1. According to the disturbing worst-case scenarios it regularly cooks up, your imagination is much crueler than the universe and actual life tend to be.
2. Sometimes you’ve got to look out for your own comfort in social situations. That’s why I excuse myself to the restroom during icebreakers and I’m habitually late to things because I didn’t want to be a little bit early. This B.J. Novak tweet sums it up:
I am often 15 minutes late because of my inexplicable anxiety about being 2 minutes early.
— B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) August 21, 2013
3. Our bodies do a lot of random, weird things and have unexplainable tendencies, but every headache isn’t a tumor, Arnold and every cough isn’t a symptom of lung cancer, Walt.
4. Although you may never stop striving for it, perfection is pretty non-existent. Aside from like, Rashida Jones and DiGiorno Pizza cooked in a properly preheated oven, then baked at 400°F for 22 minute, it’s unattainable.
5. People will often mistake anxiety and wariness for negativity and dullness. Not keen on the idea of sitting aboard shaky rides at the state fair because you aren’t comfortable with the fact that they were thrown together in a few hours? Lame, why don’t you live a little. Don’t want to go 100mph on a curvy road? Sheesh, dude, color outside the lines why don’t ‘cha?
6. Final Destination movies are predictable child’s play to you and you’re confident that you could assist them with devising ideas for ill-fated people in potentially gruesome situations.
7. Your mind’s favorite time to try and wrap itself around the concepts of gravity, physics & technology is from the moment a plane is airborne to the instant it successfully lands.
8. You’re more likely to get in an accident in a car than on an airplane. How do you know? Because everybody in the world tells you this when you express concerns about flying as if it’ll somehow make you feel better about the notion of plummeting thousands of feet to your death.
9. To some degree worriers are warriors, battling & staving off their constant flow of unpleasant thoughts and concerns as they try to manage a somewhat normal day/week/month/year/life.
10. Generally speaking, people aren’t paying nearly as much attention to your every last move as you sometimes think. Unless you pick your nose or trip, then somebody was probably watching.
11. Horror isn’t limited to masked killers or haunted houses – vulnerability in every sense of the word is the equivalent of being face to face with a knife-wielding clown.
12. When you anticipate potential disasters and expect things to go insanely wrong today, it’s kind of a relief when you make it home in one piece. Expect a killer tornado so when all you get is a strong gust of wind that blows your papers out of your hands and makes you run down the street trying to retrieve them like you’re Mother Nature’s puppy playing fetch, it’s actually not so bad.
13. Low, unhappy ending expectations like the ones mentioned above are bad, as are any expectations, really. We’re not psychics and rarely will anything pan out as we pictured. It’s better (and easier) to live in and respond to the next moment than to try and guess what’s to come.
14. The best way to make someone who is on the fence about doing something not do it is to draw attention by noisily encouraging them to do as you wish, so there are more eyes and an increased pressure. James won’t do his stellar Dane Cook impression? Nancy won’t get on the dance floor? Ask LOUDER, but don’t ask, so much as borderline aggressively demand it as you tug at their arms.
15. Seemingly everybody is dealing with some degree of apprehension or fairly constant concerns like you, it just might be a less extreme case. Or they simply do a better job of hiding it.
16. The past is a monster that needs sustenance to continue being relevant, and you spending your now reliving it is like feeding unpleasant history a steak dinner. Trust me, I’ve spent countless hours feeling terrible about not taking advantage of an opportunity to travel or that time in third grade when I let a bully make fun of that kid who thought that he was gay, but you’ve got to learn not to dwell on the unchangeable.
17. Much like dollar bills, people’s opinions are only as valuable as our minds allow them to be. It’s easy to stress about how everyone perceives us but if we can narrow our caring down to a select few (mom, best friend, pet fish, Netflix recommendations, etc.) we’ll feel a weight lifted off our shoulders.
18. Going to bed and falling asleep are two entirely different concepts. One can go to bed at 11pm and, despite a valiant effort to keep their eyes shut, remain awake into the wee hours of the night, worrying about things. Hence, this tweet:
Love yoga? Try the ‘Worrier Pose,’ which consists of sprawling out, biting your nails & imagining worst-case scenarios until 3am every night
— Christopher Hudspeth (@CEHudspeth) October 16, 2013
19. The little things that drive you crazy only get worse if you play into them and give them control. Can’t stand mislabeled song files in your iTunes library? Go in there are organize until you flip your lid at a Coldplay song mistakenly listed as a Muse song. Hate upside-down boxes of food in the pantry? Turn ‘em upright until you go ballistic at the sight of some capsized Fruit Loops. Can’t stand uneven numbered lists?…
20. … I’m here for you. There’s always someone who understands your neurotic, strange philosophies and nervous habits – even if you haven’t met them yet.