Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Worry

If you are a worrier - and I am one of Olympic caliber - you might enjoy Edward Hallowell's extraordinary book, Worry.

I pass this along because I've found his insights and recommendations to be extremely helpful. Hallowell, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and the founder and director of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Concord, Massachusetts, explores how we can bring our worries into perspective. An excerpt:

I was "on" that day and gave a good talk. When it was over and the applause died down, my old teacher, Dr. Leston Havens, shook my hand and told me the talk was "superb." He told me I should feel proud. And I did...for about as long as it takes a light bulb to fade after you flick off a switch.

Why was it that at the very moment Dr. Havens was shaking my hand, I picked out the face of a woman at the back of the room who was scowling at me? My eyes connected with hers, and her scowling face stuck in my mind as if it were a poisonous dart. As I left the lecture hall, that face overwhelmed my mind. Rather than feeling the gentle warmth of a job well done, I felt a chill rising within me instead. What was the meaning of that scowl, I wondered to myself. Why had that woman looked so disapprovingly at me? What had I done wrong? And what bad thing would happen to me as a result?

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