Day 2300: The difference between worry and helping

As I described in last week’s post — Day 2328: A Year of No Worry — I have pledged to not worry for a year, which has been helping!  As also described in that post, I told an employee at Home Depot — who said, “It’s my job to worry” — that there was a huge difference between worry and helping.

Yesterday, in a therapy session, the difference between worry and helping came up again.


As you can see from those lists, worry entails many negative experiences and helping includes much more positive experiences.  In some cases, the experiences are almost opposite (“frozen” vs. “warmth” and “future” vs. “in the moment”). And yet, people often intertwine worry with helping, believing that unless they worry about others, they will focus too much attention on themselves — becoming selfish jerks rather than helpers.  As usual, black and white thinking (one of the cognitive distortions found here) causes us to think it’s all or nothing — either we are selfish jerks or worrying helpers.

What I’m discovering, in my year of no worries, is that letting go of worry is helping me become a better helper to others.  Worry saps my energy and gets in the way of my being as much as possible in the moment with others and therefore more sensitive to their needs.

I’m not going to worry about whether my writing in today’s post or my other photos from yesterday are helping.
















If you need help interpreting any of those photos, don’t worry.  Ask for help and I’ll give it, worry-free.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “The difference between worry and helping”:

I think that video about differences between humans and animals is very helpful.

The  human band Golden Earring has at least two songs about worry:  “No Need to Worry”

.. and “Don’t Worry.”


No need to worry and don’t worry about leaving a comment, below.

Worry-free and helping thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Day 2300: The difference between worry and helping

  1. Great great post Ann, Happy Easter!!!

  2. I believe in telling it how it is – Jackie says I’m honest to the point of ouch. But I don’t worry about that

  3. Great insights Ann! I have Bob Marley in my head today.

  4. Reading your blog helps me every time, Ann.

  5. YOU are such a tremendous help in life Ann.

  6. Be like Billy!

  7. It helps me to know that it’s okay to feel some of the aspects of worry–including awkwardness and bouncing back and forth. It helps me to think that allowing myself to feel these feelings can even be helpful. And it helps me to know that Golden Earring, whose song “Twilight Zone” comes up on my phone regularly, has other great songs. You are indeed one of the helpers.

  8. A very helpful post, Ann! Thank you.

  9. A very helpful post, Ann! Thank you.

  10. Humans invented worry and anxiety!

  11. Pingback: Day 2337: How to have a nice day | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. you’re so wise!
    i’ve been helping
    people worry 🙂

  13. What an interesting observation that when you worry less, you have the energy to help more! That’s worth seriously considering, I’d say. 🙂

  14. Pingback: Day 2587: Kind of a Big Deal | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  15. Pingback: Day 2592: New Year’s Eve | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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