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Expect the Best

Chapter 22 of the book Self-Help Stuff That Works

by Adam Khan:

NOELLE CAME TO WORK worried about her roommate, Jana, who didn't come home the night before and didn't call. That wasn't like Jana, and Noelle was worried.

But Noelle's worry did not benefit Jana, and it harmed Noelle. Worry put stress hormones into her bloodstream, which isn't healthy. It suppressed her immune system. If she worries a lot, it will damage the inside of her arteries, which can end in a heart attack or stroke many years hence. Needless worry is a cost without a benefit. And it's not pleasant.

If you are worrying and want to stop, first ask yourself if there's anything you're going to do about the situation. If not, then start wondering what good things might be happening. Do not try to stop worrying.

Research by Daniel Wegner, PhD, of the University of Virginia has repeatedly shown that trying to suppress thoughts only results in thinking the thought more. If you try to suppress a thought hard enough, that thought can become an obsession.

Try to stop worrying and you'll worry even more. What you want to do is give your mind a bone to chew on, but a different bone. Worrying is imagining something bad happening. Simply imagine something good happening, and there will be less room in your mind for imagining something bad happening. Your mind has its limits, like the RAM of a computer. Give it enough to do, and it won't have the free space to do anything else.

If worrying is a habit for you, it won't go away immediately. Every time you start to worry, ask yourself what good might be happening. And keep asking and wondering and then leave it at that an open-ended possibility. Do this and something good will be happening to you: You'll feel better and you'll be healthier.

By the way, Jana had a wonderful time.

Wonder about what good things might be happening.

How can you get rid of a negative feeling in a positive way? Find out here.
Unpleasant Feelings


 


Here is a powerful, practical way to change an unwanted feeling or emotion into a good, healthy, and productive emotion:
A Simple Way to Change How You Feel

If worry is a problem for you, or even if you would like to simply worry less even though you don't worry that much, you might like to read this:
The Ocelot Blues

 

next: Self-Help Stuff That Works Homepage

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 17). Expect the Best, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-stuff-that-works/expect-the-best

Last Updated: March 30, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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