How to live life and stop worrying

11 Steps to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Are you ready to finally learn how to stop worrying? 

Everyone gets worried from time to time — in fact, 59% of adults reported a daily sense of worry in 2020. Whether you’re preparing for a big presentation or are going through personal changes, it’s normal to have the occasional sleepless night.

However, too much worry can make it difficult to enjoy life. If you want to take back your life from anxiety and learn how to stop worrying, you’re in the right place.

We’re here to share our best strategies for how to stop worrying. We’ll give you the tools you need to get your stress and worry under control.

What makes us worry?

One of the keys to learning how to stop worrying is discovering the root of your fears. 

For better or for worse, worrying is part of how we’ve evolved as humans. Biologically, our central nervous system often responds to stress and fear by worrying. When this happens, the first step to stop worrying is to reflect on what exactly is causing your anxiety.  

Some feelings of worry can be healthy, pushing us to find solutions to real and present problems. However, chronic worry, even about things out of our control, can severely impact our mental health. The good news? There is a multitude of strategies to help us learn how to stop worrying, manage stress, and start thriving. 

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Am I worrying too much?

If you have the occasional anxious thought, there’s likely no need to be concerned about your emotional well-being or mental fitness. However, chronic worrying can be a symptom of something more serious, like an anxiety disorder. This type of worry can lead to physical symptoms like muscle tension, insomnia or poor sleep hygiene, stomach pain, back pain, and panic attacks. 

Are anxiety and chronic stress starting to interfere with your daily life, work, or relationships? If so, it’s time to get serious about learning how to stop chronic worrying.

Why do I worry so much?

Chronic worry can be triggered by anything. From working at a difficult job to becoming a new parent, there’s likely always going to be something in life for us to worry about. To find out why you may be an endless worrier, take some time to reflect and examine your self-awareness. Consider if any of these reasons could be causing your anxiety: 

Why is it so hard to stop worrying?

Once you start worrying, it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of anxious and automatic thoughts. Over time, this can seriously impact your mental health. If you don’t learn strategies for how to stop worrying, it can feel like you’ll be stuck with chronic worry forever. 

Sometimes, worry feels productive. Taking time to relax and stop thinking about what’s stressing you out can feel lazy — and even cause more worry! Even though it may seem like the easier path is to stay stressed, you’ll be happier in the long run if you take the time to learn how to stop worrying.

How worrying affects your body

One of the most insidious parts about worrying is the effect it has on our physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, over a third of Americans visited a doctor over a stress-related illness in 2018, and many illnesses may be perpetuated by stress. If this sounds like you, it’s time to learn how to stop worrying. 

Along with causing physical symptoms, worry and stress can also make it harder to recover from illness. Here are a few ways worry may be impacting your overall well-being. 

1. Excessive worry can make you physically ill

Physical signs can be the first sign that constant worrying is becoming a problem. Headaches, stomach aches, and shortness of breath can indicate that you’re experiencing excessive worry. 

Want to learn how to stop worrying? One important step is to recognize the common symptoms of chronic worry or anxiety:

  • Exhaustion no matter how many hours you sleep 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Trembling or shaky hands
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or other gastrointestinal problems
  • Sweating more than usual 
  • Feeling restless, tense, or paranoid

These symptoms can also serve as a sign to examine how you’re feeling. You may need to practice deep breathing and focus on relieving your worry. Ultimately, one of the first steps towards learning how to stop worrying is to identify these physical symptoms.

2. Worry can cause a stress response

Ongoing worry can quickly evolve into chronic stress. When you have a stress response, you may have a tough time identifying exactly what worrying thoughts got you there. 

Over time, repetitive negative thoughts can trigger other stress responses in your body. While it may seem like your mind is going a mile a minute, tracking your thoughts and the physical sensations in your body can help slow stress. 

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3. Worrying too much can affect your daily life

Worry begets worry, so it’s easy to start worrying about one or two bad things, only to end up worrying about even more areas of your life. 

When anxious thoughts become part of your everyday life, your stress can show up at work, with your family, in your finances, and even in your hobbies. In addition, feelings of stress are becoming more and more common in adults over the past few years. Learning how to stop worrying is more crucial than ever to maintain good mental health.

Over time, too much worry can impact your emotional resilience and make completing necessary tasks harder. Learning how to stop worrying can bring relief and happiness to your life. This can quickly reverse the effects of excessive stress and anxiety.

How can you stop worrying?

Chronic worry can quickly start to negatively impact your day-to-day life and overall mental health. Thankfully, with a little practice, you can make excessive worry a thing of the past. 

Here are our best strategies for how to stop worrying and finally start living:

  1. Mindfulness and meditation 
  2. Deep breathing 
  3. Practice self-compassion
  4. Do a body scan
  5. Share your fears with friends and family
  6. Practice gratitude
  7. Keep an emotions journal 
  8. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
  9. Focus on what you can control
  10. Exercise more often
  11. Take positive action
  12. Enlist professional help

This list could go on forever, but let’s take a deeper dive into our favorite methods for how to stop worrying, manage stress, and take back your life.

1. Stop worrying by practicing mindfulness and meditation

While worrying, you may have a hard time focusing on anything else. However, constant rumination on negative thoughts is a bad habit.

