Calm the F-ck Down

How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t So You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get On With Your Life

Sarah Knight

Cover design by Lauren Harms
Cover copyright © 2018 by Hachette Book Group, Inc
Illustrations and hand lettering by Lauren Harms
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Book Details
 231 p
 File Size 
 3,664 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2018 by MCSnugz, Inc 

About the Author
Sarah Knight’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, has
been published in more than twenty languages, and her TEDx talk, “The Magic
of Not Giving a Fuck,” has more than four million views. All of the books in her
No Fucks Given Guides series have been international bestsellers, including Get
Your Shit Together, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for sixteen
weeks. Her writing has also appeared in Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie
Claire, Red, Refinery29, and elsewhere. After quitting her corporate job to
pursue a freelance life, she moved from Brooklyn, New York, to the Dominican
Republic, where she currently resides with her husband, two feral rescue cats,
and a shitload of lizards.
You can learn more and sign up for her newsletter at nofucks, follow Sarah on Twitter and Instagram @MCSnugz, and
follow the books @NoFucksGivenGuides (Facebook and Instagram) and
@NoFucksGiven (Twitter).

A note on the title
This is a book about anxiety—from the white noise of what-ifs to the white-hot
terror of a full-blown crisis. As such, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m the
world’s biggest asshole for titling it as I have, since everyone knows that the first
entry on a long list of Unhelpful Things to Say to a Person Experiencing Anxiety
Indeed, when I’m upset and somebody tells me to calm down, I want to
murder them in swift and decisive fashion. So I see where you’d be coming from.
But this is also a book about problems—we’ve all got ’em—and calming
down is exactly what you need to do if you want to solve those problems. It is
what it is. So if it keeps you from wanting to murder the messenger, know that in
these pages I’m saying “Calm the fuck down” the same way I said “Get your shit
together” in the <cough> New York Times bestseller of the same name—not to
shame or criticize you, but to offer motivation and encouragement.
I promise that’s all I’m going for. (And that I’m not the world’s biggest
asshole; that honor belongs to whoever invented the vuvuzela.)
We cool? Excellent.
One more thing before we dive into all of that anxiety-reducing, problemsolving
goodness: I understand the difference between anxiety, the mental
illness, and anxiety, the temporary state of mind. I understand it because I
myself happen to possess a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety and Panic
Disorder. (Write what you know, folks!)
So although a profanity-riddled self-help book is no substitute for
professional medical care, if you picked up Calm the Fuck Down because you’re
perennially, clinically anxious like me, in it you will find plenty of tips, tricks,
and techniques to help you manage that shit, which will allow you to move on to
the business of solving the problems that are feeding your anxiety in the first place.
But maybe you don’t have—or don’t realize you have, or aren’t ready to
admit you have—anxiety, the mental illness. Maybe you just get temporarily
anxious when the situation demands it (see: the white-hot terror of a full-blown
crisis). Never fear! Calm the Fuck Down will provide you with ample
calamity management tools for stressful times.
Plus maybe some tips, tricks, and techniques for dealing with that thing you
don’t realize or aren’t ready to admit you have.
Just sayin’.

I’d like to kick things off with a few questions:
• How many times a day do you ask yourself What if? As in: What if X
happens? What if Y goes wrong? What if Z doesn’t turn out like I
want/need/expect it to?
• How much time do you spend worrying about something that hasn’t
happened yet? Or about something that not only hasn’t happened, but
probably won’t?
• And how many hours have you wasted freaking out about something that
has already happened (or avoiding it, as a quiet panic infests your soul)
instead of just dealing with it?
It’s okay to be honest—I’m not trying to shame you. In fact, I’ll go first!
My answer is: Too many, too much, and a LOT. I assume yours is too,
because if the answer is Never, none, and ZERO, then you have no reason to be
reading this book (nor, I might add, the hard-won qualifications to have written it).
Well, I come bearing good news.
When we’re finished, the next time you come down with a case of the whatifs—
and whether they remain theoretical anxieties or turn into real, live
problems that need solvin’—instead of worrying yourself into a panic attack,
crying the day away, punching a wall, or avoiding things until they get even
worse, you’ll have learned to replace the open-ended nature of that unproductive
question with one that’s much more logical, realistic, and actionable:....

