on worrying

I have been wanting to write about this for about a week now, but that does not guarantee that the next few paragraphs would actually qualify as a good piece at all, and neither will it assure whoever is still reading my blog that it’ going to be something that make sense, but then again, so here it goes.

I found this in my mailbox the other day, apparently, I do subscribe to a ton of shit that I did find interesting once but out of the sheer volume of every interesting thing that I have coming my way every single day, it is just plain impossible to even get to read and digest them all. I chose this piece because it seemed to resound my current situation, and how I think feel and should feel about it.

There was a book written by James Gordon Gilkey in 1934 entitled “You Can Master Your Life.” It speaks about self-help, a bit of advice on how to, well, “master” your life. It contains a chapter on worrying, that which falls into several categories:

On studying his chronic fears this man found they fell into five fairly distinct classifications:

1. Worries about disasters which, as later events proved, never happened. About 40% of my anxieties.

2. Worries about decisions I had made in the past, decisions about which I could now of course do nothing. About 30% of my anxieties.

3. Worries about possible sickness and a possible nervous breakdown, neither of which materialized. About 12% of my worries.

4. Worries about my children and my friends, worries arising from the fact I forgot these people have an ordinary amount of common sense. About 10% of my worries.

5. Worries that have a real foundation. Possibly 8% of the total.

The book, according to the email, even goes on asking the following and so he advises:

What, of this man, is the first step in the conquest of anxiety? It is to limit his worrying to the few perils in his fifth group. This simple act will eliminate 92% of his fears. Or, to figure the matter differently, it will leave him free from worry 92% of the time.

This got me thinking. Is it ever really possible to not worry too much? I think the five categories that Gilkey posted on the different types of worries are pretty much valid, and I think everyone is most guilty of the second type. I was thinking of running down the things that I was worried about and then categorizing them as such, but then I just realized that would make for a very looong post, and I am admittedly kind lazy right this minute.

I got this from Brain Pickings. Awesome website to help pick your brain. Link here: www.brainpickings.org.

 

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