When you feel your concentration waning, sitting in a quiet room and clearing your mind can do wonders for your well-being. Mindfulness and meditation can take your focus away from negative thoughts, stop you from feeling anxious, and inspire a state of calm.

A guided meditation app can help clear your mind, refocus your thoughts, or distract from your worries. Over time, meditation can also help you get into a flow state, which allows you to focus on your priorities and knock tasks off your to-do list with ease. Learning to focus on what’s in front of you, instead of your worries, can truly change your life.

2. Stop worrying by practicing deep breathing

When we worry, we often focus on bad things that might happen in the future. Staying in the current moment can help relieve worries and negative thinking — plus reduce physical symptoms.

You may experience shortness of breath or chest pain when you start to worry. Practicing deep breathing can redirect your attention from your worries and help you become grounded in the present. 

Whether you’re having trouble sleeping or you feel a panic attack coming on, deep breathing is a quick and easy way to stop worrying. 

3. Stop worrying by doing a body scan

When you’re worrying, it’s natural to tighten your muscles. Over time, raised shoulders or a tight jaw can cause chronic muscle tension. The more you worry, the more tension you continuously carry in your body. If you feel constant tension, stiffness, or pain in your back and shoulders, it’s time to focus on how to stop worrying. 

In these moments, as you notice yourself feeling worried, take a deep breath and notice where you feel tension. Scanning your body can help you reconnect to the present, feel more grounded, and ultimately worry less.

Start at your toes and give dedicated attention to each part of your body up to your head. When you feel tension, focus on breathing into that discomfort and physically relaxing. Slowly release the tightness in your body, and before you know it, you’ll have discovered one great method for how to stop worrying instantly.

4. Stop worrying by sharing your fears with supportive friends and family

It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts as a chronic worrier, forgetting about family and friends without realizing it. Connecting with others is a powerful method to transform your emotional well-being, even when you feel like isolating.

Sharing the source of your stress, anxiety, or worry with a family member or friend can help you maintain perspective. Many times, our worries are irrational, but they don’t seem that way in our own minds.

Talking with supportive friends or family can offer a new view of the situation and be an effective way to stop worrying.


Stop worrying by focusing on what you’re grateful for

As we focus on one negative thought, it primes our brain to look for more. By contrast, looking for a silver lining can help train your brain to search for positives and interrupt the cycle of worry. This is one reason why a daily gratitude practice can be so helpful and even life-changing.

Having trouble finding something to be grateful for? Take a step back and look for what is interesting about the situation or funny. Engage your mind through curiosity and humor. This can quickly shift you into a better place and provide a needed break from the negative thoughts. You can even try to be curious about the way you worry. 

While it may take practice, learning to turn your negative thoughts around can be a great way to stop worrying.


Stop worrying by keeping a daily emotions journal

Chronic stress and anxiety happen when we don’t notice the first signs of worry and let it grow over time. Want to learn how to stop worrying? Checking in with yourself regularly is an important way to maintain your mental health and manage your anxiety.

By the time we’re in a worry cycle, we often feel disconnected from our emotions. Keeping a daily journal can help you track patterns and actively manage stress before your feelings spiral out of control.

As you practice journaling your emotions and sharing your thoughts, it becomes easier to identify when you’re starting to worry. Stopping worry early will ultimately help you feel better and stay focused on what matters most to you.


Stop worrying by maintaining a regular sleep schedule

Insomnia is a common side effect of chronic worry. When your mind is running wild, it can be tough to relax and get enough sleep. While you may feel like staying up will help you “solve” your worries, you’re often better off with a restorative night’s sleep.

Without sleep, minor worries can trigger a stress response that perpetuates for days or weeks in a row.  

Here’s how to stop worrying and finally get some sleep:

  • Do a quick meditation or mindfulness exercise before bed
  • Drink a cup of calming tea and read a book right before you go to sleep
  • Stop use of electronics at least an hour before bedtime (social media is shown to be linked to anxiety)
  • Use natural sleep aids such as lavender, melatonin, or essential oils
  • If you can’t get your mind to stop, take a moment to journal your thoughts (but give yourself a time limit so you still get to bed on time!)

If you try these strategies and still can’t get consistent, quality sleep, consider talking to your doctor. You could be suffering from insomnia, a common sleep disorder.

You deserve to stop worrying and take back control of your life, so never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. 


Distinguish between what you can control and what you can’t

Worrying is usually focused on a problem that needs to be controlled, putting our focus on “what if” rather than the present moment.

Many people falsely believe that spending more time worrying about a problem will make it easier to find a solution. 

If you’re preparing for an interview, you may be able to stop worrying and control the situation by researching the company or the interviewer. But, if you’re waiting for the results of an interview, worrying about the results won’t solve the problem because it’s out of your control.

If you’re struggling as a chronic worrier, ask yourself, “What can I control?” This can help you be more proactive when there is something you can do. Plus, this mindset can help release your worry when you discover there’s nothing you need to do about the situation. 

Want to learn how to stop worrying about things out of your control? When you notice there’s nothing you can or need to control right now, stop searching for a solution and let yourself relax.


Stop worrying, with regular exercise

Want to learn how to stop worrying? Focusing on your body with something like yoga can help ground you in the present moment. Even if your mind is racing with negative thoughts, going for a walk or run may help shift your attention.

