Invent a new worry!

  • Did you know that most of our worries are just stories created by our amazing imaginations?

    It’s true. 91% of what we worry about never happens. And of our worries that do come true, most of us discover that we can handle the dreaded situation much better than we expected — or that the dreaded situation taught us an important lesson.

    This means that 97% of our worries are not really worries at all!


  • It also means that our brains are very good at thinking up things to worry about.

    To prove it, we’re going to make up a totally new worry!


  • STEP 1 OF 9

    For this project, you will need:

    Your journal
    A pen or pencil
    Any other materials you want to use to bring your worry to life: markers, paints, clay, collaging materials…it’s up to you!


  • STEP 2 OF 9

    In your journal, make a list of everything that does not worry you. You can probably find plenty of things around you right at this very moment. Are you worried about chairs? Probably not. What about Shoes? Socks? Doorknobs? Ceilings?

    See how many non-worries you can write down in, say, two minutes. On your marks, get set….go!


  • STEP 3 OF 9

    If you’re in a group or with a friend, take turns sharing your lists.

    When you are finished, choose something on your list that you can’t imagine anyone ever worrying about. Like a potato, for example. There probably aren’t very many people with potato worries.


  • STEP 4 OF 9

    Did you pick something?

    If you’re with others, it can be fun to trade non-worries. In our workshops, we use a game spinner. We each write our non-worry on a small piece of paper, fold it up, place it on one of the spinner’s sections, and take turns spinning. If you don’t have a spinner, a bowl or cup works just as well.



  • STEP 5 OF 9

    Once you’ve picked a non-worry, your job is to turn it into a worry.

    For example, if I picked potatoes, I would write in my journal all of the reasons we should be worried about potatoes. I could even write a story about a terrifying potato that sneaks out of the garden at night to terrorize the neighborhood.


  • STEP 6 OF 9

    Now let’s bring that new worry of yours to life.

    You can use any materials you’d like for this — paints, pens, clay, collage. You can even work with the worry itself if your worry happens to be an object that you can work with, like a potato, sock, or elephant car tissue.


  • STEP 7 OF 9

    Now that you have your long list of non-worries, and you know that you are far more fearless than you are fearful, try this:

    Stand up tall.
    Maybe a little taller than that.
    Get in a confident pose with your shoulders back and your chin up.
    Holding this position, take a few deep breaths, filling your chest all the way up with air and letting it go.
    If you want to throw in a hearty roar at the end, go for it!




  • STEP 8 OF 9

    Are you feeling even more fearless now? Like you could totally take on the most evil of potatoes?

    That would make sense because, it turns out, just standing in a confident pose can make you feel more confident. So next time you forget how courageous you are—maybe before a performance, game, or speech — give your confident pose a try.


  • STEP 9 OF 9

    Want to add your new worry to our gallery? We’ll be nervously awaiting.