Asha Praver is a yoga and wellness expert who has provided us with some ideas on how to help us not worry, regardless of circumstances. Bad things do happen. But worry is not itself an event, person, or physical object. It is only the thoughts we spin around the remembered past or the imagined future.
Between intelligent discernment, practical preparation, and obsessive preoccupation, there is a wide and important difference…
“Worrisome obsession puts you on the wavelength of that which you fear and increases the likelihood that it will happen,” Praver says. “Thought influences circumstances in proportion to the power you put into those thoughts.”
Affirmative thinking, while no guarantee of safety, can at least mitigate troublesome karma. Even more importantly, it gives you the inner strength to deal with whatever comes.
Praver has provided a few ideas to help stop us from worrying:
Declare a state of emergency: Not over the things you worry about; worry itself is the emergency. It is a self-perpetuating habit: the more you do it now, the more you will do it in the future. If you were bitten by a poisonous snake you would act immediately to get its fangs out of your skin. Worry is a mental poison. Whenever you feel it flowing into you, act — forcefully and immediately — to pull those worry-fangs out of your mind.
Nature abhors a vacuum: You can’t replace something with nothing, especially something as seductive as the habit of worry. Introspect and find the kernel of what frightens you. Lack of money? Health? Your ability to cope? Loss or injury to self or loved ones? Zero in on the seed cause, then find or write an affirmation that counteracts it. Be careful, though, not to choose an affirmation greater than your belief. It should stretch you, but still be within your grasp. “Whatever happens, I can always take one step-at-a-time to resolve it,” may be better than “God is my Infinite Protector,” if you doubt that He or She will be there for you in the crunch. If, on the other hand, you know God is your Protector, by all means choose the top-of-the-line solution for whatever ails you.
Use your body: Fear and worry have a physiological component. Anxiety creates a chemical predisposition toward more fear and worry. Physical action and the right kind of sensory stimulation counteract that predisposition and restore your inner balance. Practice yoga, especially yoga with affirmations that draws you into a deeper state of consciousness. Or, if more drastic action is needed, throw yourself into the swimming pool, hit the sidewalk running, or dance hard, walk fast — anything that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe deep and rhythmically. At the same time, affirm loudly, or at least loudly in your own mind if speaking would be inappropriate. Smell a rose, burn incense, activate a positive olfactory memory. Picture in your mind, or stare at a photograph of a great soul, demanding that his or her consciousness come into you and banish worry. If you can’t do any of these things outwardly, then at least breathe consciously, affirm mentally, and visualize yourself doing everything else.
Pray, meditate, serve and give to others: Worry makes you feel like you don’t have enough time or energy for anything else. But in fact, worry itself is what takes up your time by sapping your energy. Redirect your energy in devotion and communion with God, and loving service to others. Learn actual techniques of meditation, ways of escaping the worry-tape in your mind. Do things that open your heart, like chanting and devotional singing. The best way to feel good about yourself is to forget yourself in the contemplation of the Divine and in giving yourself to others. It is our littleness that frightens us. Expand your sense of self to include the greater Self and the welfare of others and you’ll find worry ceases to trouble you.