Don’t Worry. Be Happy

The last five years have been tough on mental health. It seems the predominant diagnosis at my agency these days is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which means that you worry about basically everything.

My mother was a champion worrier. She worried about the weather especially, either blizzard or tornado. Both my children have major anxiety and so do I. I like to think that worriers live longer than non-worriers. It is probably wishful thinking. Last night, I was frantic for Husband to get home from Bismarck in the snow and the wind. He made it safely, but the images of disaster were difficult to deal with. I focused on house cleaning. That helped.

How has your worry increased lately? How do you manage your anxiety? Who were the champion worriers in your family?

38 thoughts on “Don’t Worry. Be Happy”

  1. I try to keep my worrying to a minimum, and then I only worry about things over which I have some control. EX: I don’t worry much about politics, or wars or strife or famine or natural disasters in other parts of the world because other than donating money to a cause that may or may not help someone in need or in crisis, I really can’t change things.

    My chief stressors the past five years have been book-related. Even though I’m self-published, I feel a self-imposed obligation to keep on writing and publishing as fast as I can because enough people have enjoyed my books and shown interest in reading the next one that I’m always trying to “get it done” ASAP. But then my internal editor kicks in and says “It’s not even close to good enough so keep revising!” so I keep grinding away.

    Every once in a while I step back and tell myself, “If you never published another book or wrote another word, no one would really notice or care.” That eases the stress a little. However, to paraphrase some great writer whose name escapes me, “I love ‘having written.” Holding up the print copy of my latest work brings immeasurable satisfaction.

    (But I really do want world peace!)

    I think that was a Sandra Bullock line in “Miss Congeniality.” 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  2. One of my favorite quotes: Worrying is just praying for things you don’t want to happen”. I used to think I wasn’t a worrier like my mom was, but have been proven wrong on that count a number of times.

    I remember giving a sister-in-law the book The Worrier’s Companion thinking she needed it more than I – I should have read it – here’s some of the summary:
    “Worrywarts are characterized by chronic anxiety, enslavement to out-of-control thoughts, and haranguing themselves to a degree that triggers FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Smart worriers take control of their worry by creating a time and place to do the work of worry, objectively studying their behavior to better understand how to worry effectively, and practicing flexible thinking rather than rut thinking. Smart worriers look for solutions, including partial solutions, and accept what can’t be changed, challenge their worries, practice making under-reactive statements that defuse an…”
    My library system doesn’t seem to have it, and I could really use it now! Renee or Jacque, have you ever run into this book?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a couple of favorite quotes about worrying, as well. These two are mine:
      “Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.” I try not to do it. The second one is this:

      “No amount of regret can change the past, and no amount of worry can change the future.”

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I don’t think I worry as much as I used to. That said, I’m conscious about how to remain safe and I do get anxious in unfamiliar and social situations. I was quite anxious yesterday as the predicted storm was expected to be severe. We had a tornado here a few years ago and once you’ve been through a tornado, storms tend to set off your anxiety. I had the luxury of being home yesterday and was able to gather all my camp and emergency supplies, put my important documents in their container in the basement, get water ready in case of power outages, charge up my phone and iPad, and take the grill and lp cylinder off the deck for the winter. Due to the high winds predicted, I also took the bird feeder off the deck and put it in the garage. I just put it back this morning and the birds are hungry! I almost lost a tarp that covers the table for the grill but it managed to stay on the deck.

    Today’s world is a very uncertain place. We all live with that uncertainty and it does cause anxiety for all of us. Patience, understanding and compassion with each other is so important and often lacking. I have my heart on my sleeve, as usual, and rely on support from my brother and my friends. I’m so grateful to those around me who have offered friendship, love and support in this crazy world.

