You might remember MAD magazine and this motto of the mascot, Alfred E. Neuman. Maybe that’s why he has such a big smile – he has released the habit of worry.
We talked in the last post about fear and the Hero’s Journey. A hero is not someone who has no fear but who acts despite the fear. So, you might say that fear is really a gateway, a portal to living a heroic life.
Fear has many faces, and one of its devious forms is worry. Definitions of worry are to give way to anxiety or allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty over actual or potential problems. In these definitions, it’s easy to see that one has allowed one’s mind to be enslaved by certain thoughts.
Another definition of worry is to choke or strangle, to harass by tearing, biting, gnawing or snapping, as a dog or other carnivorous animal. We could say that when you worry, you are really strangling, choking, or gnawing yourself!
Worry seems inconsequential, not as big as fear or facing demons or dragons. However, the real danger of worry is that it becomes a state of mind, blocking our good from reaching us. Worry is expecting the worst-case scenario. Worry is always apologizing, being sorry, doing or saying the wrong thing. Worry is negative prayer. Worry is bringing up thoughts, words, and emotions about the past or future.
Changing the mind set of worry is necessary for living a happy and productive life.
Books abound on how to stop worry – Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a well-known one.
But’s it’s difficult to do a “don’t.” The mind responds to a don’t as though it was something you told yourself to do
More helpful is to think - what’s the opposite of worry?
We think of qualities like calmness, certainty, confidence, joy, trust, peace.
So, in the midst of worry, we affirm things like:
I am calm in all circumstances.
I am confident I can handle whatever comes to me.
I feel joy at the ease and beauty of my life.
I trust in a higher power always directing me perfectly.
I feel peace in all areas of my life.
Worry is living in the past or future. As the saying goes, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery.” All we can do is live in this day, or even more so, to live in this present moment. All we have is this present moment, so we have a day filled with moments of “now.” Tomorrow will be a whole new set of “now’s.”
Many books address this. I would like to recommend Be Here Now by Ram Das, and The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn has many books to soften your mind and heart into the present.
I would also like to recommend 10-minute mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport. This book gives many practical tips and triggers for living a life in the present.
As well, you might engage in relaxing exercises and meditation. On the meditation page, I give a short meditation you could try. I will have some relaxing exercises coming soon.
All of these are excellent to awaken to the pleasure of living in the now. Once you start doing this, you won’t want to go back. Living in the present moment is the key for a life of calm, peace, and joy.
Be Here Now, Ram Das https://amzn.to/2F1sgL3
The Power of Now, Ekhart Tolle https://amzn.to/2HFt6m6
Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hahn.
10-minute mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment, S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport ttps://amzn.to/2vwkzx5
I have a passion for stories and inspirational literature.