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Worry – Nerdful Mind #53

January 17, 2021 by Simon Mannes

What do you worry about?

Do you worry about losing your health, or your job? Do you worry what others think of you?

Worry is a useless emotion.

How did that sentence make you feel?

Worrying is always directed at an unconcrete bad thing happening in an indefinite future. And unlike fear, worrying doesn't have the benefit of warning you of a concrete immediate danger.

It gives us negative feelings. It makes us feel bad and makes our thoughts wander to an indefinite future. If we worry about something, that doesn't help us improve the situation.

Worrying about your health? Talk to your doctor and listen to scientific advice. Sleep well, eat healthy, and get enough exercise. Worries about your job? Take that energy you use for worrying and improve your skills. Practice writing or giving presentations or whatever is important for your profession. Learn something valuable. Worrying about your relationship? Worries don't help you be kinder or more compassionate. Practice kindness and learn about conflict-free communication.

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Use worries as an indicator that something is important to you. Then let them go and improve the situation.

Special thanks to “Worry and Guilt: The Useless Emotions” by Jeffrey S. Nevid for inspiring this issue.

Reading Recommendations

How to Do the Thing You're Avoiding

“Most of us have something on our task list we’re avoiding. Or a project we’ve been putting off. Think for a moment: what’s the task or project you’ve been avoiding lately? Some possibilities: that report you don’t want to write, your book or blog you’ve been meaning to write, the business you’ve...”

Eye Tracking Evidence Shows that Social Anxiety Changes the Picture

“Social anxiety involves worry or fear that you will be judged, embarrassed, or humiliated in social situations and often leads to people avoiding or feeling”

What I've Learned in 45 Years in the Software Industry

“Looking back on four decades in the software industry, I’m struck by how much has changed. I started my career with punch cards and I am ending in the era of cloud computing. Despite all this change, many principles that have helped me throughout my career haven’t changed and continue to be relevant. As I step away from the keyboard, I want to share six ideas I’ve learned from my career as a software engineer. 1. Beware of the Curse of Knowledge...”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Start at the top of your head and gently scan down towards your toes. Don’t try to change anything in your body while scanning. Only notice.

You can do this exercise every time you take a quick break.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: If you found an article you think others might like, and that fits this newsletter, I’d love it if you write me an email. Just reply!

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