Yuugi's Placid Retreat


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Material Concerning Health

For my depressed, anxious, eating- and sleeping-disordered friends...of whom there seem to be a lot...


There are several types of worry.

All of which cause misery, some more dire than others.

But fundamentally, it's all the same.

The solutions are so simple it's disgusting.

If the problem is big and complicated, shouldn't there be an equally big and complicated solution?

It makes sense, but the truth is, it's all simple.

Which may make it even more difficult.

Okay - here's how to take care of a practical worry...

1) Define precisely what the worry is
2) Analyze the problem for workable solutions
3) Implement your decision
4) Accept the problem as finished


A lot of times we find ourselves stewing over something. Sit down and define exactly what it is that's bothering you. Write it down. Even if it's on a paper napkin, write it down. Look at it. By defining it you narrow your focus. Don't add all the "and another thing" thoughts. Just focus on the problem. For example. You have a test tomorrow. The fact that it's also typhoon season and you may be flooded out, and you might get beat up on your way to school, and the crops were bad last winter and the price of brocolli has skyrocketed, are moot at this point. Focus on the test.

2) Analyze the problem for workable solutions. Don't say, "Oh migod, if I flunk this test, my old man is going to be all over me like a short overcoat" or "I'll never get into M.I.T." or whatever. What do you have to do to fix the problem that you wrote down? Hmmmm - perhaps study?

3) Then implement your decision. Study.

4) Stop worrying. If you've done everything you can do, let it rest. Easier said than done.

Sometimes worry seeps into a different level, where it becomes a physical thing and you find eating and sleeping difficult. Then you have to take a two-pronged approach. Solve the real problem and deal with the symptoms. I've dealt with eating sleeping disorders elsewhere, so peruse that if you haven't already.

Sometimes, that level of worry has been so much a part of your life for so long that you think it's actually become your personality. It hasn't. Not really.

Regardless of how complicated it seems, and how long it's gone on, even if you've developed obsessive or obsessive-compulsive disorder, the solution is still the same.

For each problem, find out what the real thing that's worrying you is. Maybe you are worried about something nebulous-war for example.

Step 1: "What if there's a war?" Hmmm, there are always wars. Okay - define it more closely. "What if there's a war and I get drafted and have to go fight in it?"

Step 2: Analyze it.

Okay, what if there is? What can I do about it? Answer: nothing, and certainly nothing now.

What's the likelihood of that happening? Well, we've been involved in a number of wars in the last hundred years. But, the army is now structured to work efficiently with the smallest amount of manpower possible and they work off a volunteer military. In one hundred years, there have been only four wars that used a draft system of induction, and the last ended in 1972, over thirty years ago and it was a debacle for the government. Unlikely to happen again soon. What's the chances? Maybe ten percent that between now and the time you're too old to draft there'll be a conflict in which you would be likely to be drafted. Plus, they don't take everyone, so you might be eliminated on the basis of not meeting their standards. Plus, you might be in college and exempt, or a thousand other things. Each layer of reasoning brings your chances down further. Maybe a three percent chance?

Okay. How much time are you going to spend worrying about something that has only a three-percent chance of occurring? Wouldn't you feel stupid if you wasted your time worrying about it and then it didn't happen?