Your physical health is an important buffer against constant worry as it is harder to break the cycle when you don't feel well or have low energy.

Listening to music also is a great relaxation technique and a powerful way to stop worry in its tracks. Hitting the gym with your headphones in can get your blood pumping and help you stop worrying instantly.

Even simple stretches can help reduce worry. Relieving tension in your neck, back, legs, and arms can lead to a flood of endorphins.


Stop worrying by taking positive action

Doing something you love is a great way to keep your stress at bay and leave behind your worry habit. Not only does taking positive action distract you from your worries, but it also allows you to expel extra energy.

Focusing on any activity that makes you feel good can quickly shift your state of mind and help you stop worrying instantly. Here are a few powerful positive actions you can take right now:

  • Take a walk with your dog, children, or while listening to your favorite podcast
  • Paint or work on a creative project — the craft aisle at your favorite store probably has lots of kits with all the supplies you need
  • Watch your favorite movie and indulge in a delicious snack
  • Blast your most loved music while doing the dishes or cleaning your home

Ultimately, participating in a hobby or an activity you truly enjoy is a powerful method for helping you learn how to stop worrying.


Stop worrying by enlisting professional help

Ultimately, you deserve to live a life you love, and endless worry can prevent you from fully thriving. Chronic conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder or depression are tough to address on your own.

When anxiety, stress, and worry become too much to handle alone, the best method for how to stop worrying is to seek professional help.  

From therapy to coaching, to mentoring, there are limitless ways to get the help you need. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, specifically, can be a great, life-changing tool. Remember to speak to a few different therapists, coaches, or counselors to help you find the right fit. 

Above all, prioritize your mental health. In time, with the right professionals on your team, you can finally stop worrying and start living.

Leave worry in the past

Are you ready to stop constantly worrying about “what if”? 

At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can take the action needed to conquer your anxiety, worry less, and live the life you deserve. If you’re ready to learn how to stop worrying once and for all, try these strategies today. And remember — you’re not alone.

Need help with worrying? Get in touch with a BetterUp coach and learn how to be the best version of yourself.

7 Tips to Relax and Enjoy Life More

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” – English proverb

No one ever came to the end of their life and stated they wished they’d worried more. Indeed, worry is probably the last thing one would want to hang onto, especially during the final moments of life. Yet far too many of us cling to worry like a well-worn blanket, afraid to let go. It’s not exactly comforting, but it is familiar. That doesn’t mean worry adds to quality of life. It’s frankly time to stop worrying so much and learn to enjoy life more. Here are some thoughts on how to do just that.

Determine the source of the worry, so you can do something about it.

Do vague thoughts plague you? Are you unable to pinpoint just what it is that makes you feel so anxious and out of sorts? Maybe it has a physical cause, something you can readily address. Perhaps what you feel is the result of accumulated stress, an overflow of powerful emotions that’s left you drained. Before you can rid yourself of worry, you need to take some time to figure out what’s causing it.

Take out a pen and paper and jot down whatever thoughts come into your head. For example, if you have a headache, write: “I’ve got a headache. I wonder if it’s anything serious.” This zeroes in on what you’re concerned about now, identifies it, and robs it of the power to continue to gnaw at you. Maybe finances cause you uneasiness. You can’t seem to get them out of your mind. Write: “I’m worried about making ends meet.” This both acknowledges the root of the worry and takes the anxiety from the realm of something’s not right to knowing just what it is.

Put some space in your life.

When we worry, we jumble everything together. Unlike the ingredients in a stew that naturally go together, however, a pile of worry does not result in a comfortable or satisfying meal. They’re too close, too disparate, too useless to be any good. This is when you need to put space between the various activities in your day. By adding brief pauses during your waking hours, you’re giving yourself time to reflect, to take a break to do something you like, to exercise, rehydrate, have a meal, socialize, daydream or just relax. It’s not necessary to go to elaborate lengths or to feel guilty that you’re robbing your employer, loved ones, family or friends by adding space to your life. The simple act of inserting space is very self-liberating and self-empowering. It reinforces the fact that you make the choices in your life and you reaffirm your commitment to living life wholeheartedly and well.

Ditch the small stuff.

The detritus of ruined dreams is rife with mounds of little problems, annoyances and petty grievances that don’t amount to anything worthwhile. All they’ve done is add to a mounting load of negativity, unhappiness and unrealized goals. The key to making room in your life to find the time, energy and motivation to pursue what matters most is to let go of the small stuff. It’s not worth your effort to agonize over every little thing. Besides, in a year’s time, you won’t remember, much less care, about those trivial details.

Put things in perspective.

How many times have you felt the crushing weight of worry on your shoulders? This heaviness literally drags you down, both physically and mentally. No wonder worry never seems to leave. It’s pushed and trampled you until you feel you can’t move. Maybe what’s happening also is that you’ve lost a sense of perspective. Instead of rationally and logically being able to separate what’s a legitimate concern from an amorphous worry is a lack of perspective. Think about how you approach a task. The best way to be successful in any endeavor is to have a goal, create a plan and get to work. You’re not deterred by obstacles, since you’re committed to seeing the effort through. You can see that what you do now will net results in the long run. That’s perspective, understanding that your input will equal the output. When it comes to separating the real from the unreal or unnecessary, envision the long view. Imagine how what you do today will affect your life six months or a year from now. Is it worth doing? If so, work on plans to get underway. If not, release this burden so you can focus more on what you find truly empowering and satisfying.

