Postaday Psychology

Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.

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It is human nature to ponder anxieties that do not exist.

The mind is a fabrication machine, developing worries before they deserve any attention. Wrote Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan (Amazon):“To worry is to become accessible… And once you worry, you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”

The only way to assuage the nerves is to focus on what’s in front of you, to do the work regardless of the way you feel. Progress happens to the relaxed.

Don’t worry before it’s time

Writes Eric Barker on his life advice blog:

You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action. So when a worry is nagging at you, step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

As a survival mechanism, anxiety pushes us to take action — the most basic fear is that we need to eat and have a place to sleep for the night. But anxiety is also a thinking problem that needs to be neutralized by greeting it at the door where it appears wearing the same costume as it did before.

Everything is going to be alright, just like it was yesterday.

gif via Jason Clarke

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

7 replies on “Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.”

Embracing anxiety…now that’s a concept I had not considered. As a person who has moments of anxiousness, it’s easy to spiral down the rabbit hole without throwing ourselves a lifeline. My grandfather once said that 90% of the things we worry about never happen and at 95, I think he’s right. Your post has definitely given me some food for thought!

A great post. I was super guilty of worrying until I finally realized that all the things that I’d spent time worrying about either never came true or weren’t as bad as I was worrying they would be.

My mantra is “Will worrying change the outcome?” If the answer is no, then I move on. BTW, the answer is ALWAYS no.

Good Q and very easy to remember. I’ll plan on trying it as well. Thank you for the tip.

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