7 tips to celebrate 7 worry-free (ish) days

My new year’s resolution for 2015 is to try to worry less. To me, pretty much everything requires some degree of worry, which means I do spend a lot of time worrying about really silly things; it’s this type of worry that I particularly want to knock on the head.

I’ve been reading through Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How to stop worrying and start living’, and although it was first published in 1953, and some of the anecdotes and examples are rather archaic to say the least, it has provided me with some initial food for thought.

I have put together my take on ways of dealing with worry, and have been putting these techniques into practice myself over the past week. So far this year I’ve managed to remain relatively worry-free!

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  1. Live in daytight compartments – have no anxiety about tomorrow and undertake one task at a time. Focus on today, the past has been and gone and the future is yet to be.
  2. The magic formula is to ask yourself “What is the worst that can happen?” Mentally accept whatever the worst case scenario is, then take steps to improve on this worst case.
  3. Analyse and solve worrying problems by getting all the facts, analysing them impartially (perhaps pretend it is someone else’s problem), arrive at a decision, then act on that decision.
  4. Crowd worry out of your mind by getting busy and keeping busy – there is no time for worrying when you’re immersed in a project or activity!
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff (easier said than done) – don’t allow yourself to be upset by the small things that we should just forget about.
  6. The law of averages – more often than not, according to the law of averages, the chances of the event you’re worrying about occurring are very slim, so hardly worth worrying about.
  7. Don’t look backwards – accept the past, cooperate with the inevitable and concentrate on plans for the future.

The next section in my book discusses ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring happiness; I will report back next week on that.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Carie
    January 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

    It's amazing isn't it that a book that was published in 1953 is still so very relevant – it rather suggests that we haven't moved on as much as we'd have hoped! Or possibly just that a degree of worrying is part of the human condition, it's just the topic that's changed!

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Definitely is Carie; I think our specific worries have changed a lot, but the way we worry, and how we can deal with them, has remained fundamentally unchanged.

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