Give in to laughter.

Much has been written about the healing power of laughter. It’s true. When you laugh, you’re releasing feel-good endorphins that contribute to an overall well-being. Like vigorous physical exercise, which also releases endorphins, laughter helps smooth out rough edges, calm overwrought emotions and deliver a sense of peace, calm and contentedness.

If you’re not prone to belly laughs, that’s fine. Chuckling will do, along with smiling, crinkling your eyes, feeling the joy across your face. Let the laugh bubble up without censoring it. This is something you give yourself permission to do and it’s worth every second you’ve got a smile on your face or hear yourself laugh. Worry has no place in a space filled with laughter.

Engage with others.

Ruminating endlessly over what’s troubling you won’t do a thing to change the situation. Neither will stewing over problems and worries alone. What will make a difference is making an effort to be with others, socializing, talking over the issues or problems, participating in a mutually shared activity, even working on a project together. This serves as a distraction and allows your subconscious to put some distance between the worry and what you’re doing now. Besides taking a bite out of worry, you’ll feel better and take some pleasure in life.

Employ relaxation techniques.

Excessive worrying can lead to increased anxiety and stress, neither of which are good for the body. Make use of proven relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, listening to soothing music, yoga and tai chi, even walking in nature. The relaxation response triggered by relaxation techniques produces a physiological state of warmth and quiet alertness. When you start to relax, brain blood flow increases, shifting brain waves to a relaxed alpha rhythm. Relaxation techniques can help reduce the debilitating effects of stress and excessive worrying.

Read Online How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie - LitRes

This book is dedicated to the man who doesn't need it, Lowell Thomas

Copyright 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948 by Dale Carnegie

© 1984 by Donna Dale Carnegie and Dorothy Carnegie

© Translation. Potpourri LLC, 1998

© Design. LLC Potpourri, 2007


How this book was written – and why

In 1909 I was one of the unhappiest boys in New York. In order to somehow earn a living, I was engaged in the sale of trucks. I had no idea about their device, and I did not want to know this. I hated my job. I hated the cheap furnished room on West 56th Street that I had to live in while sharing shelter with cockroaches. I still remember: I had a whole bunch of ties hanging on the wall, and when I reached for one of them in the morning, cockroaches scattered from it in different directions. I was tormented by the need to eat in cheap restaurants, where cockroaches were also likely to be found.

Every evening I returned to my lonely room with a terrible headache - a headache of disappointment, worry, bitterness and protest. I could not come to terms with such an existence, because the dreams that I cherished in my distant student years turned into nightmares. Is this life? Is this the future I so fiercely sought? Is this really how my whole life will go - doing a job I despise, living with cockroaches, some scum - and no hope for a better future? I did not have enough free time to read, write books, as I dreamed of in my distant student years.

I understood very well that by quitting my hated job, I would not lose anything, but I would be able to gain a lot. I did not set myself the goal of earning billions, but I wanted to live, not to vegetate. In short, I have come to the Rubicon - the big decision that most young people face when they enter independent life. I made this decision, and it completely changed my future, making my subsequent life happy and prosperous so much that it exceeded all my most utopian expectations.

My decision was: I would quit the job I hate. I attended the State Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri, for four years and could make a living teaching night school. Then I will have enough time during the day to read, prepare for lectures, write novels and short stories. I wanted to "live to write and write to live."

What could I teach adults at night school? After analyzing my student experience, I realized that the skills of public speaking were more useful to me in my life and work than anything else I was taught in college. Why? Because they allowed me to deal with shyness and self-doubt, giving me courage and confidence in dealing with people. I also learned that management generally likes people who can stand up and speak their mind.

I decided to take a job teaching public speaking at Columbia and New York Universities, but both schools decided they could do without my help.

I was very upset then, but now I thank God that they did not accept me, because I started teaching at the Young Men's Christian Association evening schools, where I was able to achieve concrete results, and much faster. It was not an easy task! Adults didn't come to my classes to get credits or certificates. They attended courses for the sole purpose of solving their problems. They wanted to learn how to stand firmly on their feet and not be shy at a business meeting, not to faint from excitement. Salespeople wanted to be able to walk confidently into the office of the most recalcitrant customer, rather than roaming the length and breadth of the block before plucking up the courage to open the door. They wanted to develop calmness and confidence. They wanted to get ahead in business. They wanted to earn more money for their families. They paid for their education - and would immediately stop paying without seeing concrete results. And I was paid not a fixed salary, but a percentage of the profits, so my teaching had to be effective.

Now I realize that I worked in the most difficult conditions then, but that is why I gained invaluable experience. I needed to constantly interest my students. I was supposed to help them solve their problems. I had to make each lesson so exciting that they would want to come to the next one.

