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I worry a lot. I worry about my friends, my health, my planet. Heck, I worry about worrying too much.

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It can keep me up at night wondering whether I've ruined my shoes by buying shoe polish, or it can make me read that one email 10 times before sending it off. It can be tempting to hate my brain for worrying so much.


Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on myself. Every human being worries. And it turns out, worrying can have some surprising upsides, as professor Kate Sweeny recently wrote. So if you're the kind of person who worries about worrying, here are two big things to remember, courtesy of Sweeny:

1. Worrying is a track coach, keeping our brains active and motivated.

Image from iStock.

Nobody would hate their brains for making them feel scared when there's a big, obvious danger. Like an angry tiger. Or a bear. Or an angry tiger riding a bear. In that case, we need an immediate motivator for an immediate problem.

But our brains need a subtler response to subtler problems. Worry and anxiety can help our brains recognize and focus on long-term problems or motivate us to make better choices, like wearing our seat belts or applying sunscreen to avoid skin cancer.

2. Worrying is an emotional cushion, making our highs higher and lows not as bad.

Image from iStock.

Though worrying itself is unpleasant, it can help balance out our other emotions. One study showed the BBC television sitcom "Fawlty Towers" got funnier after watching a tense horror movie.

On the flip side, if things end up going south, your brain has already prepared itself. So worrying can be an emotional win-win.

But like all things, there's a right amount.

While a little worry can help us stay motivated, too much can paralyze us and can be a sign of anxiety disorders. If that's what's going on, taking a break from Facebook, practicing meditation, exercising, and talking with a therapist can all help reduce anxiety.

So, biologically, don't hate your brain for worrying.

Worry can be stressful. It's not fun to stay awake thinking about what you're going to say to your boss on Monday, whether you're eating right, or whether you're being a good friend. You might find yourself beset by worries at the worst time.

And that's OK. We can't always control our brains, but we worrywarts don't always need to feel bad for worrying. Sometimes it's our brain just helping us out.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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