“Worry is the most popular form of suicide,” the great American editor and essayist William George Jordan wrote. “Worry impairs appetite, disturbs sleep, spoils digestion, irritates disposition, warps character, weakens mind, stimulates disease and saps bodily health. … Worry is mental poison.”
I’ve fought worry since I was a kid, and I know nothing can kill you faster. If you’re lucky, it might only kill your business and relationships.
Six Tactics for Attacking Worry
(1) Don’t fret about the future. It ain’t here yet. Learn to live in the Now.
(2) When a problem turns up, ask, “What’s the most awful thing that can happen?” The worst-case scenario rarely occurs. But when you’re mentally prepared, you can face your obstacle coolly and effectively.
(3) Keep busy. Action crowds out worry.
(4) Determine how much anxiety your perceived crisis is really worth. After you put a “price” on it, refuse to spend more than that.
(5) Ask yourself, “What are the odds that this event I’m losing sleep over will actually happen?”
(6) If you’re distressed about something that’s unavoidable — in other words, totally beyond your personal control — recognize that’s how it is. You can’t change it. You can’t fix it. So stop struggling with it.
Bonus Tactic: The Greatest Secret EVER for Crushing Worry
I was taught this by a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu, a form of acupressure. For me, it’s quick and foolproof. Here’s what you do:
Hold your thumbs.
It’s that easy.
When you feel worried, wrap your left thumb and fingers around your right thumb.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Just hold your right thumb in whatever way feels most comfortable. In a moment, you’ll feel a “shift,” and your anxiety will drain off.
Repeat with your left thumb.
Why’s it work? I’m not sure, but babies suck their thumbs for a reason, right?
I perform this thumb routine habitually before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up.