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Quotations about Worrying

...enough to worry the soul out of one's body... ~Frederick William Robinson, Under the Spell, 1870

Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows... ~William Shakespeare, Richard II, c.1595  [II, 2, Bushy]

If it were not for fighting shadows we should be strong enough for realities. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are not taking cold. ~John Jay Chapman (1862–1933), letter

When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don't go. I'm too worried to go. I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951

Imaginary trouble is the real thing, after all. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

When something bad is going to happen to you, there shouldn't have to be a night before… ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1969  [Snoopy —tg]

You're a little upset by your troubles, and that's natural enough, but don't let your mind run on them any more than you can help; drag your thoughts away from your troubles—by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you manage it; it's the healthiest thing a body can do; dwelling on troubles is deadly, just deadly—and that's the softest name there is for it. You must keep your mind amused—you must, indeed. ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1891

The weather today is increasing concern followed by full-blown dread. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Diary, 2003

When the heart is full of care, or the mind much occupied, the summer and the sunshine and the moonlight are but a gleam and glimmer, — a vague dream which does not come within us, but only makes itself imperfectly perceptible on the outside of us. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

What folly lies in forecasts and fears! ~Louise Imogen Guiney (1861–1920), "Doves"

My anxieties have anxieties. ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1968  [Charlie Brown to Linus—tg]

There are always lots and lots of things to worry about. It's just that there's no point or usefulness in worrying about them. My observation is that either what I worry about doesn't happen — or it happens anyway. All that my worrying has accomplished is to make me miserable. Usually I make some other people miserable too. ~Barry Stevens, "Voids, voids, voids — noddings!," in gestalt is, edited by John O. Stevens, 1975

My back is broken by the conflict of my thoughts... ~Rumi, translated by Edward Henry Whinfield

Be empty of worrying... Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

Worry shortens life. Nervous diseases are a scourge to the country and they are the affliction of the human family only. No bird ever tries to build more nests than its neighbor. The fox does not fret because he has only one hole in which to hide. The squirrel does not sicken and die of anxiety lest he should not accumulate enough nuts for two winters instead of one. The dog loses no sleep over the fact that he does not have enough bones laid aside for his declining years. ~Anonymous, c.1916

Half the annoyances of life will disappear if one is only patient under them. Almost all the other half will go the same way if one does not worry over them. ~Frank A. De Puy, "Happiness in the Home: Be Patient," The New Century Home Book, 1900

If you're nervous, you're not gonna be who you're supposed to be. ~Chris, a 33-year-old plumber from Chicago, to his blind date on First Dates, S1, E5, "Love Is Like a Shot of Tequila," 2017

When despair for the world grows in me...
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief... For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things," 1968,

The greatest mistake you can make in this life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard

...but people become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them... ~Bernard Shaw

A vast amount of human misery is the result of an active imagination, caused by anticipations which are never realized. The most trifling disappointment or mere apparent insult often furnishes material for a melancholy temperament to pine away in sadness for months. ~Rev. Benjamin Bausman, 1849

All of the evil passions are traceable to one of two roots. Anger is the root of all the aggressive passions. Worry is the root of all the cowardly passions.... It is not necessary to engage in battle the small army of lesser passions if you concentrate your efforts against anger and worry, for they are all children of these parents. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895

You're gonna spin yourself like a top with the what ifs. ~Virgil Williams, Criminal Minds, "Sick Day" [S12, E2, 2016, Will to J.J.]

WORRY  A state of mind that leads some persons to fear, every time the tide goes out, that it won't come in again. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

Worry is visualized failure... ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)

I know a woman so bereft, who lives in a perpetual worry and flurry... The mechanics of living and the small problems connected with it, have taken the place of living itself, have been elevated to an importance out of all proportion. Her life is a whirl of detail. She must stir up a new worry every day... It is as if she found her only security in the midst of a small private hurricane. There she can forget that she is old and alone. But what a waste, to spend one's last precious bit of time like this! Better to be out taking chances. Action is the antidote to despair. Almost any kind of action, especially that which is intelligently planned, is better than spending one's days in a dither. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, "The spice of life," A View from the Hill, 1957

