“Would It Help?”

I recently had breakfast with a dear friend of mine. As always, we had a great time. During our many-layered conversation, she told me about a great movie, “Bridge of Spies,” starring Tom Hanks. Since I love Tom Hanks, I looked up the movie to find out what it was all about. Here’s what I found on http://awealthofcommonsense.com/ about it:

“It was an excellent true story about a lawyer who was brokering deals for hostages with the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the 1950s.

Hanks played the main character, James Donovan, who was tasked with the unenviable job of defending a Russian spy by the name of Rudolf Abel, played by the relatively unknown actor Mark Rylance.

Throughout the movie, Abel faced an uphill battle because he was hated by both American and Russians alike as a spy who got caught on U.S. soil. Throughout his time spent in prison, during his trial and in the hostage negotiations Abel remained stoic and showed little emotion.

Each time it looked like Abel was out of options during one of these ordeals Donovan would ask, “Aren’t you worried?”

And every single time Abel would offer the deadpan response, ‘Would it help?'”

We then launched into how many situations where this phrase could be used. We laughed our heads off, and by the time I got home I began thinking of other situations that this simple phrase could cover, such as:

“Oh, no! You have a fly in your soup! Aren’t you upset?”

“Would it help?”

“They say a big thunderstorm is coming this way! Aren’t you worried?”

“Would it help?”

“I can’t believe that our favorite show is going off the air! Aren’t you mad?”

“Would it help?”

“Ooooooh, I’m so angry about gas prices and how they keep going up and up? Aren’t YOU?”

“Would it help?”

“I heard on the news that there is an alien spaceship in our atmosphere, and they are covering up its existence! AREN’T YOU WORRIED?”

“Would it help?”

Oh, if only worrying would make things better! But, as a teacher of mine once said, worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair. You’re doing something, but you’re getting nowhere. All it does is get you upset and feeling helpless—like the story about the alien spaceship. If there really is one, what the heck can we do about it?

I have come up with a few ways I have to manage worrying. Laugh if you want, but so far, they work for me. They are:

  1. The *Flush-o-Gram: write down your worry on a piece of toilet paper. Once you’ve finished writing, crumple it up and toss it in the toilet. Bid it goodbye as you flush it. You will be amazed at how satisfying that is. Each time the worry tries to come back, you say, ‘nope–I flushed you. You’re GONE.’
  2. The Official Worry Time: establish a time one day a week to allow for worrying, say, Tuesday nights from 7:00 to 7:30 pm. Keep a jar or box for your worries; write them down on a piece of paper and toss them in the jar or box. Forget about them until Tuesday night from 7:00 to 7:30 pm. Keeping an eye on the clock, pick out a worry and worry about it. If you can come up with a good solution, then throw the worry away. If not, put it back in the jar or box. Keep doing this until 7:30 pm. and then STOP. You are done worrying until next Tuesday.
  3. Speak Your Worry Aloud: If you have a cat or dog, you can tell them your worry. If not, call a friend, and tell them your worry. If not, talk to your kitchen clock and tell it your worry. Just speaking the worry out loud will lessen its grip on your mind. Sooner or later, your brain will either come up with a good solution, or it will remind you that there is a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in your freezer.
  4. The Worry Bonfire: As with the Flush-o-Gram, write your worries down on pieces of paper. When you feel you have enough, start a **fire. One by one, toss them into the flames saying, “I’m not worried about you anymore. Go, and don’t come back. I’m DONE with you.” And since you already have a nice fire going, put a few hot dogs on a stick and enjoy. They will taste extra good because the worries are gone.

I don’t discount how worrying can erode your thinking process and even adversely affect your body. The methods I’ve mentioned may sound funny or frivolous, but just taking a physical action really does help. It puts your mind in the gear that says, ‘ok, I’ve done something about this and don’t need to worry about it any longer.’

Try it out–what have you got to lose except the worry?

*By the way, this one works beautifully for people who have let you down, hurt your feelings, cheated on you, emptied out your bank account, absconded with your favorite purse, etc.

**Obviously ONLY do this if you know how to start AND put out a fire or if you’re married to a fireman (or woman).





2 thoughts on ““Would It Help?”

  1. Phyllis Ring says:

    You know how excited I was to see this. 🙂 (Shared it all around too.) And today’s Camp Friends one is a delight.

  2. lulujbf7 says:

    Thanks, Phyllis! 🙂

    Hope all is well with you and yours–what gorgeous weather! Of course, I’m not a fan of hot and humid, and could gripe about it, but–would it help??? 😀

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