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.)