A Christian pastor, James Gordon Gilkey, wrote in the 1930’s this little remedy probably based on the humorist Mark Twain’s comment, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
Gilkey wrote concerning worry:
1. Worries about disasters that, as later events proved, never happened. About 40% of my anxiety.
2. Worries about decisions I had made in the past, decisions about which I could now of course do nothing. About 30% of my anxiety.
3. Worries about possible sickness and a possible nervous breakdown, neither of which materialized. About 12% of my worries.
4. Worries about my children and my friends, worries arising from the fact I forgot these people have an ordinary amount of common sense. About 10% of my worries.
5. Worries that have a real foundation. Possibly 8% of the total.
Gilkey then prescribes:
What is the first step in the conquest of anxiety? It is to limit his worrying to the few perils in his fifth group. This simple act will eliminate 92% of his fears. Or, to figure the matter differently, it will leave him free from worry 92% of the time.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Jesus