Book Review: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry 

By: Dale Carnegie 

Reviewed by: Shelby Brown 

The Premise: This book is a self-help classic and addresses something that we may feel like we’re dealing with more these days, but we’ve always dealt with – worry. About three months into 2021, my husband pulled out How to Stop Worrying and Start Living to help get realigned as he felt he’d fallen out the good habit he had created and was spiralling into a state of worry. Shortly after, I felt the same. Dale Carnegie shares simple ways to eliminate worry from your life. I was worried that perhaps this book would be dated, but it turns out, good advice just never gets old. 

The Bottomline: The book is broken into eight sections: Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry, Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry, How to Break the Worry Habit Before it Breaks You, Seven Ways to Cultivate A Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness, The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry and How to Keep From Worrying About Criticism to name a few. How to Keep from Worrying About Criticism was one of my favourite sections. I found this section so topical, despite the book originally being published in 1948. Criticism from sources around us, criticism from ourselves, these are all things that Carnegie acknowledges that we experience as humans. He shares tips for navigating the criticism away from worry and into something practical. He shares ways to analyze your own mistakes in a critical way – but not to criticize into worry. 

This world famous book’s goal is to share everyday practices to help you become more aware of yourself and those around you to live a more fulfilling and productive life. Despite this book being published before my time, I found it so incredibly impactful and relevant for these times during the pandemic. Reading Dale Carnegie’s tips for dissolving worry are incredibly practical and helpful. One of his most memorable tips for me was to “keep busy” and when you are keeping busy you remove the opportunity for worry and “crowd it out.” 

Recommendation: I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to renew, refocus and reprioritize. It’s a great kick-start to get back into the habits and routine that you may have fallen out of.