Seven Ways to Stop Enjoying Life and Start Worrying

06/22/2011 01:05 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2011

  1. Focus on things in life you can't control. Seek to control those things anyway. Fail. Repeat.
  2. In detail and with thoroughness, work out how these things which are out of your control will make your life harder, rip you off, treat you unfairly and generally create havoc with your plans for even a modicum of happiness.
  3. Predict the future using mostly your fears and insecurities as a baseline. Act on those predictions or at least spend a fair amount of time weighing up whether or not to take action.
  4. Have an argument with someone without that person being present -- then get pissed off about what they said -- in the imagined argument -- and start worrying about how you will respond (to the imagined slights).
  5. Google the phrase "images for natural disasters. " Browse the devastation, stopping every so often to consider how you might respond to the rapid, terrifying approach of a category-5 tornado or hurricane or the unsettling feeling of a 9.0 quake underfoot. Imagine what you might try to save from each calamity (would ziplock bags protect photos in a major tsunami?) and how long your pets might be able to survive under the rubble or if anyone would even be able to hear their plaintive cries for help.
  6. Consider the possibility that Harold Camping was really right about the end of the world and he just got his dates wrong.
  7. Count your blessings and then analyze in detail how all of them, when you think about it, are vulnerable and insecure and can't be relied upon because you just never know when something is going to turn bad -- like those cherry tomatoes which looked so good in the package but were covered with furry mold beneath the top layer.

Bonus Way (8) -- Take a moment, or a whole evening, to remember that the imbalance of anxiety can provide the center to human existence just as fully as the balance of other approaches such as faith, love and appreciation.

Remember, also, that selling short is the investment of a lifetime.

All things come to an end, but worry is forever.