It was an interesting job. I liked her. I was amazed at how quickly my business people developed a sense of confidence and how quickly many of them received promotions and pay raises. The success of my studies exceeded the most optimistic expectations. Three semesters later, the school, which had initially refused to pay me five dollars a night, paid me thirty dollars a night as a percentage. At first, I only taught public speaking, but I soon realized that my students needed not only public speaking skills, but also the ability to win friends and influence people. I couldn't find a suitable textbook on personal relationships, so I wrote it myself. It cannot be said that it was written in the traditional sense of the word. He originated from based on the experiences of adults who have taken my courses. I called it How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Having written this textbook, as well as four other books that no one has heard of, purely for use in my courses, I did not at all hope that they would gain wide popularity - therefore, I can say that I am one of the most surprised modern authors.

Years passed and I realized that one of the main problems of my adult students was anxiety . Most of them were businessmen - managers, salesmen, engineers, accountants, a sort of cross-section of the entire business world, and many faced problems! On my courses there were also women - employees and housewives. Imagine, they had problems too! I realized that I needed a book to help overcome anxiety, and I tried to find it again. I went to the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue and 46th Street and, to my great surprise, found that the library only had twenty-two books in the Anxiety section. But in the "Worms" section, I found as many as eighty-five books. Almost nine times more books about worms than anxiety! Amazing, isn't it? Since anxiety is one of the major problems of mankind, it is logical to assume that every school and college should teach the course "How to Stop Worrying". However, even if such a course is taught somewhere in the world, I have never heard of it. Not surprisingly, in his book Coping With Anxiety, David Seabury said, “We enter the adult world completely unprepared for the challenges of life. You might as well ask a bookworm to dance in a ballet.”

Result? More than half of the beds in our clinics are occupied by patients with nervous and emotional disorders.

I looked through these twenty-two books on anxiety that I was able to find in the New York Public Library. Also, I bought every book on anxiety I could find. However, I was never able to find a book that could be used as a textbook for adult courses. Therefore, I decided to write such a manual myself.

I started preparing for this book many years ago. How? He studied the sayings of philosophers of all generations about anxiety. I read hundreds of biographies, from Confucius to Churchill. In addition, I have talked about this with many famous people from various walks of life, such as Jack Dempsey, General Omar Bradley, General Mark Clark, Henry Ford, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Dix. But that was only the beginning.

I have undertaken something far more important than reading and interviewing. For five years, I worked in the Anxiety Coping Lab that existed in our adult evening classes. As far as I know, it was the only laboratory of its kind in the whole world. That's all I did. We introduced students to a set of rules on how to stop worrying and invited them to apply these rules in their lives and then report back in class on their results. Some spoke of methods they had used in the past.

As a result, I can say that I have heard more reports on "How I Overcame Anxiety" than any other mortal. In addition, I have read 90,004 hundreds of mailed 90,005 prizes in our history courses on the same subject, which are now taught all over the world. Therefore, this book was not the work of a reclusive writer. It is also not an academic treatise on how to deal with anxiety in principle. I have tried to write an easy to read, concise, factual narrative about0004 how thousands of people were able to overcome anxiety . One thing I know for sure - this book is very useful. You can start tinkering with it.

"Science," said the famous French philosopher Valery, "is a collection of successful recipes." That is what you will find in this book - a set of successful, time-tested recipes for banishing anxiety from your life forever. I must warn you: you will not find anything new here, but much of what is described is not usually used in everyday life. However, nothing new is needed in this area. We all know enough to make our lives perfect. Everyone knows the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount. Our problem is not ignorance, but inaction. The purpose of this book is to recall, illustrate, guide, review, and proclaim many of the most ancient common truths, and then to give you a boost by making you apply them.

I guess you didn't open this book to find out how it was written. You need to act. Well, let's get started. Read the first and second parts first, and if after reading them you do not feel a new power in yourself and a surge of desire to end your anxiety and start enjoying life, then you can safely throw this book away. She doesn't suit you.

Dale Carnegie

Nine tips for getting the most out of this book

1. If you want to get the most out of this book, there is one prerequisite that is more important than any rules or procedures. Without this one fundamental element, thousands of learning rules will hardly help you. But with just this one gift, you can work miracles without needing any advice.

What is this magical condition? Here it is: a strong, irresistible desire to stop worrying and start living.

How to develop such an aspiration? Constantly remind yourself how important all these principles are to you. Draw a mental picture of how mastering these principles will help you live a richer and happier life. Say to yourself over and over again: “My peace of mind, my happiness, my health, and perhaps my wealth, ultimately depend on the ability to apply the well-known, long-standing truths set forth in this book.”

2. Skim through each chapter to get a general idea of ​​it. You may want to skip to the next chapter - don't do that unless you're reading for fun. If you took up this book in order to stop worrying and start living, go back and carefully reread each chapter . In the end, this is what will help you save time and achieve success.

3. While reading, stop often to think about what you read. Ask yourself how and when you personally can apply this or that advice. In this way, you will achieve much greater results than if you rush forward like a greyhound chasing a rabbit.

4. Have a red pencil, pen, or marker handy when reading. Mark each tip that you find helpful. When you come across an important section, underline each sentence or mark it with four stars. It's more fun to read and then it's easier to search for sections that interest you.

5. I know a woman who has been working as an assistant secretary in a large insurance company for fifteen years. Every month she reads all insurance contracts signed by their company. Yes, she reads the same contracts month after month, year after year. What for? Experience had taught her that in this way one could get an idea of ​​all the current affairs of the company.

