Friday, March 28, 2008

Dealing With Anxiety

Feel anxious about the economy? The anxiety you feel (on anything) depends on the probability you assign to the catastrophy versus the resources you have to do something about said catastrophy:

So if you're Bill Gates and you think the economy is going into a tailspin, you're not going to lose sleep over it. Conversely, if you think the economy is doing okay, but have no savings, you might still worry about bills.

Note that this is true of any catastrophe. Think a loved one might die? If you think you can deal with the loss, you won't be as anxious about it. Think the probability is small? You probably don't give it much thought.

So to deal with anxiety, you either have to put real expectations on the probability (i.e. don't worry about an asteroid striking the Earth) or develop resources to deal with the situation (save for economic catastrophies, develop character for personal crises, etc.).

This sort of ties into the Mamet quote I posted here.

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