How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie [Book Summary]

by Nick

How to stop worrying and start living ─ this is a classic guide to self-development that will explain to you why worrying is harmful and what you can do about it.

Really applicable techniques and techniques are supported by an abundance of examples and entertaining cases from life. How to stop worrying and start living will help you stop worrying today.

Dale Carnegie is a typical author of self-development books. His 1936 bestselling book, How to Make Friends and Influence People, is still popular, with a total sold-out run of 15 million copies. He wrote How to stop worrying and start living because he felt like “one of the most miserable guys in New York,” he worried too much and wanted to figure out how to stop worrying.

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Stressful Work Can Be Dangerous: Excessive Anxiety Affects Health

Everyone is worried. But few of us understand how destructive it is for our health: excessive anxiety can lead to real illness.

Plato also knew that the body and mind are closely related to each other. Well-known therapists, the Mayo brothers once said that half of the beds in our hospitals are occupied by people suffering from disappointment, anxiety, anxiety, and despair.

For example, a serious illness such as arthritis can be caused by anxiety.

Two situations that lead to arthritis are related to stress: a marriage breakdown and financial problems. Clinical cases have also been documented proving that anxiety increases the risk of psychosis and diabetes. Obviously, worrying is bad for your health!

Unfortunately, causes for concern are found everywhere, and there are especially many at work. Strenuous activity causes more concern than more measured work.

High-stress levels can cause heart disease. Studies show that more than a third of businessmen suffer from heart disease, stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure; and 20 times more doctors than farmers die from heart failure.

This means that if your work is stressful if you are worried, you need to find a way to deal with anxiety. Otherwise, you will lead to an ulcer or something worse.

The Summary you might like: Quiet

Doubts Are Troubling: Gather Facts and Solve a Problem

How would you feel if you were told tonight that they would put you in a dungeon tomorrow morning? Would you worry? Maybe. But you could do something to stop worrying.

“Uncertainty is the main cause of concern,” says ─ Dean of Columbia University Herbert I. Hawks. He also believes that people in anxiety are rarely able to analyze the situation.

The scientist suggested that any anxiety can be reduced by applying a three-step analysis.

It was he who was used in 1942 by Galen Lichfield in Shanghai occupied by the Japanese. Lichfield was told that the Japanese admiral found out that he had hidden some Chinese assets from the Japanese, and that on Monday he would be thrown into the dungeon of the Japanese secret police. He found out about this Sunday and immediately wondered what to do.

He decided to act in three stages.

Firstly, you need to understand why you are worried. Lichfield sat down at a typewriter and typed out the reason for his concern – he was afraid that he would be tortured to death in the morning.

Secondly, it is necessary to analyze the solutions. Lichfield printed the headline: “What can I do?” And below gave a list of options: to run, to justify oneself or to behave as if nothing had happened.

Thirdly, make a decision and follow it. Lichfield decided to go to work and behave as usual.

Probably, by the morning, the Japanese admiral calmed down, because when he met, he only looked angrily at Lichfield.

As you can see, a careful analysis of your problems can even save your life.

When You Understand How You Will Solve Your Problems, Act and Do Not Look Back

Have you ever made an important decision and then changed it? This is very typical: we constantly wonder if we did the right thing, and if we have time to try a different path.

Although this approach is common, trying to deal with anxiety is also very dangerous.

Of course, when choosing a solution to your concern, you should start by analyzing the facts. But when the analysis is completed, and the mode of action is selected, you do not need to return to the stage of analysis.

Remember that you have already made a decision. Therefore, put it into practice and drive away all doubts about the right choice. Do not waste time hesitating, re-examining the issue and thinking about the path traveled. Even a slight uncertainty about one’s rightness can cause a chain reaction of doubts that destroy all the work you have done to combat anxiety.

When choosing a solution to a problem, stick to it without hesitation. Otherwise, you will again be at the very beginning of the process.

