Quoting: Worry is Created by Self-Talk


Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”

The more you engage in joyful and grateful self-talk, the more your mind will be free from worry.

Some people tell themselves, “It’s my nature to worry.” But the truth is that no one is born a worrier. A person might have started worrying at a young age and have many early memories of worrying. A person might find it very difficult not to worry. But this isn’t someone’s basic nature. Worry is essentially self-talk about something negative that you hope won’t happen. You feel anxious and distressed about the possibility.

One way out of the worry pattern is to think of potential solutions. Whenever you worry about something, imagine three or more alternate outcomes.

A happy and joyful person has mastered the art of thinking in patterns that create happiness and joy. Let this be your mind.

from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: Conversations With Yourself, pp.258-9

14 thoughts on “Quoting: Worry is Created by Self-Talk

  1. And just in case anyone is interested in the etymology of the word “worry” (v.):
    Middle English wirien (c. 1300), “to slay, kill or injure by biting and shaking the throat” (as a dog or wolf does), from Old English wyrgan “to strangle,” from Proto-Germanic *wurgjan (source also of Middle Dutch worghen, Dutch worgen, Old High German wurgen, German würgen “to strangle,” Old Norse virgill “rope”), from *wergh-, from PIE root *wer- (2) “to turn, bend.”

    The “strangle” sense was obsolete in English after c.1600 [supplanted, no doubt, by the notion of “wringing” one’s neck rather than “worrying” it — though one certainly can observe the relationship between “wring” and “wyrgan”]; the figurative meaning “to annoy, bother, vex” [was obsoleted] by c.1400. The meaning “to cause mental distress or trouble” is attested from 1822; the intransitive sense of “to feel anxiety or mental trouble” is attested by 1860. [But we do still have the usage of a dog “worrying” a bone. I suppose that might be *one* way of working out one’s anxieties, though I wouldn’t recommend it. [:)]]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So both lynching and some worrying about it would have coincided in 1860. People were told to shut up then too. Oh the problems of rich entitled people, to have to hear the voices of others.


    • I think what the good Rabbi is suggesting is that people who are constantly anxious over needless concerns can control their emotional state by controlling their self-talk. No one is suggesting that it’s okay to lynch people.


      • Nu?! Did James say anything about being the rabbi? Is he not entitled to offer an interpretation of advice from a rabbi whose writings he has enjoyed for some years already? Why the vehemence, Marleen? And why this talk of lynching? The only thing the rabbi suggested pertained to what people tell themselves, not anyone else. So the only person who might tell anyone to shut up is the person’s own self to oneself. Even someone trying to encourage others to take the rabbi’s advice can only recommend that they talk to themselves in order to reduce their own sense of anxiety. Now it may be inferred that if fewer people are suffering personal anxiety, the likelihood may be reduced that any of them will strike out at someone else. Is this somehow to be perceived as a problem?


  3. What the rabbi (himself, as quoted) said was fine.

    You guys have done this before, push forward your own agenda hiding behind someone else and then act like another person disagreeing with you disagrees with or doesn’t understand the rabbi.


    • So, Marleen, who said anything about lynching except for you? I’ll admit that I took a good-natured poke at so-called “Social Justice Warriors” by means of the pun “Social Justice Worriers”. They are deserving of such, because so often they are guilty of supporting the blatant anti-Semitism of BDS, as well as other false causes they champion in their misguided zeal. That is why I implied they might benefit from the rabbi’s advice by which they might chill out a bit. With a bit of cool reflection they might just realize that there is no such thing as “social justice”. There is only “Justice”, which impartially determines how two or more claimants may resolve their disagreement in a lawful manner. What passes for “social justice” is more often than not a bid for injustice and partiality and one-sided favoritism — and at this I will take a poke any day of the week (well, maybe not on Shabbat [:)]).


      • Who brought up strangulation and so forth? (Answer: not me.) I know you won’t stop playing dumb and brilliant at the same time.


      • Does the etymology of a word not interest you, Marleen? If one is to understand something, one must learn what words mean and how they came to have those meanings. In this case, one may understand worry as a feeling of anxiety that metaphorically grabs one by the throat and strangles rationality, shaking one’s thoughts and fears back and forth painfully in the form of mental anguish. Every bit of this is focused on something that happens internally, within oneself. How do you then ignore that this is internal and metaphorical, and turn it into an accusation that someone is advocating social oppression or even violence? I just don’t understand your reaction.


  4. The etymology would be interesting (and in fact is anyway) if it weren’t paired with writing off people with real grievances (as opposed to whiners and hyper-reactive narcissists). The problem is your dismissal (through lots of words as if you’ve thought about it or taken the “right” talking points from here and there) toward injustice. We have talked about (at least I did) how real stress (or injustice) can affect people (in a way that you’re calling metaphorical, such as in the throat) before, if you recall. Similarly, the dog whistle can become injustice.


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