The Cognitive Cost Of Worrying

I’d been feeling a little guilty lately. For the most part I had stuck with my plan of writing, and posting on the blog everyday. On one level I felt good because I was reestablishing momentum with writing, and producing more content again.

On another level I felt guilty, however, because my buddy Huan was spending what I perceived to be a significant amount of time commenting, and giving me constructive criticism on my posts everyday.

It wasn’t an overwhelming regret that took over my life, but over the past several days I’d experienced a sense of unease growing around my writing. Nothing too significant, but certainly noticeable, and that’s when I decided I needed to do something about it.

I messaged Huan through SETT, and let him know that I appreciated his feedback, but because commenting on my blog everyday could be somewhat time consuming I only wanted him to comment on additional posts if he felt he could offer an alternative perspective, or build upon what was discussed in the post.

I told him I respected his time, and didn’t want him to comment on my blog merely because he felt obligated to because of the fact I read his blog. He responded back a few hours later, and completely understood where I was coming from.

Since then my guilt has evaporated, and I’ve experienced significantly less resistance around the writing process than I have in a long time. Now to prevent this from sounding like a teenage girl’s Tumblr rant any longer let’s discuss what this means for your life.

Real-Life Application

Worrying about seemingly insignificant things can waste a significant amount of your brain’s ‘RAM’ so to speak. For those of you who aren’t computer nerds, instead think of worrying as stealing a percentage of your brain’s cognitive capacity, and not allowing you to think, and process things to the full extent you’re capable of.

This is why it’s a bad idea to put off your taxes until the day before the deadline. By doing so you risk doing them haphazardly, but you’ve also allowed the manifestation of an additional drain on your cognitive abilities.

The more unsettled things you leave looming on the horizon the more energy and thought cycles you’ll waste thinking about them, and the more difficultly you’ll have in accessing your brain to the fullest extent.

You can counter this to some extent by becoming a Zen mofo who doesn’t allow himself to ever worry about things outside his control or the present moment. However, perfect Zen adherence is unlikely so even better yet you’ll identify, and defuse things that could become an ongoing source of worry before they become an issue.

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