Live for today: forget about yesterday and tomorrow

Have you ever tossed and turned all night, pondering something that happened in the past or may happen in the future? If so, you are not alone.

Most people do that. But why?

Worrying about the past or the future is futile. The absurdity of this lesson was well described by Stephen Leacock. The child says about himself: “When I become a big boy.”

When he becomes a big boy, he declares: “When I grow up.” As an adult, he says, “When I get married.” Having married, he thinks: “When I retire.” When he retires, he looks around and feels only a cold wind, realizing that he has missed everything, and you can’t turn back the lost.

To avoid such a sad fate, live only in the present.

Like the watertight compartments of the ship, get the “impenetrable compartments” of your day, limiting your attention to the present day and protecting you from unnecessary thoughts about the past and assumptions about the future. Follow a simple rule: everything that happened in the past and everything that threatens to happen in the future should not penetrate into the present.

Of course, you can and should plan and prepare for the future, but there is no point in worrying about it. The best way to prepare for the future, to do everything possible in the present in work and personal life.

Here is an example illustrating the benefits of this tip. Close to suicide from grief and loneliness, the widow once read an article in a newspaper and came across such words: “For a sage, every day is a new life.” This phrase inspired her so much ─ that she began to repeat it every morning and, in the end, found peace and happiness.

Yesterday died, and tomorrow has not yet been born, so do not worry about them. Instead, focus on what you can do today.

Faced with a problem, accept the worst-case scenario and try to correct the consequences

When Earl P. Haney was diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer, his prospects were worse. Doctors advised him to rest and monitor his diet but warned that he was likely to die soon anyway. And then Haney did something surprising: he resigned himself to his fate.

This simple solution is the foundation of a “magical” three-step approach to dealing with anxiety.

If something worries you, ask yourself: “What is the worst that can happen to me?” Imagine the worst-case scenario. Will you lose your job? Are you going to jail? Will kill? Haney was sure that he was waiting for a slow, painful death.

The next step is to accept the worst-case scenario. Imagine for a moment that the worst will happen. Your worst-case scenario is probably not that bad, and you can even benefit from it. If, for example, you lose your job, you can always find a new one. By accepting the worst-case scenario, you will most likely feel calmer.

The worst-case scenario for Haney was really terrible. But he accepted it and prepared for the worst; he even bought a coffin so that his body could be transported to a family cemetery in Nebraska.

Do your best to improve the worst-case scenario. Haney decided that if he all died early, he should take advantage of the situation to the maximum. Despite the warnings of doctors, he went on a trip around the world (with a coffin in tow!). He drank cocktails and ate suspicious local food; survived the monsoons and typhoons; he sang, danced and made friends. When he returned home, there was no trace of the ulcer. He quickly sold the coffin to a funeral home and was never sick again.

Do Not Waste Your Energy on Hopeless Deeds and Grievances: Set a Limit After Which You Stop Worrying

Most people have a bad habit of being annoyed and tense about any negative event in life, instead of just leaving them behind and moving on. Pointless worry allows our misfortunes to charge huge penalties for our happiness.

How can you avoid anxiety about failures? Curious tactics are used by exchange traders, it is called a “loss protection order” or “stop order”.

A stop order means that stocks are bought at a certain price, and then they monitor the dynamics of their prices. If things go wrong, and the stock price drops below a certain mark (for example, 10% below the purchase price), the stock is immediately sold. This will prevent an increase in losses.

Who could benefit from the use of a stop order is the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. His marriage turned out to be hell, and the two sides blamed each other for 50 years. Why didn’t he just say “Enough!” And continued to suffer losses, languishing in this marriage?

Stop order is also applicable to grievances. It is simply unreasonable to spend time and energy resenting anyone. Abraham Lincoln said that he had never seen the benefits of quarrels, and immediately forgave those who attacked him as soon as they stopped the attacks.

From now on, put a stop order on everything that saddens and upsets you.

