this rather lengthy blog, Will Young sums it up in one song:

Let It Go

I have never been afraid of being alone

Somehow typical

Of being a man, I know

But I walk in the night

My body full of fright

Could I provide for you?

Everything you’ve ever wanted

Could I be the man I promised I would be?

And support you tenderly

Let it go, let it go

Cos it’s out of my control

Let it go, let it go

Don’t have to have it all

Grip so tight it shatters

The only thing that matters

Only got one life

Heaven knows

What I’m stressing for

I let it go

It’s the simple things in life

That bring me down

Like always being right

Needs to find someone

I’m running low on energy

The world keeps bugging me

And I keep thinking baby

Are we gonna stay together?

Can I really make a vow I’m never gonna keep?

See, that’s what’s bothering me

Let it go, let it go

Cos it’s out of my control

Let it go, let it go

Don’t have to have it all

Grip so tight it shatters

The only thing that matters

Only got one life

Heaven knows

What I’m stressing for

I let it go

I know you always tell me I think too much

And all that stupid stuff

Well I fall in love

Let it go, let it go

Cos its out of my control

Author’s Bio:

Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.

Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Read my latest blog posts:

Contact me:

Follow my Van Life Blog here:

Malvern Hills, Worcestershire 
E: kaye@bewleybooks.com
M: 07958 140 122
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