Anger and worry are the most unprofitable conditions known to man. They are like thieves that steal precious time and energy from life. Anger is a highway robber and worry is a sneak thief. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Worry is a bully. It gives you nothing, it only takes. ~NCIS, "Twofer," 2017, written by Scott A. Williams  [S15, E2, Dr Confalone]

Work is as necessary for peace of mind as for health of the body. A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. Worry upsets our whole system, work keeps it in health and order. Exercise of the muscles keeps the body in health, and exercise of the brain brings peace of mind. ~John Lubbock, "Industry," The Use of Life, 1894

Ah, but you must distinguish here between that foresight, that calm care for the future which is an evidence of sanity and which is necessary to make things go right and smoothly, and the mischievous brooding, worrying habit which anticipates not what is likely to happen, but what is most unlikely.... The first helps you on materially, the second is like the cantering up and down of a rocking-horse in the same place. There is plenty of motion but no progress. ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899  [Sweet! Looks like I've stumbled upon if not the original then at least an earlier version of "Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere," or "Worry is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere!" —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

You can never worry your way to enlightenment. ~Terri Guillemets

Don't shoulder the burdens of others!...
Each man has his own special troubles,
      His worries and problems and woes;
      Give aid when you can to each mortal,
      But try not to feel all his blows!
For you, too, have burdens to carry;
      And, if you just wear yourself out
      In agony over all others,
      How can you, your own troubles, rout?
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "Good Advice"

Worry ducks when purpose flies overhead. ~Terri Guillemets

[Worry] is a vicious and unnatural habit into which we have fallen through generations of artificial thinking. So far from stimulating and helping us to action, it cheats us and robs us of strength. What friction is to the mechanical world, worry is to the mental machinery. ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899

Worry is wasting today's time by cluttering up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968 a fever of anxiety... ~Mabel Collins, In the Flower of Her Youth, 1883

Live in a worry, die in a hurry. Fret is only another name for a shroud. ~James Henry Potts, "Self-Help Hints," Every Life a Delight, 1914

If worrying were an Olympic sport, you'd get the gold for sure. ~Stephenie Geist

I refuse to be burdened by vague worries. If something wants to worry me, it will have to make itself clear. ~Robert Brault,

It is not work that kills men; it is worry... Worry is rust upon the blade. ~Henry Ward Beecher

You think we have troubles now? Can you imagine if worry had calories? ~Robert Orben, 2100 Laughs For All Occasions, 1983

He is condemned every day who stands in daily fear of condemnation. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

There was no point in worrying yet... what would come, would come... and he would have to meet it when it did. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000

Anxiety is a deep conscious breath away from dissolving. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2011

Lots of men spend two dollars' worth of worry over the loss of a quarter. ~Noah Lott (George V. Hobart), The Silly Syclopedia, 1905

Anger and worry are caused by phantoms that we create within ourselves and whose only strength is that with which we endow them. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895

We cannot always avoid the causes that bring grief, but we can in a great many instances, perhaps most of them, elude the phantoms (for such they often are) that cause the greatest worry and fear. ~William J. Fielding, "The Menopause — Beginning a New Epoch of Life," Sex and the Love-Life, 1927

WORRY is a kanker, a gangreen, a blister, salt on a sore place — a killer. Don't worry. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

      If any man or woman knows more about worrying than I do, that man or woman is sincerely to be pitied. To begin with, I come of honorable generations of worriers, all of whom seemed to be deeply sensible of their responsibility for the carrying on of a world which they did not create. My grandfather used to worry about the weather and crops. My mother worried with an elaboration and finish which really lent distinction to her performance. She could worry harder and longer on less provocation than anybody else I ever knew. When it became my turn to take up the burden of the universe I was quite as successful as she.
      As a child, I worried about the end of the world, and the Unpardonable Sin, which I knew I had committed, if I could only find out what it was. I worried my way through school and into college, where my course in worry was so complete that I came out with nervous prostration and two deep furrows between my eyebrows which I shall wear, like the scars of battle they really are, to my dying day. And then I worried about the furrows!
      I began to see the light through reading Menticulture by Horace Fletcher which put a vague old Buddhist doctrine into a modern, concrete formula — "Anger and worry are bad habits of the mind. They are not necessary ingredients." Worry not necessary! I had always supposed it was as much my business to worry as it was to breathe, and I looked upon people who did not worry as the shirks and cowards of creation, who were easy in their minds simply because they were criminally indifferent to their duties.
      ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Why worry? It's not the end of the world. And if it is, why worry? ~Robert Brault,

