This is why you can’t stop worrying.

Let me ask you something.

Would you agree that life is better without worrying all the time?

Yes?

Good, then stop worrying.

Just stop it.

Cool huh!

What?

You can’t?

I know.

I know it seems that way, for sure.

And I know why you keep doing it, even if you somehow understand that it’s not really serving you.

One: it’s an automated process, a self-activating and self-sustaining process.

You can sit on the couch without a worry in the world, having tea, when BANG! a worrying idea arises.

Following those ideas, those spooky mental suggestions, is also a habit, so you’re doubly fucked.

Two: you really, genuinely believe it’s helpful.

You probably even believe it’s not just useful, but also necessary.

That worrying is the best way to solve problems, that endless rumination results in many good answers and solutions.

But it doesn’t.

It closes you off dramatically from a much larger source of ideas and answers and insights.

People NEVER create brilliant solutions from worrying.

Three: if the things you worry about don’t happen, to a brain that is wired for survival and habits it looks like worrying was a really helpful strategy.

It’s a false cause-effect situation, but the brain will probably keep doing it and even find more evidence for its success.

Four (and this is a really interesting one): without knowing it, probably without ever having reflected on it, you use worrying as a form of superstition.

As if worrying satisfies the Gods of Disaster who are always watching you, waiting for you to slip up and stop taking life seriously for a second, so they can fuck you up.

As if you can’t afford to just feel good.

In a way, worrying is a really common addiction: it SEEMS to be a solution for feeling bad right now, it PRETENDS to be helpful, but it only gets you in more trouble, which just makes you worry more.

Worrying seems justified and unavoidable, but it’s mostly an unhealthy and unhelpful form of distraction.

It’s like bringing in the dark when what you need is more light.

You see that?

Good.

And now you want me to tell you what to do about it?

I don’t have a solution.

But don’t be disappointed.

It only means there’s no real problem.

(Photo by @priscilladupreez, for Unsplash)