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Tag: Practice

Why Not to Worry

Posted in Friendly Philosophy

Idea: Worrying is trying to control the future (which is impossible).

Last time, I talked about a helpful technique for shutting down worry. But it works by shutting down imagination. And to do that, we need a really good reason.1

I used to think I worried–I imaginatively rehearsed distressing future situations–because I was “trying to be prepared.” Worry is practice, and the more practice, the better.

But I recently realized that what I’m really doing is trying to control the future. I worry over and over not for practice, but because I only feel in control of the future while I’m imagining it.

So why not worry? It’s an attempt to do the impossible. And that’s not a worthy use of imagination. (We’ll have to talk about worthy uses of the imagination later.)