That caustic dread inside your head will never help you out... ~Lou Reed & Mike Rathke, "Magic and Loss – The Summation" 1991 ♫

If I must have an ill, may it be real,
That I may meet it eye to eye and fight,
And wheresoever it may strength reveal
Get after it with all my main and might.
The woe that but impends and wears the mind
With worry deep and most vexatious care,
Is harder fighting than the realler kind,
For when you come to strike—it isn't there!
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "Unreal Troubles" (March Fifteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920

Oh the brain, the brain!... Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called Man! Oh the little that unhinges it: poor creatures that we are! ~Charles Dickens

Stop telling men not to worry; all thinking men do; and such only are the ones who do the world's work. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Dr. Zachary T. Bercovitz told me: “Some people are actually draining into their bodies the diseased thoughts of their minds.” Asked to specify these diseased thoughts, he replied, “Oh, the usual — fear, guilt, worry, frustration, tension, resentment, gloominess, despondency. In fact, if fear and resentment were eliminated from people's minds I believe our hospital population would be reduced by maybe fifty per cent. Certainly by a lot anyway.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

People can stop their endless clatter and whirr of that worrying machine in their brains at will, and as completely and successfully as one stops the beating of a restless pendulum by laying a steady hand upon it.... Think of what this means—the ability to live a life in which there is no such thing as fear or worry—they are at root the same thing. Think of what it means once more to wake in the morning as you did when you were a child with a dim sense of being happy about something which you cannot recall, instead of having your waking thought, as I fancy most do in mature life, "What was it I was worrying about when I went to sleep?" Can such a man help carrying success with him wherever he goes? Can such a woman bring anything but strength and peace and uplifting to all who come into her blessed presence? ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899  [A little altered. And, I'm not so sure it can really be done so simply as "at will," but for the sake of the quote's power I'll not argue. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

There is a Dutch saying, "Don't fret; it will happen differently anyway." I believe that. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)

Try not to worry, as it's sticky and hard to scrub off. ~Terri Guillemets

All forms of worry and anxiety are in essence fear... ~William J. Fielding, "The Menopause — Beginning a New Epoch of Life," Sex and the Love-Life, 1927

Anger and worry are the rankest forms of Egotism. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895

When one has had too great a dread of what is impending, one feels some relief when the trouble has come. ~Joseph Joubert, translated by Henry Attwell

Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist. ~E. W. Howe

Worry is a prayer for chaos. ~Gabrielle Bernstein, Add More -ing To Your Life, 2011

...the forehead that anxiety had turned to corduroy... ~Rupert Hughes, The Thirteenth Commandment, 1916

[R]est thee now,
And may some kind God smooth thy wrinkled brow.
~William Morris, The Life and Death of Jason: A Poem, 1867

Worry is just curdled energy! ~Henie Reisinger

Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Worry bankrupts the spirit. ~Terri Guillemets

Even at times when I don't care, I know exactly what I would care about if I did. ~Robert Brault,

We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still. ~Lewis Thomas

There is always sufficient reason for despair, but there is never sufficient purpose. ~Robert Brault,

How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened! ~Thomas Jefferson, 1825

It is clear that the physical and mental results of worry are bad, is it not? If you doubt it, go and ask any doctor how many people break down in a year from worry. Ask him too, how many nervous and functional diseases are directly the result of worrying. And then ask him if the assertion of Professor Elmer Gates is true, that if the exhaled breath of an unhappy or worried person be examined under a microscope, a grayish, poison precipitate is found deposited therein. ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Worry whomps and wails on weary souls. ~Terri Guillemets

We can never drown anger and worry; yet, if let alone, they drown themselves. ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The key to happiness is pretty much the same as the key to worry and anxiety — you must learn to make a big deal out of nothing. ~Robert Brault,

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