“Don’t waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Two Strategies for Dealing with Persistent Worries

from Manage Your Mind by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope

Turn Worries into Actions. There are two types of things not worth worrying about: those that you can do something about and those that you can’t. This summarizes a simple but very powerful way of approaching persistent worries. Worry is useful when it pushes you to tackle and solve problems which need solving. But you can tackle and solve problems without the unpleasant effect of worry. So the first step is to turn your worries into problems and then develop strategies for solving them. If nothing can be done, then, in the words of Dale Carnegie: cooperate with the inevitable.

Build a wall around your worries. If you are beset by worries, set aside a regular half an hour each day to worry. If you start to worry at other times, postpone the worry to the ‘worry time’ and focus on what you are doing, or what is happening around you instead. When the ‘worry time’ comes around, tackle each worry as a problem to solve. This strategy hits the worry in two ways: it builds a wall around the process, which stops it from spreading, and it turns the worry into something more constructive. Some people even find that they are unable to worry to order, so the worry time turns out to be trouble free. Then worry has found its own level, and you need not worry that it will sink too low: the alarm bells will ring automatically when you need them.