Currently viewing the tag: "worry"

I don’t care that the odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. My heartbeat and sweaty palms say otherwise. I don’t care if something has never happened to anyone anywhere in the span of Earth’s existence; I can still worry it will happen to me. Uncomfortable feelings take hold of me, get my brain’s undivided attention and tells it point blank: “Something has to be wrong or we wouldn’t feel this way.” –Panic and the Media: Unraveling the Worry By Sarah Newman, MA

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, poem, or haiku about being paralyzed by worry.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the biggest worry you have right now.

Art Prompt: Worry

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the devastation of worry and how they can stop worrying and enjoy life.

Photo Credit: Waithamai on Flickr


There is a chance I could grow up to be ugly, and this is one of many things I worry about. –The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, or poem about a child afraid of growing up ugly. Include the internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: What were you afraid of when you were growing up.

Art Prompt: Ugly duckling

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how they can address the fears of their children OR tell a humorous story about one of your childhood fears.

Photo Credit: Henning Mühlinghaus on Flickr

Elderly People sign

Old age, according to Charles de Gaulle, is a shipwreck. After you’ve been through a shipwreck it’s hard to hang on to your worries. -Timothy Hallinan, The Bone Polisher

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about an older person who is worry free.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about growing older?

Art Prompt: The Shipwreck of Old Age

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous piece about growing older.

Photo Credit: bensons on Flickr

2 Because he won't knock...

…scientists wanted to see whether or not people could be scared to death. They looked for a likely belief, and found it in the Chinese and Japanese idea that the number four is unlucky. Obviously, finding a random sampling of subjects and attempting to scare them to death would be unethical, so the scientists reluctantly turned their attention to existing death certificates. The scientists looked and Japanese and Chinese death certificates, and those of white Americans as the control. They found that while white Americans saw no major peak for cardiac deaths, Japanese and Chinese cardiac deaths peaked on the fourth of the month every months.

Why? The stress and worry of approaching an unlucky day actually caused people to have heart attacks. The fourth of every month acted the same way a Sherlock Holmes murderer did, and so the phenomenon was called The Baskerville Effect. Worry actually can kill. So don’t worry, or you will die. -Esther Inglis-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about someone who is scared to death.

Journaling Prompt: What are you most afraid of? How do you deal with your fear?

Art Prompt: Scared to Death

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the effect of fear, stress, and worry on your life.

Photo Credit: Silentmind8 on Flickr


There are three primary types of overthinking:

1. Rant-and-rave overthinking is the most familiar type and usually centers around some wrong we believe has been done to us. Rants and raves tend to take on an air of wounded self-righteousness and focus on designing a retributions that will severely sting our victimizers… rant-and-rave overthinking tends to paint others as terrible villains without considering the “other side of the story.”

2.Life-of-their-own overthinking begins innocently as we notice we’re feeling upset or we ponder a recent event. Then we begin to entertain possible causes for our feelings… all these possibilities seem highly likely. We accept all the explanations we generate, especially the most dramatic ones, as equally plausible.

3. Chaotic overthinking occurs when we don’t move in a straight line from one problem to another, but it is as if all kinds of concerns, many of the unrelated, flood our minds all at the same time… Chaotic overthinking can be especially immobilizing because we can’t identify what we feel or think very clearly-we are just overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts that disorient us and often cause us to shut down or run away. -Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life

Writing Prompt: Write an inner monologue for your character that involves overthinking.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you got stuck in an overthinking cycle.

Art Prompt: Overthinking

Speech/Creative NonFiction Prompt: Write about how overthinking damages personal and professional relationships.

Photo Credit: emma_brown on Flickr


You’ve heard the proverb, “Fences make good neighbords.” It turns out there is more to that proverb than meets the eye.

‘People often turn to aesthetic boundaries in their environment to give them a sense that their world is ordered and structured as opposed to random and chaotic,’ writes author Keisha Cutright (University of Pennsylvania).

Cutright’s research indicates that people who feel a lack of control seek tangible boundaries, such as frames around paintings, fences around yards, or prominent borders surrounding a firm’s logo. “When individuals no longer feel in control of their lives, they seem to seek the sense of order and structure that boundaries provide — the sense that ‘there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place,'” Cutright explains.

The author also found that individuals who have other places to turn for a sense of structure had less need for physical boundaries. “Individuals who rely on God for a sense of order and structure were less likely to heighten their preference for boundaries in the face of low personal control than individuals who do not,” Cutright writes.

In a world where consumers face natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and everyday chaos at home, they will seek whatever small comfort they can. ‘In other words, don’t be alarmed if you find yourself craving thicker picture frames and a new fence for your yard. You may just need a little control in your life,’ Cutright concludes. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch showing how your character feels a lack of control and how he or she tries to get it back.

Journaling Prompt: How do you respond when you feel a lack of control.

Art Prompt: Fences

Photo Credit: guzzphoto on Flickr


I used to think that I had insomnia. Some nights I do, but mostly I have Delayed Onset Sleep Syndrome. Either way you slice it, I’m not at my best before noon.
Insomnia is costing the average U.S. worker 11.3 days, or $2,280 in lost productivity every year, according to a study in the September 1 issue of the journal Sleep. As a nation, the total cost is 252.7 days and $63.2 billion. “We were shocked by the enormous impact insomnia has on the average person’s life,” said lead author Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D. “It’s an underappreciated problem. Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. They are still going to their jobs but accomplishing less because they’re tired. In an information-based economy, it’s difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity.” –Science Daily
Writing Prompt: Create a scene where your character is having difficulty sleeping. What is keeping him or her awake?
Journaling Prompt: How do you cope when you can’t sleep?
Art Prompt: Insomnia
Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the cost of insomnia to society and in your workplace or family.
Photo Credit: Alyssa L. Miller on Flickr

Worried man

Religion is purported to have a lot of benefits, but it turns out that the individual’s conception of and relationship with God determines whether they will receive those benefits or not. 

“…certain spiritual beliefs are tied to intolerance of uncertainty and worry for some individuals,” the paper concludes.

“‘We found that the positive beliefs of trust in God were associated with less worry and that this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of intolerance of uncertainty,” it added. “Conversely, the negative beliefs of mistrust in God correlated with higher worry and intolerance…'” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Does your character believe in a higher power? If yes, how much does he or she trust the higher power? How is this expressed in behavior?

Journaling Prompt: How much do you worry? How does your level of worry relate to your trust or mistrust of a higher power?

Art Prompt: Worry

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about worry as a habit and give them strategies to overcome it.

Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7 on Flickr