Letting It All Go: A Meditation for Worriers
After my last post about my father’s illness and my tendency to worry, I started thinking about how I combat my own worry. I really believe in expressing my emotions, whether they be realistic or not. I picture negative feelings as festering wounds, things that must be cleaned and bandaged in order to heal. While I hadn’t thought of it this way before, after looking up some guided meditations on releasing worry, I realized that I already do daily mantra meditations for expressing and releasing worry. So for this post, I want to share my personal guided meditation.
I hope it helps you, too. I’ll give the basic format, and then I’ll fill out an example from my own meditation practice:
I am worried about: ___________ .
This worries me because _________ .
I know I’m worried because ________ .
My worry is irrational because _________ .
I cannot control this. Holding this worry is making me feel ______ . It is not helping me to feel this way.
What can I do right now? ________
(If the answer is nothing, a. If something, b.)
- I cannot do anything at this time, therefore this anxiety is not productive. I release myself from this worry. I will live in the moment. I will appreciate the now. I will find joy in today.
- At this time I can do _______. I will do this to make myself feel better. This may not solve all of my problems but I will feel like I have taken action. That is all I can ask of myself. I must release anxiety and guilt. I will appreciate the now. I will find joy in today.
Here’s my example:
I am worried about: my dad. I’m worried about being productive enough at work. I’m worried about things being out of my control.
These things worry me because: of course it’s hard to concentrate on mundane things when I am worrying about my family. I don’t want it to affect my work because I care deeply about being taken seriously at work. I hate the feeling of things being out of my control, because I have no idea when they will go away or change.
I know I’m worried because: trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, stomachache.
My worry is irrational because: Because I can’t know what will happen with my dad. There is just no way to say, especially so early in the treatment process. Because I know I’m being productive and useful at work, and plenty of employee reviews have shown me that they like and support me. Because I wouldn’t like it if everything in my life was completely under my control. Uncertainty and surprise can be beautiful. Most importantly, that isn’t going to change, so I may as well accept it.
At this time I can: cross some items off my list at work. This will make me feel productive. I will do this by the end of the day to make myself feel better. This may not solve all of my problems, but I will feel like I have taken action. That is all I can ask of myself. I must release anxiety and guilt. I will appreciate the now. I will find joy in today.
I hope this meditation brings you some peace, as it has done for me! Good luck, and be kind to yourself.