When I asked my wife Rachelle what I should write my contractor tip about this month, she asked if the contractors I have been consulting with were concerned over the COVID-19 pandemic. I said, “Yes, they tell me they are worried about the future, their health, their payments, and the big worry right now is the current and long-term effects of the virus.” She replied, “Why don’t you write a tip about the effects of worrying?” So, I have to give credit to Rachelle for the topic of this article.
According to Dr. Alexis Carrel, those who do not know how to fight worry, die young. This includes businessmen, managers, housewives, plant workers, truck drivers, and bricklayers.
Since the biggest worry right now is COVID-19, I would like to put this in perspective by having you decide which is the best of the following two paths forward in fighting the virus:
- If you were told unless we quarantine the masses of U.S. citizens, 600,000 people will likely die in the next 12 months from COVID-19, do you believe we should be quarantined?
Please don’t read the next question until you have thought about and answered the one above.
2. If the U.S. can save 600,000 lives in the next 12 months by not forcing the masses to be quarantined,
should we save these people?
The combined effects of being quarantined are an increase in suicide, domestic violence, child abuse, drug overdose, poverty, starvation, burglary, loss of jobs, depression, and of course, the topic for this article: “Health Issues Caused by Worrying.”
600,000 people are approximately ⅕ of 1% of the population of the country. I realize these are hard questions to answer. So we must think about whether it benefits the majority of the people to worry about the virus. Or is it better for people to just take precautions such as following social distancing guidelines the best they can while going on with their lives?
I attended a Vistage webinar by Boaz Rauchwerger titled “How to Stop Worrying and Take Positive Action.” Boaz recommended I also study the book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Many of the thoughts I will share with you in this article are from the teachings of Rauchwerger, along with Carnegie’s book.
Studies on worrying reveal:
- Our lives are full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.
- More than half of our hospital beds are occupied by people with nervous and emotional troubles.
- One of the biggest problems facing mankind is worry.
- Bad thinking leads to tension and nervous breakdown.
- Medical science has been unable to cope with the physical wrecks caused not by germs, but by emotions of worry, fear, hate, frustration, and despair.
- One of the worst features of worrying is it destroys our ability to concentrate.
- When we worry, our minds jump here and there and everywhere, and we lose all power of decision.
- Long-term worry affects our appearance by causing wrinkles and gray hair.
Fear causes worry, makes you tense and nervous, and affects the nerves of your stomach. It actually changes the gastric juices of your stomach from normal to abnormal, which often leads to stomach ulcers.
Dr. Joseph F. Montague, in his book “Nervous Stomach Trouble,” says, “You don’t get stomach ulcers from what you eat, you get ulcers from what is eating you.” Can any man possibly be a success if he is paying for business advancement with stomach ulcers and/or heart trouble due to worry? How does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his health?
Research shows that worry also causes thyroid and heart issues. When my thyroid levels were extremely high, I remember sitting in the doctor’s office worrying about my business’ moments before getting checked. I bet that wasn’t a coincidence. It is back to normal now, but I still take a small dose of medication for it.
At times, I got pimples all over my upper body and always wondered why. I now know that excessive worry can bring on all kinds of body rashes, including pimples. Reflecting back, the pimples always developed during the most stressful times I was experiencing.
When considering if you are worrying too much, ask yourself these questions, and write down the answers:
- Do I worry about things that happen in the past that are over and done with?
- Do I tend to put off living in the present to yearn for the future?
- Do I worry about things that may happen in the future, even though they are not likely to happen anyway?
- Can I get more out of life by just focusing on what I need to do today and forgetting the rest?
When I encourage a good friend of mine, who is a businessman to grow his business faster, he often tells me, “Man, I can only eat three steaks a day. According to my doctor, I only need one a day”. That’s a pretty good analogy of why we should only do what we can and not worry about the rest.
The magic formula for solving worry issues is:
- Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen: Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly. Unless you are going to die, you can likely live with the consequences.
- Prepare to accept it if you have to: Once you have accepted it mentally, you will be more relaxed and feel a sense of peace.
- Calmly proceed to improve on the worst: When you eliminate all these vague imaginings, it puts you in a position in which you can concentrate on your issue.
Acceptance of what happened is the first step to overcoming what happened. Shut out the past, shut out the future, and focus on right now. We must learn from past mistakes and prepare for the future. But worrying about past mistakes, or future problems, doesn’t do any of us any good.
Every day is a new life to a wise man. Do today’s work the best you can today. Be content to live the only time we can possibly live, which is from now until bedtime. You can do this by focusing on one task at a time. Make a list each morning of your workload for the day then number that list from one to ten. Put your main focus on number one, and do it first to ensure you get at least one of the most important things you need to do today finished. Even on a great day, you are likely to accomplish only three of your top actions. But don’t try to focus on multiple items at one time.
A cheerful mental attitude helps the body fight disease. Face the facts, quit worrying, then do something about it. The best remedy for worry is relaxation and recreation, along with sleep, music, and laughter. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music, see the funny side of life, and health and happiness will be yours.
I guess I needed to write this tip as much for myself as I did for you.
Damian Lang is CEO at Lang Masonry Contractors, Wolf Creek Construction, Malta Dynamics, and EZG Manufacturing. To view the products and equipment his companies created to make jobsites more efficient, visit his websites at ezgmfg.com or maltadynamics.com. To receive his free e-newsletters or to speak with Damian on his management systems or products, email:firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-749-3512.