How Not to Worry Book Summary - How Not to Worry Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

How Not to Worry summary

Paul McGee

The Remarkable Truth of How a Small Change Can Help You Stress Less and Enjoy Life More

4.2 (222 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

'How Not to Worry' by Paul McGee is a self-help book that offers practical tips and insights on managing anxiety and stress. With humor and easy-to-read anecdotes, it empowers readers to take control of their worries and find peace of mind.

Table of Contents

    How Not to Worry
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Worrying, anxiety and stress are all part of a cycle that can affect your health.

    Have you ever found yourself lying awake at night, overthinking an upcoming presentation?

    Worries can quickly snowball out of control. The key to combating them is remembering this simple motto: “Stop before you spiral.”

    Worrying is part of a cycle, where the next stops are anxiety and stress. More precisely, it’s a mode of thinking that leads to anxiety, which in turn, triggers your body’s survival instinct – a series of physical reactions that fall under the category of stress. These can include heart palpitations, dilated pupils and a tightened chest.

    Worry, anxiety and stress form a feedback loop. Worrying is both a cause and effect of anxiety or stress, and the cycle can be triggered at any stage. Stress can lead to anxiety and worry, while anxiety can also cause worry and stress.

    Take one of the author’s experiences to see how this works.

    During a holiday in northwest England, he and his wife heard a seemingly vicious dog barking from behind a hedge. Fearing an imminent attack, the couple’s “fight or flight” instinct kicked in. 

    In other words, the barking caused stress while their fear of an attack caused anxiety. Agonizing about finding a quick escape route made them worry. It turned out that the author had merely imagined that the dog was prowling around without an owner or a leash, as he felt immediately threatened by the unknown growls. 

    Once you get stuck in this cycle, it starts taking its toll on your quality of life.

    There are a number of physical symptoms. Stress weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to illnesses, as well as decreasing your sex drive.

    Mentally, the cycle robs you of the valuable headspace you need to make sound decisions. To put it starkly, stress makes you stupid, as you’re constantly reacting to a threatening world rather than acting rationally.

    Most importantly, you lose the ability to simply enjoy the present moment when you’re stuck in this kind of feedback loop. When you’re constantly preoccupied by worst-case scenarios, you lose your sense of motivation and creative inspiration.

    Now that we’ve seen how worrying is linked to anxiety and stress, we’ll explore the root causes of your worries.

    Want to see all full key ideas from How Not to Worry?

    Key ideas in How Not to Worry

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is How Not to Worry about?

    How Not to Worry (2012) is a practical and accessible roadmap to defeating anxiety, stress and worry. Logical and clearly laid out, life coach Paul McGee’s approach is all about small changes that make a big difference. He shows that by thinking analytically, you can start dealing with worries rationally and free up valuable headspace for more pleasurable pursuits.

    How Not to Worry Review

    How Not to Worry (2009) by Paul McGee is a valuable read for anyone seeking to alleviate anxiety and find peace of mind. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Packed with practical strategies and techniques, it equips readers with the tools they need to manage worry and stress effectively.
    • By combining scientific research and personal anecdotes, it provides a comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of worry.
    • The book's engaging and relatable approach makes it an enjoyable read, keeping readers captivated from start to finish.

    Who should read How Not to Worry?

    • Serial worriers and the terminally stressed out
    • Life and performance coaches
    • Psychology buffs

    About the Author

    Paul McGee is one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers. He has written seven books and lectured on topics ranging from workplace dynamics to stress management and confidence in 35 countries. McGee is also the founder of Shut Up, Move On (SUMO), a life-coaching program which draws on cognitive behavioral therapy.

    © Paul McGee: How Not To Worry copyright 2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

    Categories with How Not to Worry

    Book summaries like How Not to Worry

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    How Not to Worry FAQs 

    What is the main message of How Not to Worry?

    The main message of How Not to Worry is to let go of unnecessary stress and live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

    How long does it take to read How Not to Worry?

    The estimated reading time for How Not to Worry varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is How Not to Worry a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How Not to Worry is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to overcome worry and anxiety. It provides practical strategies and insights to help navigate life's challenges.

    Who is the author of How Not to Worry?

    The author of How Not to Worry is Paul McGee.

    What to read after How Not to Worry?

    If you're wondering what to read next after How Not to Worry, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin
    • The Art of Influencing Anyone by Niall Cassidy
    • The Worry-Free Mind by Carol Kershaw and Bill Wade
    • TED Talks by Chris Anderson
    • Magic Words by Tim David
    • My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
    • Zero Sugar / One Month by Becky Gillaspy
    • Pause by Rachael O’Meara
    • The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt
    • Good to Great by Jim Collins