Playing catch up post-holiday (and not entirely unconcerned about the volume of email I would face whilst firing up my Gmail after a two week hiatus) I happened across Maria Popova's excellent post on the psychology of worrying. The post draws on Claudia Hammond's book Time Warped, and specifically her recounting of the work of clinical psychologist Ad Kerkhof, who has worked in the field of suicide prevention for thirty years. Kerkhof found that people worry about one topic more than any other: the future. Kerkhof has written about some useful techniques for cutting down on the amount of time we spend worrying (including the simple but rather brilliant advice quoted above to compartmentalise worry-time).
I don't think I worry more than your average human being but like most people I suspect, I dislike how sabotaging and potentially disproportionate it can sometimes be. Which made me wonder idly, what with all the stuff around the quantified self, whether we would ever see an app that visualises the time we spend worrying about specific things, perhaps in the manner of Andrew Kuo's (not entirely serious) Wheel of Worry from 2010. Even better if it then was able to show us whether that worry was justifed or not. I suspect that it would prove a very graphic illustration of the pointlessness of most worrying. Anyone care to build it?Photo Credit: Mikey G Ottawa via Compfight cc