    I’m safe and warm, I’m so grateful, I’m so blessed, I’m so fortunate. That’s what helps with my anxiety. I’m able to focus on what’s happening right here, right now. The fire in the fireplace, this quiet room, a warm dog next to me, a cup of hot coffee. Anxiety managed.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “What, me worry?”
    An issue of Mad Magazine figured in a dream I had last night. I found myself looking through a window and seeing Mad on a kitchen table. I wanted it as a collector’s item. I entered the home without an invitation and was met by an electrician I’d met on jobsites. I asked for the magazine. “Sure” and he brought out dozens of other mags and Sunday editions of the New York Times. “No! Not these. The Mad #10 is right here on the table.” But search as I might, it was gone.
    I began to suspect that I dreamt that I had seen it.
    My dream now became a dream within a dream where I thought I’d seen an assault with the victim thrown into a ditch by three men but when the police arrived nothing could be found of the body, assailants or the motel out of which I’d seen them drag the person. End.
    Maybe I should worry about remembering my dreams in detail.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dreams are fascinating, unfortunately the vast majority of mine evaporate within minutes of waking up. Or maybe it isn’t so unfortunate? That said, there were a couple recurring dreams from my childhood, nightmares, really, that have stayed with me. Despite the fact I was only five or six years old at the time, I knew even then that anxiety, or perhaps more accurately, fear, triggered them. Many years later, when I first saw the painting the Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, I wondered if he had similar childhood dreams.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I rarely remembered dreams until taking melatonin. Now I take it nightly for sleeping and anticipating dreams. I have taken to having a note book at bedside. Maybe I’ll dream something worthy of a screen play!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. You can fix that with a pen and paper are used to go to a shrink who wanted me to write down my dreams and the only way I could do it was to keep the pen and paper by the bed so when I woke up I took five minutes to write it down it seemed like gibberish but when I read it back to her she was able to do some very cool dream analytics with it

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I do the writing down. It maybe that I welcome sleep too much. What I wrote to the Trail today excluded a lot of I remember. It’s perhaps odd but I enjoy my dreams. No worry.

          Liked by 3 people

      3. I take a medication that is supposed to help with sleep, among other things, and has a reputation for causing weird dreams. My theory is that if you’ve had trouble sleeping for awhile, and you start to have improved sleep, your brain comes up with a lot of strange images that it’s been unable to process while you were not sleeping well. It’s cleaning house.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Rise and Shine after lunch, Baboons,

    I have a wild couple of days with little time to poke my head in here–crazy busy here with end of the year medical appointments and work.

    I am worrying about all of it today.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am in denial about my worry most of the time but my history of ulcers tells me that I’m not as cool about it as I think I am when I was driving for shipped and shopping at target they had time deadlines that the product needed to be delivered to the customer by and I could feel the anxiety kicking in if I was running late it was a real eye-opener for me I didn’t realize that I was such a head case but it let me do the conclusion that I have a choice of putting myself in that kind of situation or not

    I’m working for two companies right now Uber eats and GrubHub Uber eats is positive-based culture and GrubHub is negative-based culture GrubHub pays better but penalize you if you don’t do it right Uber eats is so happy to have you that they praise you for everything that you do it’s very interesting how all the different philosophies affect you

    Liked by 4 people

  7. When I find myself worrying I act and do some thing to deal with it kind of like your cleaning I guess Renee you can only do so much and I do all that I can and then just deal with it sometimes it’s OK sometimes it sucks but that’s all you can do

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Kids-
    Crazy night around here; hope everyone is OK. BiR, my sister had the same thing happen with a glass table top.
    Crazy stuff.

    Just some branches down at our place.

    I saw two trampolines folded in half and jammed against a tree. I saw a home with steel roofing peeled off and hanging back over the house.
    And a lot of trees.
    I’m hoping to sleep better tonight.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I worry more now than I used too. I even got some ‘situational anxiety’ meds a year couple years ago. It was just sort of ‘Everything!’. Covid, politics, classes… and I got tired of the knot in my stomach.
    And for whatever reason, I feel like I’m getting more knots than I used too. The weather last night gave me knots. That battle between head and heart is tough.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I think I was less of a worrier when I didn’t own a home. I had a couple of bad years in the 90’s when I came home to find that the boiler had failed, or someone had broken in, or tried to. Since then, I always have some anxiety when there are storms, or the weather turns bitterly cold, or I have been away for longer than usual and just feel that perhaps something has gone wrong in my absence.

    One thing that always troubles me is that when there is news coverage of some disaster, like the recent one in Kentucky, they’ll interview someone whose home has been destroyed and then say that the family did not have insurance. And I always wonder HOW people can go without insurance and not worry every day that there’s going to be a fire or a tornado or an earthquake or some awful thing. I would never be able to sleep at all without homeowner’s insurance.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And yet, I’d be willing to bet that most of use at some point rented and didn’t have renter’s insurance. I know I did. Of course, I had less to lose then, but it would have been as devastating, I think. Much of what is insured can’t really be replaced.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Guess I got lucky. Didn’t have that kind of insurance until I bought my current house in 1979, and most likely wouldn’t have if it wasn’t included in my mortgage requirements back then. Now, of course I do. I have more sense.

          Liked by 2 people

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