I've been worried about some stuff lately: Romeo's impending ACL surgery is on hold due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, my 92-year-old mother
insists on going to the supermarket (
😱), the spread of the virus, how long it will continue, et cetera and so on...you know, worried about things I can't control.
Yet, I know worrying solves nothing and can negatively affect physical, mental and emotional health. "Worry," I once read, "is a waste of imagination." So, how can we break the worry chain?
cknowledge anxious thoughts and feelings. Don’t try to ignore, fight, or control them; simply observe, as if from an outsider’s perspective, without reacting or judging. Put a label on it - "worry," "fear," "anxiety." Be aware that these thoughts and feelings are ephemeral and will pass, like clouds moving across the sky.
Second, ask yourself: What can I do about this
right now? If there are steps you can take, take them. If you are imagining a worst-case scenario, do some deep breathing and hum along to The Temptations' song, "...it was just my imagination, once again, runnin' away with me..."
Finally, try to stay present. This moment is all you have. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't arrived. Then identify something you are grateful for; gratitude kicks worry's sorry butt every time. Go ahead, fill in the blank: I am grateful for _________ .
As for Romeo and my mom, here's what I'm doing: hoping for the best and trying to stop imaging the worst...while repeating (a lot) the words of medieval mystic Lady Julian of Norwich,
"All will be well and all will be well and all matter of things will be well." 🙏
for some yoga suggestions that support emotional well-being.