This is the second most well-known book by Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
And honestly I think it’s even more life-changing than the first.
Stress is a HUGE problem in our world. 75% of adults in America today report feeling physical and psychological consequences of stress. And we also know that stress is a least a factor (if not the main cause) in the most prominent causes of death in the developed world.
But how stressed out are you?
Well, to be frank, I thought I was doing fine until I read this book, and all my attention was put on it.
Needless to say, I still have some work to do on this.
Back to the book.
I like this book’s approach to dealing with worry. It is very practical. Most of the advice comes in the form of mindsets and techniques to adopt.
One of the tips that helped me a lot was the mindset of deciding how much anxiety and stress I was going to give a particular issue, then asking myself is it really worth the amount of emotional pain I’m giving it?
Others include classics like counting your blessings, not your curses, and let the past remain the past.
One tip that I found most original was prayer. Yes, apparently many people have handled worry by turning to God. I can see the value in this for someone who’s on the brink of a breakdown. It gives you something to believe in. It also gives you someone to confide in, which has been shown to be beneficial. Not to mention the physical release you get from things like chanting or singing.
Carnegie also goes into detail about how to handle worries about criticism, how to cure depression, and how to stop worrying about insomnia (which boils down to realizing that worrying about it is more harmful than the thing itself).
Another one of my favorite pieces of advice in the book was RELAX… YOUR….BODY. Even just sitting here reading this article: is your brow furrowed? Go ahead, laugh at yourself if it was. Tension in your stomach? Your jaw? Your shoulders? Do a body check, and keep doing so throughout the day. It is very refreshing, and also gives you more energy.
Unexpected tips like these really stood out and made this book very comprehensive.
For those of you who have read Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, you know he loves to include anecdotes in his work. Real-world examples are what made this book fun to read.
And you know what the weird common these was with all these stories?
When they stopped worrying, their lives started turning around. Even things they had no control over. Coincidence? Try it out for yourself…
The author also goes into much detail about worry’s effects on the body. Some of the accounts given in the book are just horrendous. But here’s a trap: don’t worry about getting these symptoms caused by worry. 😉
The only real criticism of the book I can make is that it doesn’t delve deep enough into the root causes of worry. It’s an excellent fix for living a happier life, but it doesn’t address the underlying psychological roots.
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
Definitely a worthwhile book to read for conquering ANY problem related to worry.