You wouldn’t think that a book written in 1953 would still have so much relevance today; but that is exactly true for Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to stop worrying and start living’. The specific situations and circumstances might have changed, but we still worry in the same way, and thus the way we deal with our worries remains fundamentally unchanged.
I have just been reading the section on cultivating a mental attitude to bring about happiness. It came as a bit of a surprise to me that a book on stopping worrying should focus so heavily on happiness; but as I read through each chapter it made more and more sense. If you’re focusing on happy things you are crowding worry out of your mind (point 4 from last weeks post). And in reverse, I suppose it is rather difficult to be happy with a head so full of worries.
So here’s the thing. Our life is what our thoughts make it – think happy thoughts and we will be happy! It sounds so simple.
So as well as my seven tips for tackling worry, I am now trying to think and act cheerfully in order to feel cheerful. So far I really think it’s working! Instead of going into situations thinking the worst, I’ve been focusing on being jolly, and people have responded well, and that in turn has given me a confidence boost.
Today I took Rosalie in the baby carrier for a walk, and I made a point of smiling and saying good morning to everyone we met. Granted, that was only two of three people, but one of those people stopped and we exchanged a few pleasantries about the weather, the height of the water in the canal, Rosalie’s teeth and age. Nothing earth shattering, but it felt good.
Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.