Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If You Know How to Worry...

Last week I read this sentiment in a book: If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate.

That blew my mind.

I am a champion worrier. I’m not proud of this, I wish it weren’t true, but it is. I have an obsessive, creative mind, and left to its own devices, it will fixate on all kinds of awful scenarios that will probably never happen. This does not help me.

Recently I’ve been trying, rather than just stopping behavior I don’t like, to replace it with something else. So the sentence about meditating made a lot of sense to me. For the past week or so whenever bad thoughts come into my mind, whenever I start down the path of worry or negativity, I’ve tried to catch myself and think something else instead.

Meditating in this sense is not sitting in the lotus position in a dark room, but focusing your mind on something. I have lots of mantras, sayings, thoughts I’ve collected over the years so I try one of those. It could be “To thine own self be true,” “I am exactly where I am supposed to be,” “Ask and you shall receive,” “God has a plan of goodness for me.” It could be just repeating to myself what I’m doing in that moment---aka “I’m driving the car, I’m driving the car.” The thought that helps will depend on the situation and the person, but I think the concept could help everyone: when you’re worried, switch your thinking to something else. Use that crazy obsessive mind to help yourself!

9 comments:

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Karolina said...

yeeeeah, I'm trying not to think that I'm a worrier. And also I found meditation for me is a good thing. I just try not to think at all!

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Odd Bob said...

I think worrying runs in my family. My grandmother is a champion worrier, my mother should win awards for worrying and my sisters seem to follow in their foot steps. I think I have unwittingly adopted a similar method to you though: Worry avoidance. While you repeat mantras (great idea by the way, I will pass on the advice to my worrying family) I distract myself with stories. Coming up with odd fiction in my head to avoid whatever i don't want to think about. Focusing on that takes all my attention and leaves worrying for when I can actually do something about it!