Table of Contents
Title Page
A note on the title
Shit happens
What, me worry?
Feat. The NoWorries Method
I can’t deal with this shit. (Or can I?)
SO YOU’RE FREAKING OUT: Acknowledge the real problem and
rein in your reaction
What seems to be the problem?
Everything is a tarantula
The evolution of a freakout
The Four Faces of Freaking Out
Anxiety, Sadness, Anger, and Avoidance
Mexican Airport Syndrome
Survey says: y’all are a bunch of freaks
Welcome to the Flipside
Feat. Freakout Faces: the Flipsides
Freakout funds
Time, energy, and money
3 ways in which overthinking wastes time, energy, and money
The Fourth Fund
Hot take, coming right up!
Mental decluttering and the One Question to Rule Them All
This is your brain on puppies
Quick reminder
CALM THE FUCK DOWN: Identify what you can control, accept
what you can’t, and let that shit go
Pick a category, any category
Feat. The Sarah Knight Shitstorm Scale
Can I get a downgrade?
Logicats, ho!
The gathering shitstorms: a list
10 what-ifs I may or may not need to worry about
10 what-ifs I may or may not need to worry about: ranked by probability
What’s your status?
Outlying, imminent, and total shitstorms
The more the hairier (a quiz)
Choose it or lose it
Get ur control freak on
Out of your hands
Make a contribution
Under your influence
Complete control
The One Question to Rule Them All, in action
Shit people in my Twitter feed are worried about. Can they control it?
Feat. Soul-sucking day jobs, ugly babies, getting laid off, raccoon bites
If the answer is no, this is how you let it go
Reality check, please!
Let’s be real
Option 1: Just fucking let it go
Option 2: Houdini that shit
Feat. Sleight of mind
How to stop being anxious about something
Give anxiety the finger(s)
Get down with O.P.P.
Tonight You, meet Tomorrow You
Other ways to reduce anxiety that I didn’t invent but that have been
known to work
How to stop being sad about something
Laughter is the best medicine
You’re in for a treat
5 things I have stopped worrying about while eating a king-sized
Snickers bar
How to stop being angry about something
Work it out
Plot your revenge
5 forms of revenge that are fun to think about
How to stop avoiding something
Get alarmed
Propose a trade
Secret Option C
Productive Helpful Effective Worrying (PHEW)
Sending a shitstorm out to sea
Feat. Anniversary gifts and seasickness
Houston, we have an irrational fear
Hi, I’m Sarah and I have a mental illness
The calm before the shitstorm
10 what-ifs I may or may not need to worry about: Can I control them?
I read the news today, oh boy
5 tips for calming the fuck down about the world falling apart
Limit your exposure
Balancing act
Bone up
Take a memo
Do good
Stirring the shit
That was not a chill pill
I love it when a plan comes together
Categorizin’ cousins
Feat. Renée and Julie and the Parking Lot Grudge Match
“How do I calm the fuck down?” flowchart
DEAL WITH IT: Address what you can control
Deal me in
The Full Fix, Salvage Jobs, and Basic Survival
The Three Principles of Dealing With It
Take stock
What-iffing for good instead of evil
Identify your realistic ideal outcome (RIO)
What’s realistic?
What’s ideal?
How do I figure it out?
Feat. Canceled flights, failing grades, big bad storms
Get bent! (a bonus principle)
Whose fault is it anyway?
It’s all in your head
Total shitstorms: a catalogue of terror
Relatively painless shit
Feat. Lost reservations, bad haircuts, trampoline injuries, and faulty printers
5 things you might do accidentally that are still not as bad as failing
to bcc more than 100 people on a work email
Tedious shit
Feat. Back taxes, bad sex, angry friends, and frozen pipes
You snooze, you lose (your car)
Really heavy shit
Feat. Robbery, divorce, French butter shortages, nuclear war,
bedbugs, and DEATH
Over to you, Bob
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: When shit happens, how will
you calm the fuck down and deal with it?
Discover More
About the Author
Also available
Praise for Sarah Knight

Calm the F-ck Down- How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t So You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get On With Your Life
First Ebook Edition: December 2018
Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The
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