Now Tom is mad because he says, “Is that seriously bothering you??” all the time.

I worry a lot, so I have a good deal of experience in the field of trying to calm the fuck down. I thought it would be helpful if I shared some of my favorite ways to relax. If you’re feeling uptight, take a look at this list. I guarantee that if it doesn’t help you chill out, it will at least make you feel like there is something wrong with you because nothing’s helping.

1. Complain about how nervous you are. This is my favorite tactic, because it prompts the people around me to say things like, “Don’t worry about that,” and “Why are you even thinking about that?” and “Is that seriously bothering you??” Nothing assuages my fears like a judgmental dismissal of them.

2. Look up the statistics for how likely it is that your concerns will come true. For example, the Internet says only 5% of people with severe myopia like mine will end up with complications that cause them to go blind. Only 5%! What a relief. (Note: it’s very important to avoid thinking about how many people you’re fighting against to be in the “safe” group. Like, definitely don’t consider the fact that 5% really means 1 in 20, and that’s actually terrifyingly high.)

3. Put things in perspective. So what if you go blind? You’ll still have your other senses. And there are plenty of things to enjoy without vision. What you REALLY need to be worrying about is going all Helen Keller. Or getting a brain tumor and needing surgery that ends up completely changing your personality. Or going into a permanent vegetative state that forces your loved ones to decide whether or not to pull the plug.

4. Take a few deep breaths. Focus on what you are doing right here, right now. Don’t think too hard about your breathing. Don’t get caught up in how suddenly you can’t seem to get enough air. Is the room getting smaller? God, it just feels like there isn’t any oxygen left in here. INSIST EVERYONE ELSE STOP STEALING ALL YOUR OXYGEN! Find a potted plant, bury your face in its leaves, and deeply inhale its oxygen-richness. Realize it was a cactus, blame the oxygen deprivation, and seek first aid.

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