Friday, April 28, 2017

What, Me Worry...? (How to Stop Worrying)

Self-Help Musings

This happened 43 years ago in the year 1974.

I was in the 3rd year of my 5 year B. Tech. course in Engineering.

Suddenly  I was faced with a worrying situation of instability and financial insecurity.

Emotionally  I felt extremely insecure.

I was overwhelmed with worry – and – this worrying made me feel depressed.

Seeing my melancholic state  a classmate who lived in the adjoining hostel room gave me a book: 

“I have got this book for you – do read it  I am sure it will do you good...” my friend said.

My friend was right.

The simple tips in the book  easy to understand and implement  helped me immensely to mitigate worry.

I am sure you have read this famous self-help book.

43 years have passed since 1974  but  I still have the copy of the book presented to me by my hostel-mate friend.

And  from time to time  I still pull it out of the bookshelves whenever I feel depressed or I start worrying.

Of the numerous tips given in the book  I found 3 tips very useful to alleviate worry:

1. Live in “Day-Tight Compartments”

2. Ask yourself: “What is the worst that can happen...?” – and then  mentally prepare yourself to accept the worst. Then  try your best to improve upon the worst.

3. Crowd worry out of your mind by keeping busy.

These 3 bits of simple wisdom helped me in 1974:

1. I started living one day at a time 

In fact  I used to think of only one thing – whatever I was doing at that point of time.

I did one thing at a time and lived one day at a time.

2. I mentally prepared myself for the worst 

And  I got so busy with my studies  that I had no time to worry. 

Thanks to this – I topped my class. 

3. I used the formula of crowding worry out of my mind by keeping busy to overcome worry 

Later – throughout my Naval career – and – after retirement too  whenever I was in an adverse situation – I kept my mind busy and crowded worry out of my mind – yes – if youare busy – your mind will be full with thoughts – so – there will be no place for worry in your mind – since your mind will be “houseful”.

After I retired  I was going through a rather worrying situation.

Points 1 and 2 were feasible to follow – I managed to live one day at a time  and – I mentally preparing myself for the worst eventuality.

Earlier  when I was working in the Navy  point 3 was feasible to follow  as I could get busy in my work.

But once I retired  the moot question was: How do I get busy...?

Well  I decided to keep busy by writing and blogging  and once I drown myself in this activity  I was able to crowd out worry from my mind.

It worked.

Well – it worked before  and  it worked again – and – by and large – I have managed to keep worry out of my mind since I am so busy with my writing/blogging – that – I have no time to worry. 


“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” was my first self-help book.

Subsequently  I have read many philosophy, art-of-living and spiritual books.

But  I still like “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” – and – I read it from time to time when I am in a blue mood.

This book is breathtaking in its simplicity – it does not profess any high-falutin concepts  but – it gives simple tips which are easy to understand and implement in daily life.

If you have not read this evergreen self-help book  do get a copy of “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” – it may help you to over come worry. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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