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Immerse Week 5 – Worries

During this week you’ll try to befriend your worries and look at others and your world with fresh eyes (perspective).

The right worries

Dear friend,

On most days I struggle with one or more worries. I worry because I have preferences. I worry because I wish my world to be safer. I worry because I can imagine adversity and would like to prevent it. I worry because I am human and I care.

Any species that raises children and has intellect, imagination, and preferences is bound to worry. My mind believes that my worries might secure my own and others’ safety. My mind isn’t wrong. Specific worries about specific issues with a focus on the probable and on finding solutions have helped me many times. But worrying just because I should worry hasn’t helped me.

Worry that motivates is useful; worry that paralyzes isn’t. Beyond a threshold, worry becomes toxic and paralyzing. I have worried to the point of losing my ability to think clearly.

I can’t give up worrying. I don’t wish to. Instead, I should harness my worries. I should try to understand the logic behind my worries and, when appropriate, seek help from others. I should only worry about the issues that are worry-worthy—where the price I pay for worrying is worth the benefit. My worries should only concern possibilities that can realistically happen. While it is possible that a hippopotamus could jump out of an aircraft above our home and crash through our ceiling, the chances of that happening are quite low. I shouldn’t worry about that.

Finally, my worries should focus on those problems for which actions can make a difference.

With these qualifiers, worry is a friend that looks out for me. Without these qualifiers, worry is a buzz in my head that interferes with the music of my life.

May you have fewer worries; may you swap your worries for hope, courage, and grit.

Take care.

@AmitSoodMD (on Twitter)


Question: What is a healthy way to worry?

Answer: Accept that if you are human you will worry. Worry is the price we pay for our intellect and imagination. Let your worries focus mostly on those actionable problems that are worthy of your attention and for which actions can make a difference.

Intention: This week I will not worry about the really improbable or the things I can do nothing about.

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