Unlike MAD Magazine’s “devil-may-care” poster boy, Alfred E. Neuman – described as “someone who can maintain a sense of humor while the world is collapsing around him” – many people I know are worried. They’re worried about COVID’s resurgence, especially as flu season approaches, in addition to feeling stressed over continuing political and environmental issues.
I’m worried about my friends and family members who feel this way. And although the music video is entertaining, suggesting to people that they “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is insulting.
What helps me cope is to try to maintain a sense of perspective about worrying itself.
“Worry is a by-product of feeling powerless. We fear the unknown and are frustrated that we can’t do anything about it. We also want to influence daily events, but some things are beyond our control. The key is to face that reality and go with the flow. Most things that we worry about never come to pass … In fact, in most cases, worrying is a lot worse than the actual outcome.” – Frank Sonnenberg
Please know it’s not my intention to make light of or dismiss the seriousness of dealing with anxiety issues. I’m just sharing what helps me cope, and here are some of my favorite quotes on the subject:
“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ―
“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.” ―
“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” – E. Joseph Cossman
A sense of humor (ala Alfred E. Neuman) is also helpful.
“[One fellow] worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, “Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?” To which the man responded, “That’s your worry.” ―
Besides a sense of perspective and humor, check out this helpful article on coping tips this season.