“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened” – Mark Twain
I shared an article from the Elephant Journal on facebook. Seems that many of us think about worry quite a bit. The article had a video clip by well-known Buddhist Monk Pema Chodron and a Buddhist diagram about worry.
It’s great advice. Don’t worry. But in a world where we live with one foot in the present and another in the future, worry seems that it’s a fact of life. The word ‘worry’ is derived from Middle English worien, from Old English wyrgan; akin to Old High German wurgen to strangle (my emphasis), Lithuanian veržti to constrict. How appropriate, the feeling of worry can feel like strangling at times. Worry beads, prayer beads and rosaries have been around for thousands of years to help people attain peace. There are actions you can take day-to-day to help with worry.
Mental Health America has a list of 10 tools to help combat everyday worry.
1. Connect with others. People need people, people! So get out in the world!
2. Stay positive. Ever heard the expression fake it ’til you make it? It can take awhile for your mood to catch up with the faking, but there’s something to be said for seeing the bright side. Wasting energy on a feeling that can’t help you takes away from your ability to focus on what you can do.
3. Get physically active or do nothing. Staying active can become a moving meditation that allows you to relax. According to the Center for Disease Control, only 35 percent of American adults over the age of 18 engage in regular physical activity and 33 percent of adults participate in no activity at all. People who aren’t healthy have more anxiety. The next time you have a bout of the jitters a good workout may be just what you need to get you back on track.
I teach a 6pm Sunday class and it’s probably my favorite. There’s something grounding about yoga ending the weekend. It also is a great way to clear the mind for the upcoming week.
If getting your sweat on doesn’t mellow you out, maybe taking some time to be quiet will. Sitting still for even a minute or two breathing in and out can have a powerful impact on stress.
4. Help others. Doing good is good for you. It may also help you take your mind off of your current troubles. Whether it’s working at your local soup kitchen or helping a friend grocery shop, extending a hand creates positive energy.
6. Create joy and satisfaction. Simply put- get a life. Hobbies and social outlets allow us to enjoy our time on this planet. Laugh, read, paint, sing, dance, cook, play, skip or whatever it is that makes you smile.
7. Eat well. This can’t be overstated. You are what you eat. If your food can go bad it’s probably good for you. If your food can’t go bad it’s probably not good for you.
8. Take care of your spirit. Many people attend religious services to nurture their spirit. You don’t have to be religious to take care of your spirit. But it is important to take time to breathe and collect your thoughts. Eating well and staying healthy are ways that many care for their spirit.
9. Deal better with hard times. The fear of the problem of often worse than the problem itself. Confronting issues head on gives you some control over what happens next. This cuts down on anxiety.
10. Get professional help if you need it. The National Institute of Mental Health says, “if you or someone you know is feeling especially bad or suicidal, get help right away. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.