The Worry Trick Book Summary - The Worry Trick Book explained in key points
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The Worry Trick summary

David A. Carbonell

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do about It

4.3 (313 ratings)
17 mins
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    The Worry Trick
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    How worry tricks you into worrying more

    Ask yourself this: What’s going to happen tomorrow? If it’s a weekday, maybe you’ll wake up at the usual time. Go to work. Traffic could be bad, so you might be a little bit late – Why not? It’s happened before. You could be in a serious car accident. It’s not impossible.

    The thing is, we all go through life as if we know what to expect. Chances are tomorrow will be as regular and forgettable as the vast majority of other days in your life. A worry-free mind knows this. So if a doubt arises, it’ll leave just as easily. 

    But if you suffer from excess worry, things look different. You experience doubts about the future as if they were immediate dangers. 

    Worry loves it when this happens. When you treat your doubt as if it were danger, you naturally respond to it in a way that makes it worse. That makes it grow.

    Think about it. What do you do when you start to worry? When you have that first sneaking feeling of doubt? Because your brain interprets it as danger, your first reaction is to try to stop it. This ends up with you arguing with yourself, and when you argue with yourself you can never win.

    You see, you can only worry about the future – about something that could happen, however unlikely. But the truth is, you don’t know what will happen in the future. And it’s incredibly difficult to prove that something won’t happen, no matter how hard you try. In fact, to the worrying mind, the more you try and fail, the more evidence there is that the bad thing could happen!

    So, reasoning and arguing make it worse. What about distraction?

    That’s about as easy as being asked not to think about your first childhood pet. Even if you haven’t thought about Flopsy the bunny in decades, I bet he’s at the front of your mind now. Distraction doesn’t work either.

    That’s the worry trick. Doubt interpreted as danger, which you naturally try to stop. The harder you try, the more successful the trick, and the more you worry.

    If you keep trying to stop something but that just makes it worse, it means your methods need examining. You need to stop trying to change the worry itself. Instead, try changing the relationship that you have with worry.

    Let’s explore that idea.

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    What is The Worry Trick about?

    The Worry Trick (2016) is a no-nonsense guide to dealing with worry and anxiety. Drawing from acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, it breaks down where worry comes from and offers concrete steps on how to face and ultimately overcome it.  

    Who should read The Worry Trick?

    • Anyone who deals with chronic worry
    • Psychologists looking to deepen their knowledge of anxiety
    • Students of the human condition

    About the Author

    David A. Carbonell is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety. He has written four self-help books on anxiety, and offers workshops for therapists who want to deepen their understanding of the treatment of anxiety disorders. 

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