Nothing will prevent effective work like worry. If you are given to introspection and worry, and allow these things to go unchecked, they become habits with you, and while your sleep, in a measure, is an antidote for worry, yet the more worry you have the less soundly you will sleep, and consequently the less effective sleep will be in correcting the injury caused by worry.
Sunshine and darkness cannot be present at the same time, for in nature one of the first rules we find is that no two objects can occupy the same place at the same time. No matter how much one is given to the worry habit, she experiences reflex moments when she does not worry. Some of our pessimistic friends who are given to the worry habit say it is impossible for them not to worry. You are thinking of what you are reading, and if your mind is interested in it you are not worrying while you are reading these articles, and this shows that if you are interested in reading there is little chance for worry to get in; for your mind is occupied.
Women have tried all sorts of things to escape worry. Some of them frequent places where gaiety and mirth abound, so that they are for the time being banishing worry, but in proportion as these things keep one from worrying, the reaction is stronger when it does come, and the individual who tries to escape worry by going the pace and occupying her time with light things, suffers more keenly from worry when it does come. Some women turn to drink or drugs to kill worry. Many a woman imagines while she is drunk and her brain is clogged with alcohol that she is the happiest woman in the world, and some of them go to the extent of imagining their finances are in a flourishing condition. The alcohol fills the brain with fancy pictures, and for the time being the mind forgets to worry. When the alcohol wears away the brain takes up the worry again in an increased degree.
To kill worry by the active process is like trying to cure rheumatism by external application. The only thing you do is to stop the pain temporarily. The best way to cure rheumatism is to go at it through the blood. Eradicate the uric acid from the system, and then the rheumatism will disappear. The best way to cure worry is not by local applications, but by getting at the root of things. Eliminate as far as possible the things which cause worry. Remember that as long as you live there will come things across your path that are not to your liking. You should be philosophical, and make the best of things that are about you. Look at the bright side rather than the dark.
There are only two things in the world to worry about. First—the things we can control or change; second, the things over which we have no control. Now, it is manifestly useless to worry over the first kind; for we can correct the thing and there will be nothing to worry about.
It is manifestly useless to worry over the things we cannot control, for, as set down in the second proposition, we cannot change the things. It therefore behooves us to eliminate from our calculations the second kind of worry, for no amount of worry can possibly change that kind. We must therefore confine our attention to the first kind, the kind we can change, and when we have changed the thing there is no cause to worry.
The trouble with those who worry most is that they have worked themselves up to such a frenzied state they can’t read anything excepting startling newspaper articles and watch sensational news programs.
The woman who worries should make up her mind she is going to read and get interested in the reading of novels. Let her set apart ten minutes the first day, and agree that she will devote those ten minutes honestly, intently to the subject before her. The next day she can add a minute or two, and so on until she can read one or two hours at a time. Finally, the wrinkles will be ironed out and the horizon will be brightened.
As we are, so is the world to us. The most familiar objects change their aspect with every change of the soul. When you worry, everything is distorted, everything appears unnatural, the world looks dark, our friends seem far off. The jokes we hear fall flat. We indulge ourselves in pessimism.
When the whole matter is summed up philosophically, there is no bad luck in the world except sickness. All other so-called hard luck is simply temporary. If you lose your money, don’t worry about it, make some more. If you lose a friend, don’t worry; show him his mistake. If you lose an opportunity, do not worry; be ready for the next one.
Life is short. The end of life is death. What’s the use of worrying.
Cultivate a cheerful disposition. Mix with people who are cheerful. Do not allow the garden of your mind to grow up with worry weeds.
Occupation kills worry. If your mind is filled with uplifting work or brain training it will have little time to worry.