Worrying Doesn’t Help
I’m working on a new philosophy, “Worrying doesn’t Help.” It might look nice in needlepoint on a pillow – or on my brain. For those of you who tend toward anxiety or worry, feel free to share in the creation of my emerging philosophy.
So far, it goes like this:
: Uh oh, I’m worried/scared/nervous.
Reasonable Linda: What are you worried about?
Scared Linda: (fill in the blank with your own worry here or share mine) My health, my eye.
Reasonable Linda: Is there evidence for your worry? Is there something wrong with your eye?
Scared Linda: (Thinking: who needs evidence?) Maybe. I think so.
Reasonable Linda: Make a decision and you will feel better, i.e. act immediately if it is an emergency or make a plan to see a Doctor.
Scared Linda: OK. I made a plan; I have an appointment with a doctor but I’m still worrying because I don’t have an answer.
Reasonable Linda: Well, now you are just wasting your time – you identified your problem, made a plan to get more information, and will act to fix it. There is nothing left to do so: distract yourself; realize that your control is limited, and; don’t turn it into a catastrophe.
I’m open to adjustments in the philosophy. When it really gets going, we can build a ‘worry app’, start a business and sell worry franchises, go on talk shows, write a book, travel the world, and talk with Terri Gross on NPR (and worry about what to say).