It took me about two years to write a book on public speaking, but I have to re-read it periodically so as not to forget what I wrote. The speed at which we forget information is amazing.

So if you really want to benefit from this book, don't expect one quick read to be enough. Having carefully studied everything, you will have to refresh something in your memory every month. Therefore, always keep the book at hand and often look into it. Keep reminding yourself of the rich self-improvement opportunities you have yet to explore. Remember that the only way to make the use of these principles automatic is by constantly repeating and applying them. There is no other way.

6. Bernard Shaw once remarked: "If you just teach a person something, he will never learn anything." The show was right. Learning is an active process. We learn as we work. Therefore, if you want to master the techniques described in this book to perfection, you need to do something with them. Apply them whenever possible. Without this, they will instantly be forgotten. Only those techniques are remembered that are constantly used.

You may find it difficult to apply these tips consistently. Even as the author of this book, it is sometimes difficult for me to apply all the principles that I so passionately advocate. So, as you read this book, remember that you are not just looking for information. You are trying to develop new habits. You are even trying to start a new life. It takes time and daily practice.

Therefore, return to these lines more often. Consider this book as a guide to overcoming anxiety. When faced with a serious problem, do not panic. Do not act impulsively, as you used to do - this is wrong. It is better to refer to this book and reread the paragraphs that have been underlined. After that, apply the techniques described there in practice and see how they will work wonders for you.

7. Give each member of your family 25 cents each time they tell you that you are violating one of the principles in this book. They will ruin you!

8. Chapter 22 describes how Wall Street banker H. P. Howell and old Ben Franklin corrected their mistakes. Why not use the methods of Howell and Franklin to test how well you are applying the principles described in the book? By doing this, you will find:

First, that you are participating in an intriguing and highly rewarding learning process.

Secondly, that your ability to cope with anxiety and start living gradually grows and develops, like ivy growing around a wall.

9. Keep a diary in which you record your progress in using these principles. Be extremely precise. Include dates, names, and results. Such an account will inspire you to even greater feats. And how much fun you get when you flip through your diary one evening, many years later!

So, in order to get the most out of this book:

A. Form a strong, irresistible desire to master the techniques of dealing with anxiety.

B. Read each chapter twice before moving on to the next.

B. While reading, stop often to ask yourself if you can personally apply a technique.

D. Emphasize each important idea.

E. Reread this book every month.

F. Apply these principles whenever possible. Use this book as a reference to help you solve your everyday problems.

G. Turn the process of mastering these techniques into an exciting game. Tell your friends or family that you will give them 25 cents every time they catch you in violation of the described techniques.

H. Celebrate your progress every week. Ask yourself what mistakes have been made, what progress has been made, what lessons have you learned for the future.

I. Keep a journal and record when and how you applied each of the principles.

Part One

Basic Facts You Should Know About Anxiety

Chapter 1

Live for Today

In the spring of 1871, a young man accidentally picked up a book and read fourteen words that would change his future forever. He was a medical student, practiced at the main hospital in Montreal, and was terribly nervous before his final exams. Before him is a table of a number of problems - where to go to work, how to get your own practice, and finally, how to earn a living.

The fourteen words this student read in 1871 made him one of the most famous physicians of his generation. He organized the well-known Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He became the Queen's Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, the highest title a physician in the British Empire can be awarded. The King of England gave him the title of knight. After his death, two thick volumes of 1446 pages were published describing the history of his life.

His name is Sir William Osler. Here are the words he read in the spring of 1871, fourteen words from a book by Thomas Carlyle that helped him begin to live without worry:0004 Do not try to see what is hidden in the fog of the future; live today and do today's business.

Forty-two years later, on a warm spring evening, when the tulips were blooming on campus, this man, Sir William Osler, was speaking to Yale students. He told them that a man like him, who is a professor at four universities and who has written one of the most popular books in the world, is considered to have "a special mentality." Osler said that this is absolute nonsense: his close friends know that he has "the most mediocre abilities."

What then is the secret of his success? He defined it as "the ability to live for today." What did he mean? A few months before his speech to students, Sir William Osler crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a huge liner, the captain of which, standing on the bridge, could press one button - and that's it! - all compartments of the ship were separated from each other by partitions, forming watertight blocks. “Each of you,” Sir Osler told the students, “is an even more complex system than an ocean liner, and you have an even longer journey ahead of you. I urge you to learn how to manage this system in order to isolate yourself from everything at any moment and live for today in a closed compartment. This is the only way to ensure the safety of your “journey” through life. When climbing onto the "Captain's Bridge", make sure that at least the main partitions are in working order. By pressing the button, listen how the iron doors fence you off from the past - the dead yesterday. Press another button and the metal partitions will shut you off from the future - tomorrows not yet born. Now you are safe - for today! .. Shut off the past! Bury him. Fence off with iron doors from yesterdays, which illuminated the path to inglorious death for fools ... Even the strongest will stumble if they put the burden of the future and the burden of the past on their shoulders. Fence off the future as securely as the past… Your future is in today… There is no tomorrow. Deliverance comes today. Wasted efforts, nervous breakdowns and stress will haunt everyone who constantly worries about the future ... Close all doors firmly and learn to live for today.

