How to Stop Worrying

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
Elbert Hubbard
The Note Book, 1927

Here’s a little more research on how to rise above fear and stop worrying.

Thomas Campbell suggests getting rid of fear by looking at the worst that can happen and accepting it.  Lin Yutang wrote that true peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.  Professor William James said that acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.

Some paraphrased steps from Dale Carnegie’s book: “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living” follow:

1. Ask yourself,’ ‘What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.

“Step I.  Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and figure out what is the worst that could possibly happen as a result of a failure, a diagnosis, or a challenge.   It is likely that no one will jail you or shoot you.  There may be a chance that you will suffer a consequence, such as a lost job, lost money, or you may face the challenge of illness.

“Step II. After figuring out what is the worst thing that can possibly happen, reconcile yourself to accepting it, if necessary.  Say to yourself: This failure will be a blow to my record, and it might possibly mean the loss of my job; but if it does, I can always get another position. Conditions could be much worse;  After discovering the worst that could possibly happen and reconciling yourself to accepting it, if necessary, then you can relax and feel a sense of peace.  As this website has suggested previously, dying may not be the worst that can happen.  Thomas Campbell describes death as moving into a different reality frame and having this reality melt away like a dream.

“Step III. Devote your time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which you have already accepted mentally.  You probably would never be able to do this if you keep on worrying, because one of the worst features about worrying is that it destroys our ability to concentrate. When we worry, our minds jump here and there and everywhere, and we lose all power of decision. However, when we force ourselves to face the worst and accept it mentally, we then eliminate all those vague imaginings and put ourselves in a position in which we are able to concentrate on our problem.  If you are facing illness, it is with a clear mind that you are more apt to find the cure.

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