Book Review: The Worry Trick
Okay, so we all worry. Many of us may feel we worry too much while others may feel that excessive worry isn’t a problem. And some in both groups are likely correct. Some people legitimately have a lot to worry about because of, for example, perilous jobs, dangerous living conditions, serious health conditions and more, but for many, our worry is excessive.
We may allow worries and anxiety to have more control over us than we should. Worry can get in the way of sleep, make it difficult to concentrate at work, or keep us from enjoying the company of family or friends. But it doesn’t have to be this way, according to David Carbonell, Ph.D., author of The Worry Trick.
The Worry Trick is for people who feel they worry too much. There isn’t a real standard for how much we should worry because our experiences are different, as are our responses to those experiences. But if worry regularly makes us uncomfortable or makes it difficult to work or sleep, we have a problem and we probably know it.
Carbonell is a clinical psychologist who focuses on anxiety disorders. He is the author of the Panic Attacks Workbook, which helps people reduce or eliminate panic attacks. He also has a website, www.anxietycoach.com, which covers some interesting topics related to worry and anxiety, such as fear of flying, public speaking and more.
In The Worry Trick, Carbonell helps readers do two things. First, he shows us how our minds cause us to worry more than is appropriate or needed. Second, he provides techniques that can help us eliminate unnecessary worry and keep worry in its appropriate place.
When we worry, our brains “trick” us into holding onto worry longer than we should. We may have doubts about something, but our brains turn them into more serious worries. When we obsess about something, it seems to get stronger and more worrisome. Carbonell explains that this can be controlled.
Carbonell reminds readers that worry does serve a good purpose. It can signal an imminent problem, put us on guard about future meetings or events, remind us of the importance of things in our lives, and more. After worry has done its job, though, it is up to us to file the information or thought and move on. For many people, that is not so easy, and that’s when trouble starts. Carbonell then introduces readers to such tools as the Rule of Opposites, the Uncle Argument, and the AHA moment to control their worrying.
Carbonell guides us to acknowledge worry and accept it for what it is. He asks readers to think about the subject of our worry and consider whether it is actually significant or even something likely to occur. Sometimes the subject of our worry is so unlikely to happen that it becomes laughable, if we can see it for what it is. We might tell a friend that what they are worried about is silly, although the same worry in our own brain somehow takes on a different importance. We should try to see the humor in some of our worries and be able to laugh about them when the chances of something happening are so small.
Many readers will benefit from reading The Worry Trick and applying its techniques. Anxiety has an inappropriate hold over many people and this book can help them regain control. Even those who feel their worry is already under control, regardless of how extensive it is, may still benefit from Carbonell’s book. For anyone who would like to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life, this book is a good idea.
The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You Into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It
New Harbinger Publications, Inc., February 2016
Paperback, 232 Pages