Did Sir Osler mean by this that we should not prepare for tomorrow at all? No. In no case. But what he really meant was that the best way to prepare for tomorrow is to do today's work with all your enthusiasm and maximum effort. This is the only way to prepare yourself for the future.

Sir Osler encouraged Yale students to begin their day with the Lord's Prayer: "Give us our daily bread today."

Remember that the prayer speaks only of daily bread. We don't mention the stale salmon that we ate yesterday. There are no such words in the prayer: “Oh, Lord, this year there was almost no rain when the bread ripened, and what if the next year will be just as dry - then what will we eat next winter? Or suddenly I lose my job - for what then will I buy myself bread?

No, this prayer teaches us to ask only for our daily bread. After all, in theory, it is best to eat today's bread.

For many years the beggar philosopher roamed the rocky country, where people earned their bread with sweat and blood. Once he gathered a whole crowd of inhabitants on the mountain and delivered a speech. No speech in the history of mankind has been quoted more often than this one. It consists of nineteen words that resound through the ages: "So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of its own: enough for each day of its own care."

Many have rejected the words of Christ: "Do not think about tomorrow." They did not believe in them as a way to achieve perfection, considering them slightly mystical. "I am must take care of tomorrow for ,” these people say. “I must insure my family against possible troubles. I must put something aside for a rainy day. You need to prepare and think everything through before moving forward.”

Correct! Of course, you must do all of this. The truth is that these words of Christ, translated into our language over three hundred years ago, mean nothing today than they did during the reign of King James. Then the word "care" often meant also "anxiety." In the latest versions of the Bible, you can find a more accurate translation: "Do not worry about tomorrow. "

Absolutely. You need to think about the future, carefully plan and prepare everything, but do not worry about tomorrow.

During the Second World War, of course, our military leaders made plans for the future, but they did not allow themselves to worry about it. “I equipped my best men with the finest equipment and weapons,” said Admiral Ernest J. King, who led the US Navy during the war, “and gave them a perfectly reasonable task. That's all I could do."

“If the ship is sunk,” the admiral continued, “it will not be in my power to raise it. If it starts to sink, I can't stop it. I will be more useful if I solve tomorrow's problems, and not shed tears over yesterday's. Besides, if I let it take over, I won't last long."

In times of peace or war, the main difference between positive and negative thinking is this: positive thinking looks at causes and consequences and leads to a logical, constructive plan. Negative thinking often leads to nervous tension and breakdowns.

I had the honor of interviewing Arthur Hayes Salzberger, publisher (1935–1961) of one of the most famous newspapers in the world, The New York Times. Mr. Salzberger told me that when the World War was raging all over Europe, he was so depressed and so worried about the future that he could not sleep. Often, waking up in the middle of the night, he got up, took canvas and paints and, looking in the mirror, tried to paint his portrait. He practically did not know how to draw, but he still tried to depict something in order to somehow distract himself from restless thoughts. Mr. Salzberger told me that he could not overcome his anxiety until he adopted five words from the church hymn as his motto: "One step is enough for me."

Lead me, holy light...
Guide my steps:
I do not ask you to open before me
Transcendental distances;
Just one step is enough for me.

Around the same time, a young man in uniform somewhere in the heart of Europe was learning the same lesson. His name was Ted Benjermino and he was from Baltimore, Maryland. By unrest, he brought himself to a nervous breakdown of the first degree in combat conditions.

“In April 1945,” wrote Ted Benjermino, “I was so worried that I developed what the doctors call spasmodic mucosal colitis. This condition causes terrible pain. If the war had not ended, I am sure that I would not have escaped a real nervous breakdown.

I was completely exhausted. I served as a non-commissioned officer in the funeral squad of the 94th Infantry Division. My task was to register all those who died during the hostilities, went missing and were hospitalized. I also had to help dig up the bodies of my soldiers and those of the enemy, hastily buried in shallow graves during the battle. I also had to collect the personal belongings of these soldiers and see to it that they were sent to the families of the dead, for whom they would be dear. I was constantly afraid that we would make some terrible mistake by mixing up names or addresses. I was afraid if I could handle it all. I was afraid that I would not have to take my own child in my arms - a sixteen-month-old son who was born when I had already gone to the front and whom I had never seen. I was so worried and worried that I lost thirty-four pounds and was on the verge of insanity. Looking at my hands, I saw only bones covered in leather. I was horrified at the thought that I would return home a moral and physical cripple. I fell on my back and sobbed like a child. I was so worked up that as soon as I was alone, tears involuntarily began to roll from my eyes. Shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, there came a period when I sobbed so often that I no longer hoped to regain my human form.

I ended up in a military hospital. The doctor gave me advice that changed my life forever. After carefully examining me, he said that my illness had a nervous basis. “Ted,” he told me, “I want you to imagine your life as an hourglass. You know that there are thousands of grains of sand at the top of the clock. All of them slowly and evenly pass through a narrow jumper. The grains of sand pass one at a time, and neither you nor I can do anything to speed them up, unless, of course, we want to damage the clock. You, me and all others are like this clock. When we get up in the morning, we know that we have hundreds of things to do in a day, but if we don’t do them sequentially, one after another, like grains of sand flowing through a bridge in a clock, we are doomed to a nervous and physical breakdown.”

