Read Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Positive Way to Change Your Life on the train to Coventry. I particularly liked the ideas about “worry”.
What does ‘worry’ mean?
The word worry itself comes from an old Anglo-Saxon term meaning to choke, or strangle, and that is exactly what worry does – it chokes the joy of living right out its victim. And it chokes off creative power to improve one’s condition. (p.59)
What happens when we worry?
When we worry we are using imaging, all right, but we are point it in the wrong direction. When we worry about our health, or our children, or our jobs, or our future, we are giving these fears a degree of reality by allowing them to pervade and color our thinking. And if they dominate our minds, they may also affect our actions. Just as affirmative imaging tends to actualize desirable events sooner or later, so negative imaging, or worry, tends to create conditions in which the unpleasant thing that is worried about has a better change of coming to pass. (pp.57-58)
Is worry a bad thing?
A little worry is probably a good thing, if it impels a person to take prudent action. It’s chronic worry that is dangerous, the constant imaging of undesirable events. The occasional worrier takes affirmative action. The chronic worrier becomes exhausted and confused, like a desert traveler in a swirling sandstorm. … And as a matter of fact, that last phrase is dangerously misleading because worry does change things – mainly the capacity of the worrier to cope successfully with the thing is worrying them. (p.58)
What can we do about worry?
1. Believe worry can be overcome.
2. Approaches to helping you to get rid of worry:
- Push aside negative emotions and use your mind positively.
“…worry, which is an irrational reaction, can be controlled by thinking rationally. Take a worry apart, lay it out, dissect it, analyze it. If you will do this with clear, cool, rational thinking, you’ll find that nine times out of ten there won’t be much left.” (p.60)
- Use symbolism.
“…She had been a chronic worrier until she hit upon the device of writing her worries down on a slips of paper and putting them in an old teapot that she kept on a high shelf in her kitchen. Every time she put a problem in the pot she said a little prayer, releasing the problem to the Lord. At the end of the year she would take the pot down, read all the slips, and then throw them away.” (p.62)
I have a jar that contains some lucky paper stars that I made. Each star has a wish inside that I made when I had Birthday, Christmas, New Year or a good time. I haven’t decided when to look at them again, maybe after 10 years or 20 years. Actually, I never thought about to have a jar for my worries. If something bothers me a lot, normally I know I will cope with it well as I am working on it and always there is a solution. However, after reading this chapter, I decide to prepare a jar for containing my worries like the wise people did in the book. I will put it next to my old jar and probably will check it yearly. See how it goes.
- Turn away from worry and simply to do something that you enjoying doing. Anything to get your mind off yourself.
- Image Jesus Christ as actually your personal friend. This is hard for me as I’m not a Christian, but I will try to image it’s the Buddha or the one will help me go through any worries.
“…And anyone, including you, can be free of worry if you will fill your mind with the factual idea that God is with you and is giving you normal, steady, intelligent attitude toward the problems of life. When you image yourself as living close to God, you will have the ability to get your mind above the confusion and heat of worry into a place of clarity and clam.” (p.64)