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The Superstition of Worrying

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Thinking that worrying will fix anything is superstitious

You’re superstitious and so am I. How?! you may protest by worrying. It’s a nasty annoying habit I’ve perfected over many years. Sometimes, I’ve purposely put aside worry only later to feel that I’m not on top of things…because I’m not worrying. Somehow we think by worrying we can send out this energy into the universe to prevent bad things from happening. There’s a word for that: superstition. Let’s define it as the belief that certain practices or behavior, in this case worrying, causes the world to change. It doesn’t. It only changes us.

Anticipating problems repeatedly in our mind, real or imagined, is powerful stuff. It gives us a false sense of control but it’s kryptonite to our souls. Ask yourself this. How many times have I worried about something that never came to pass? Was I better for it? What did my worry cost me? Was I irritable with my family or colleagues? Did my health suffer? There’s always a cost to the superstitious practice of worrying. Will merely thinking positive thoughts overcome worry? No, because the power of negative feelings and emotions typically far exceeds positive thinking. What pushes worry to the side? Gratitude. The intentional practice of gratitude.

Quotes for worrying

“it’s ruinous for the soul to be anxious about the future and miserable in advance of misery, engulfed by anxiety.” -Seneca

“We are more often frightened than hurt, and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” -Seneca

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside. — Marcus Aurelius

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