Tag Archives: William James

The 52: Lesson Three — What’s the Use of Worrying? Try This!

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butterflyblueskyDo you think that worrying is a modern-day problem?  Here is what Ovid, born in 43 B.C. and  a Roman poet, had to say:

Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.

Can you imagine, giving up worrying, once and for all?  Especially now, in a world where we seem to dwell on subjects like these:  The undulating economy.  Terrorism and shootings. Health care programs.  Will we have enough money to put our children through college?  Enough money to support us into old age? Enough money to buy food for tomorrow? What is our future?  Can we find a job?  Is the planet over heating?  Why am I depressed?  On and on, more and more…

STOP!  Has your worrying level gone up just by reading these questions?  STOP!  Put them  in the box or slot them into worry time.  Worrying about all this is useless, non productive and dangerous.  STOP NOW!

LESSON THREE

WHAT’S THE USE OF WORRYING?

I like what William James, the psychologist/philosopher, had to say about worrying:

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

I think, at least for now, we all seem to be on the same planet.  The facts are in — worrying is wasted.  It is time to break the habit!  While loving yourself completely NOW and calming your body, you take the next step and stop worrying.  Let it go.  Give it up.  Trust in supreme consciousness. All this worrying stuff is out there, in another realm some of us call maya, (illusion).  But more on that later.  Right now we are being practical.

There is a song from World War I.  Part of it goes like this:

What’s the use of worrying?  It never was worthwhile, so

Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag and smile,smile, smile.

You may think these lines are simplistic, but they fall on the truth.  You CAN pack up your troubles and learn to place them in a healthier context.

Here’s an idea I got from a friend and wonderful meditation teacher.  Put one of those stretchy bracelets on your arm.  Whenever you have a worry thought, switch it to the other arm. Or take some object.  Place it to your left then move it to your right whenever a worry erupts. You will quickly become aware of how often you worry.  You might be moving it back and forth all day. At least you will know what you are thinking.  In fact, you can try this with any number of thought patterns. First you have to be made aware of your worrying habits.

Here are some suggestions you might try:

  • Become aware of your worry patterns.  Use the idea just suggested or just mentally note whenever you have a “worry” thought. Don’t be harsh with your self.  This is not a reason to feel guilt.  You are simply observing and learning.
  • Put your worries in your “worry box.”  Each time you note a worry thought, rather than immediately obsess about it and create anxiety, write it down on a piece of paper and put it, literally, in a box.  Then, when you are ready to address your worries, pull it out along with the others you have accumulated, and , go ahead, worry.  Limit the time you give to this.
  • Schedule a specific “worry time.” Take your worries, as they arise, and note them in your mind, but do not spend any time on them. Then, at your chosen time — maybe on the hour of the clock and for three or five minutes — go ahead and worry like crazy.  With wild abandon, worry.  When the “timer” goes off, put them away again. Or choose one or two times a day when you will worry.  Keep it contained so worrying is not running amuck throughout your day.
  • Honestly evaluate what the worrying has done for you and to you.  It won’t take long before you realize that it is wasted effort.
  • Do not mistake worrying for problem solving.  They are two different things.  One has a concrete outcome, the other does not.
  • Throughout this process, remember that you can always return to your affirmation, I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW. Let it remind you that worrying (and nothing else) will ever take that love away.  It emanates from a source far too powerful to be set aside by our behaviors.

I hope that you will try some of these methods if worrying presents a challenge for you. And tell me know how you are doing.  I care!  Be assured of this.  And besides, you wouldn’t want me to be worrying about you, would you?

With love and namaste, Deanne

Read more at www.deannemincer.com and join me on Facebook where all this is often posted.

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