Monday, February 21, 2011

A Worrier

Dear Madame L,

I know someone who worries a lot.

Lately, since I told him I think he worries a lot, he has started worrying about worrying so much.

Now he has started worrying about the fact that he's worried about how much he worries.

I'd like to suggest some deep breathing exercises. (Breathe in, 4 counts; hold breath, 6 counts; breathe out, 8 counts.) But I think he might start worrying about whether he's taking deep enough breaths, holding them long enough, etc, etc, etc.

Here's what Mark Twain said about worrying:
"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it."

Easy for him to say! How to actually do it?

Please help! Sincerely,

Worried

Dear Worried,

Madame L thinks she knows exactly what you're talking about, because she tends to be a worrier, too.

Madame L has found a great Web site with info about why we worry and some techniques for not worrying so much.

And of course Web MD has a bunch of resources, including the fact that "people who come from divorced homes are 70% more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder."

Here's another great quote to help worriers realize just what a waste of time all that worrying is:

"If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today." ~E. Joseph Cossman

And here's a whole page of quotes about worrying, why it's bad for you, how to stop, etc.

What else works? Anyone?

Best,

Madame L

3 comments:

Jeff said...

As a general rule, picking one's nose and going a bit too far bypasses ALL worry-circuits, at least temporarily.

Ellen said...

My best antidote for worry is distraction. Find something else to do that keeps your mind and hands occupied. When I worked as a part-timem cook in an assisted living center, I was able to escape my worries for a few hours each day. Also, prayer, listening to music, or a good book to get lost in. I appreciate your quote, though, about whether you remember last year's worries. I'll have to keep that one in mind. It helps put things in perspective.

Cassie said...

Thanks for all the worry quotes! I like them.