I was standing next to our bookshelf talking to Matt when I looked over and noticed a couple of old weathered books on my shelf. They were leftover from when my house was “shabby chic” and I would decorate my house with old weathered books. I never planned on reading the books, they just looked cool, but then when my home decor changed, I felt too guilty throwing them out, so I put them on the shelf.
One of the books was titled, How to Start Living and Stop Worrying by Dale Carnegie (who wrote the famous book, How to Win and Influence People).
I thought, Huh? This sounds like a perfect book to read for 2020.
I’ve been on a kick of reading old books looking for old wisdom. I pulled the book off the shelf and began to read the book. My 1951 edition (copyright 1944) is brittle, brown, and smells like an estate sale. But from page one, Dale’s practical words ring true of timeless and universal wisdom.
This post is adapted from chapter two, “A Magic Formula for Solving Worry Situations”.
Do you worry and stress about situations in your life?
Well, here’s a quick and straight forward technique that you can implement in your life today and I’m here to tell you, worry and stress will magically disappear. I promise. It’s simple and anyone can do this! Even though I didn’t read his formula until today, I’ve been practicing similar steps in my own life over the past several years, and I can’t remember the last time I suffered from anxiety or depression. Yes, even living through an election year world pandemic.
It’s a discipline that if you stay consistent, control your thoughts, and practice these three steps, you’ll be on your way to living worry free!
THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR OVERCOMING STRESS & WORRY:
1. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
One of the biggest causes of anxiety in your life is the future unknown. It’s the not knowing what’s going to happen next that freaks us out. Have you ever thought, “If only I knew what would happen, I wouldn’t worry.” Well, now it’s time to use your overly active imagination to fearlessly think of the worst case scenario to your situation. Will you lose your job? Will the electricity get turned off? Will you have to have surgery?
2. After figuring out the worst thing that can happen, prepare to accept it if you have to.
Now that you’ve gone down the road and ended up at the worst, it’s time to muscle up and accept it, if that is what is coming for you. Lin Yutang, a Chinese philosopher in his book, The Importance of Living, said, “True peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.” Katy Perry, in her song, “Unconditionally”, sings, “Acceptance is the key, the key to truly be free”.
Acceptance isn’t the same as approval. By accepting what is (or the worst case possibility), you’re not saying you agree with what’s happening. You’re simply allowing the situation to be what it is. You allow it to simply take up space in your life.
So, you might lose your job. Ok, I accept that worse case scenario. This is where you’ll feel the weight of stress and anxiety lift off your shoulders, and it will free your mind and energy for #3.
3. Calmly use your time and energy to improve on the worst.
When you’re worried and stressed freaking out about all the worse case possibilities, your mind is unable to function at its highest potential. It shuts down, and you waste all the Instead of laying in your bed feeling sorry for yourself because something bad might be happening in the future. Get up and start looking for solutions and answers. Every single problem has an answer, you’ve just got to keep your mind and energy clear so you can find the next right step to take.
And let’s face it, 99.9% of the time our worst fears never come true. You know what else? You’ve figured life out this far, and you’re gonna figure it out again tomorrow.
Ok, friend, you’ve got the magic formula. It’s time to kick stress, worry, and anxiety straight to the curb. You’ve got this!