Be Happier by Focusing on Positive Things and Acting Like a Happy Person

Many people believe that feelings influence thoughts and actions. In fact, according to psychologist William James, they “go hand in hand.” This means that although we cannot directly influence our feelings, we are able to influence them indirectly through our way of thinking and acting.

One way to feel happy is to pretend that you are happy. If you are sad, but a broad smile on your face and whistle a peppy tune. Soon you will realize that this shown vigor does not allow you to be sad.

It is not necessary to externally show happiness, an alternative and / or additional way to feel happy to think good. The great philosopher ─ and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius expressed this thought as follows: “Our life is the result of our thoughts.”

If you think like a happy person, you will most likely feel better. Therefore, do not meditate on negative things, focus on the positive.

Imagine a woman who is forced to move to the Mojave desert, because there is her husband’s military training camp. At first she hated everything around: unbearable heat, non-English speaking Mexicans and Indians, and even sand clogging up everywhere. And then her father advised her to concentrate on the positive aspects. She followed the advice and fell in love with the desert with its sunsets, Joshua trees and locals.

The next time you feel sad, try to think and act as if you are happy. You should succeed. And if it doesn’t work out, you will at least get distracted from negative thoughts.

Do Not Wait for Gratitude; Give for the Joy of Giving

Remember the last time you did someone a favor. Were you grateful? If not, you were a little offended, were you upset? When we do good, we often await gratitude in return.

But these expectations will lead to disappointment. People are inattentive and ungrateful, such is human nature and you cannot change it.

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius knew this well, so he wrote in his diary that he would meet “… people who were selfish, selfish, ungrateful. But this will not surprise me and will not bother me, because I cannot imagine the world without such people. ”

Another person who knew firsthand about the innate human egoism, lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. During his career, he saved 78 people from an electric chair. Do you know how many of them thanked him for this? No one.

So stop waiting for gratitude in response to good. Just enjoy your deed yourself. Even if someone does not appreciate your actions, you will become happier and receive satisfaction.

And finally, remember that gratitude must be cultivated. If your children are ungrateful, it is your fault. You must teach them to be thankful for everything that they receive.

Do Not Envy or Imitate Others: Be Yourself

Congratulations, you are unique. There is no second such being on earth, ─ like you, and never will be.

Your genes are absolutely unique. The probability of giving birth to an identical brother or sister from your parents: 1 chance of 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us dream of being someone else. For some reason, we are convinced that the grass behind the fence is greener. It is much better to accept your originality and be yourself.

The desire to become someone else is extremely risky. If you do not accept yourself and your uniqueness, you will overtake psychological disorders. The most unhappy people in the world are those who long for becoming someone else.

This desire leads not only to suffering but also to a serious loss of your potential. According to the studies of psychologist William James, people who do not find themselves use about 10% of their potential. Therefore, it makes no sense to lose the smallest particle of your potential, trying to become someone else.

It was this valuable lesson that Edith Allred learned. Due to childhood problems, Olred grew up very nervous and insecure. The situation was aggravated by the fact that her husband’s family consisted of extremely self-confident people. Comparing herself with them, she felt like a failure. Over time, Allred began to think about suicide.

What saved her?

Once the mother-in-law admitted in passing that she always taught children to be themselves in any situation. Inspired by this remark, Allred began to reflect on who she was and not how she could become like others. Now she is happier and more confident than she ever could have imagined.

People Criticize Those Whom They Envy; Take Criticism as Disguised Praise

Have you ever wondered why people so vehemently criticize politicians and other celebrities? The reason is simple: humiliating more gifted people, they get base pleasure. But why?

To belittle the one you envy is the usual thing for most ─ people, we do this in order to feel more meaningful.

Once I received a stinging letter from a very embittered person. The target of her anger was none other than William Bouffe, the founder of the Salvation Army, whom she accused of fraud and embezzlement. Obviously, she enjoyed throwing mud at a figure so beloved by the public.

