How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is actually a fun read. Even though generally books of this genre make for a slow read, wherein you have to process and digest every sentence to extract its maximum benefit. This book is full of very interesting stories of stress and worry management. The stories motivate and are specific examples of various tactics that you can deploy to prevent anxiety and stop worrying. Another interesting read on enjoying life is the book Stumbling on Happiness.
An entire chapter is about how to keep from worrying about insomnia. Insomnia is very real and a can byproduct of stress and worry. It ruins your day and controls your waking thoughts. Before you realize it, it has taken control of your mind and you spend countless productive hours wondering how to deal with it. It saps all your mental and physical energy.
In this book, a simple story of a lawyer, afflicted with insomnia, changes your perspective. Instead of viewing insomnia as a major problem you see in it an opportunity to add more hours to your workday.
The lawyer, who would use his sleepless nights to catch up on his reading. He would awaken at 5:00 AM and begin dictating his letters. In this manner, he shot ahead of his colleagues and competitors as he was more productive. He effectively utilized a sleeping problem and refused to let it ruin his life.
Not complaining or dwelling on his insomnia, improved his lot in life though there must have been days when it must have taken a toll on him and his health. Basically, he refused to let insomnia control his life and wreak destruction in his daily routine functioning.
If you are a business owner or leader you will really resonate with the multiple step processes outlined in the book. These 4 questions lead to mental stress and worry management for specific situations:
The answer to these questions will reveal the attainability of your goal or throw up the worst-case scenario if your desired outcome is not achieved. It helps you control your environment and mental state and prepare yourself mentally for gracefully handling any outcome.
Tim Ferriss, the popular entrepreneur, author and podcaster, has a strategy that he deploys to combat worry. He goes on a diet of only rice and beans for a few days at a time to prepare and precondition himself to answer the question “Is this the condition I so fear?”. More can be found in his book The 4 Hour Work Week.
The entire premise of posing and answering all the 4 questions yourself enables you to see the worst outcome and to contemplate if this worst is the end of the world for you or just a small setback in the larger picture of life. It urges you to overcome worry and deal with the stress as just a minor hiccup. Most times it is worry and fear which is worse than the actual chain of events which take place. The Ice Ball Theory which can be found in the book Winning Through Intimidation is another similar strategy for mental stress management.
As you read through the book, it will be clear that working more is a major solution to stop worrying. When you are super productive and accomplish things, your mindset changes. Knowing that you have put out your best effort calms you down, clears your mind and you should be able to rest more easily.
Even more specifically, procrastination leads to panic attacks and anxiety, while work done well and in time, soothes you. Your mind and psyche, both, rest easier. If unable to actually finish tasks, writing them down can also help get them off your mind. A great book on building and managing checklists is The Checklist Manifesto.
Worry is useless. Worry cannot solve your problems. Look at situations and problems in a different way. Search, apply and deploy your inner resources to arrive at solutions and mitigate your worries and concerns. This book will show you how. A comparable book to this one that is highly recommended is Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.