I have been using this technique since that memorable day when the army doctor told me about it. “One grain at a time… doing one thing after another.” This advice saved my mental and physical health during the war. He helps me a lot in my current job as head of public relations and advertising for Adcrafters Printing and Offset, Inc. In business, I faced the same problems as in the war - you have to do several things at the same time, and time is running out. Our shares have fallen in price. We had to adjust to new ways of working, issue new stocks, constantly changing address, closing and reopening offices, and so on. Instead of being terribly nervous and freaking out with worry, I kept the military doctor's advice in mind. “One grain at a time… doing one thing after another.” Repeating these words to myself over and over again, I acted much more efficiently and did my job without the haste and confusion that almost killed me in the war.

Here is one of the most striking comments on the modern way of life - almost half of all hospital beds are occupied by patients with nervous or mental disorders, that is, people who could not bear the burden of the past and the fear of the future. However, most of them could well have avoided the hospital and lived a happy and peaceful life if they had listened to the words of Christ: "Do not worry about tomorrow" or the words of Sir Osler: "Live for today."

At this very second you and I are standing at the intersection of two eternities: the vast past, which lasted forever, and the future, which will break into our lives as soon as the last second of the present ends. But we cannot live in any of these "eternities" - even for a fraction of a second. In trying to do this, we harm our mind and body. So let's try to live where we can - in the present: from dawn to dusk. “Everyone can carry his load, however heavy, until nightfall,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. “Everyone can carry their burden, no matter how difficult it may be, until the night comes. Everyone can live easily, carefree, with love and joy until the sun goes down. This is what our life is about."

Yes, this is all that is required of us in life. However, Mrs. Shields of Saginaw, Michigan, reached the point of extreme desperation and was practically on the verge of suicide before she learned to live from dawn to dusk. “I lost my husband in 1937,” Mrs. Shields told me her story. - I was terribly depressed, besides, I was left with virtually no means of subsistence. I wrote to my former boss, Mr. Leon Roach of the Roach-Fowler Company in Kansas City, and got my old job back. I used to make a living selling books to rural and urban schools. I sold my car two years before when my husband got sick. But I managed to scrape together some pennies to buy an old car on installments and get back into selling books.

I thought that the constant traveling would help me distract myself. But driving alone, eating alone, living alone was even harder for me. In addition, some areas were not profitable, and it was very difficult for me to pay off the loan for the car, although it was miserable.

In the spring of 1938, I was working near Versailles, Missouri. The schools there were very poor and the roads were bad. I was so lonely and depressed that at some point I even thought about suicide. I felt like I would never succeed again. I had no purpose in life, nothing to live for. I was afraid to wake up in the morning and face the harsh reality. I was afraid of absolutely everything: that I would not be able to pay off the loan for the car, pay the bill for the rented room, or I would have nothing to eat and I would starve. It seemed to me that my health was deteriorating, and I would not have money to pay the doctor. I did not commit suicide just because I knew what a blow it would be for my sister, who loved me very much, and besides, I did not have money to pay for my funeral.

How to stop winding yourself up: 10 recommendations from Dale Carnegie's book

Contents of the article

Excitement and anxiety accompany us everywhere: at home and at work, on the bus and in the store, in line and in traffic jams. There is practically no person who does not face excitement. But some people can pull themselves together and survive an unpleasant moment, while others begin to wind themselves up even more, turning simple anxiety into chronic stress. We've summarized the tips from psychologist Dale Carnegie in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living? to change your perspective and reduce stress.

Tip 1. Distinguish between the past and the present

To stop overthinking yourself and worrying about problems that may happen in the future, you need to live in the present. Dale Carnegie proposes to mentally install an "iron curtain" that will delimit the past and the future, preventing a person from regretting old mistakes once again or thinking about tomorrow's difficulties.

Advice 2: Answer the Questions

At the height of your panic attack, ask yourself three questions from Willis Carrier's magical formula from Dale Carnegie's book.

  1. What is the worst thing that can happen in this situation?
  2. How can this problem be solved?
  3. Will I be able to cope with these difficulties?

If you honestly answer these questions for yourself, you will understand that even in the worst scenario, you will be able to cope with troubles.

Advice 3. Think about the harmful effects of stress

In times of stress, you must constantly be aware of the harm that anxiety can do to your body. The author of the book cites the sad fact that business people who live in chronic stress die early. Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself and stay calm.

Tip 4. Think positively

Cheerful thoughts can reduce anxiety and calm down quickly. To do this, you need to develop positive thinking in yourself, try to maintain a good mood and look at life with a smile.

Advice 5. Start acting

When a person is inactive, bad thoughts begin to creep into his head. The best way to get rid of them is to keep yourself busy. So the brain will switch to action, and psychological stress will decrease.

Tip 6. Get rid of the habit of being nervous

Surely you have met people who, for any reason, begin to worry. For them, anxiety for no reason has already become a habit, which is still better to get rid of. To do this is simple - create a new useful habit - do not worry about trifles.

Advice 7. Don't worry about what has already happened

Many people continue to reproach themselves for past mistakes that cannot be corrected.

Learn more