People tend to scold those whom they admire and whom they envy, so do not take this criticism as an insult, consider it a compliment. Remember the saying: “No one kicks a dead dog.” In other words, if you are scolded, you are most likely doing something worthwhile. If you continue to reason in the same vein, you will be able to understand that the more influential and significant you are as a person, the more they criticize you.

So the next time you will be criticized, do not be discouraged. Take this as a compliment!

Learn to Relax and Rest Before Getting Tired

Have you noticed that after a hard-working day you become more gloomy compared to, for example, a lunch break? Most people will decide that they are so tired of the mental effort in the office.

But they are mistaken: mental work alone cannot tire. Scientists have found that even 12 hours of intellectual work does not exhaust the brain.

So what is behind such overwork then? Psychiatrists have concluded that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. It’s not about positive emotions, such as joy or satisfaction, but about negative ones: boredom, anxiety, a feeling that you are not appreciated.

It turned out that a causal relationship works here and in the opposite direction: fatigue provokes the appearance of negative emotions and new emotions.

It follows that you need to rest and relax until fatigue occurs. Otherwise, anxiety and fatigue will accumulate. It’s hard to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest contributes to effective work.

For example, take the story of Frederick Taylor, who was hired at Bethlehem Steel to increase the productivity of workers loading steel into wagons. What do you think he did for this?

Surprisingly, as an experiment, he suggested that one of the workers rest more. Each hour, the loader rested for 36 minutes. And what was the result?

Taylor’s work was able to load 4 times more steel than his comrades, who did not save their strength in this way, but only rested when they felt tired.

The lesson taught to us by psychiatrists and Mr. Taylor is very simple: rest before you get tired and your anxieties will be greatly reduced.

Enjoy your work and fight stress.

There is no shorter path to unhappiness than working day after day on an unloved job.

Your success depends on how good you are at work. Thomas Edison, who worked 18 hours a day on transforming industrial America, said this very well: “I have not worked a day in my life. It has always been a pleasure for me. ”

Therefore, you should not choose a hated job or even a job that you don’t like to do.

If your parents make you work in a family business that you are not interested in, you should carefully consider their advice. Surely, they have much more experience than you. But only you can decide which job will make you happy.

Phil Johnson’s father owned a launderette and hoped that his son would work with him and later lead the business. But Phil did not like this idea, he chose the work of a mechanic. My father was shocked by this choice, and Phil is happy because the work was connected with machines that fascinated him. It was this interest in cars that later brought him to the post of president of Boeing.

But suppose you already have a job; how to make it more enjoyable and get rid of anxiety? One way to stay organized is: ─ a table littered with unanswered letters and notes will definitely cause you stress.

One businessman from Chicago became so nervous and restless that he decided to seek medical help. At the doctor’s appointment, he noticed that when he is distracted for the most insignificant reason (for example, they ask about trifles), the doctor does not postpone the matter, but deals with him immediately. The businessman began to act at work as well and was cured for six weeks!

The Final Words

Anxiety is fatal to physical and mental health, so you need to find a way to deal with it. The easiest way to do this is to collect facts about your concern, choose a plan of action and never look back.

And in order to avoid worrying about other people, do not wait for gratitude for the good, do not hold grudges against people, and realize that they can scold you out of envy for your successes.

Stop worrying If you are in trouble, for example, you have a falling out with a friend, use a stop order strategy. Reflect on the problem for a certain period, for example, several hours. If after that you still cannot solve it, just postpone it and move on. It makes no sense to stay longer on the negative.

Accept and improve the worst-case scenario. Reveal your mistake if you are worried while trying to avoid thoughts about the worst-case scenario. Consider what this worst-case scenario really is. Perhaps he is not as terrible as it seems. In any case, take it for granted and work to correct the situation.

Rest before getting tired. During work, make it a rule to take rest breaks before you feel tired. This will increase the productivity of your work and reduce anxiety.

Why You Should Read “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” 

  • To worry less
  • To better cope with troubles and excitement
  • To realize that your kindness does not go unnoticed

This book is available as:

Audiobook | eBookPrint