The Weight of Worry

Worrying and anxiety aren't the same. Worrying is to anxiety as the constant state of never feeling as well as you could is to being seriously ill. (See the article on anxiety for further clarification.)

This doesn't mean that worry is insignificant. It can be a major obstacle to having the life you want.

An important aspect of worry is that everyone's worry is individual. People worry about being considered ignorant, being abducted by UFOs, global warming, dying alone and unloved -- in fact, I imagine that there is no human or earthly condition which someone is not worrying about.

Here is one way to understand worry.

Imagine that you decided to climb a mountain carrying three changes of clothing, a raincoat and umbrella, several meals, five or six books, and a tape deck and cassettes. The strength you need to propel you upward is used instead to support your burden of belongings to the point that you sit down by the side of the trail and decide to forget the climb.

Worry is the mental burden which we often carry through life, and it can just as easily keep us from getting where we want to go -- and certainly from enjoying the journey.

The Worry Prayer

I once heard a story about a minister who gave a sermon on the subject of worry. He said, "Ninety percent of the things we worry about never come to pass." A parishioner called out, "That just proves that worrying works."

This anecdote neatly summarizes the problem. When we're depressed we don't think that our depression is solving our problem, but when we're worrying we think we're doing something.

There was a time when my partner, Joyce, was widely known for worrying about her children. In fact, the moment her younger daughter would go out in the evening she would already be worried about whether she would be home on time that night.

Aside from her conviction that she held the belief that it would be criminally irresponsible for a mother to be carefree when her daughter was roaming the wilds of New York City, she felt on a deep level that by having her attention on the situation she was somehow in control of it, and also felt that whatever angels or other protective influences might be around would recognize her sincere concern, take pity, and deliver her daughter on time and in one piece.

Her daughter did invariably return safely (though not always on time), and it may well be that the angels had a hand (or wing) in this; however, it is likely that they would have responded as effectively to simple requests as to countless nights of suffering.

The Cost of Worrying

When we worry it's about something in the future. Even when we worry about something which we might or might not have done in the past ("Did I turn off the stove?") it's in relation to what could happen in the future ("Will the house be burned down when I get home?")

Thus, when we worry our psychic, mental, and emotional energy, instead of being focused on the present moment, is attached to events which may or may not ever occur. Aside from what this costs us in terms of getting along with our lives we are simply not enjoying them.

Who stops to appreciate a sunset when they remember that the car insurance is due? Who enjoys the sound of bird song when they have a dentist appointment soon? And who dares to allow themselves to feel the vulnerability of love when the one they love is is in constant danger?

We lose a lot of living this way. We also lose a lot of ourselves, because who we are is so much bigger than our worries. Our potential is to be unlimited beings, capable of boundless creativity, laughter, compassion, and love. When we worry we are small, limited creatures, who go over the same ground so much that we walk ourselves into a rut.

Handling Worry

There are many things which can be done about worry. The methods I describe are useful both when worry is extreme and when it first begins to creep up on you.

One step is to acknowledge that you are worried. You may be thinking, "No problem," but often we don't want to worry and pretend that we aren't. It's more like an unpleasant background noise -- but one which will get louder if not turned off.

Once you know that you're worried ask yourself what you can do about the thing which is worrying you.

Sometimes we don't take action because we're afraid that our worries will be confirmed, for example, if you're worried that a friend is angry with you and you ask and she says that she is indeed angry. This is unpleasant, but it may be preferable to worrying for hours on end about it, and it gives you the opportunity to clear things up.

If procrastination is an issue for you you may want to see the article about it at Among the articles' recommendation are rutilated quartz and the flower essence Cayenne (FES) for a jump start.

Shift Gears

If it's a situation which doesn't lend itself to immediate action (you have a dentist's appointment in two days, and you're worried about it) you need to find other ways to get out of the rut.

I have found it helpful to make a list (either mentally or on paper) of everything I have to be grateful). This is helpful and distracting.

I find that taking a walk is also helpful, as it burns up some of that worry energy, and provides me with an energy shift. If I look for beautiful sights on my walk I am further disengaged from worry.

Holding a stone and focusing on it is also a pleasant and distracting activity. Many people first discover the world of crystals by being given or by choosing for themselves a "worry stone." The idea is that rubbing a polished stone relieves some of the stress of worry.

Gazing at a stone can also relieve worry. I find that stones such as tiger's eye and hawk's eye, clear quartz points and clusters, or any interesting specimen are especially engaging.


This is a lying-down meditation, as are most crystal meditations.

The following stones are suggested:

Black tourmaline, (base of feet) for dispelling negativity
Carnelian (pelvic area) for being grounded in the present
Aragonite (lower solar plexus/navel area) for calming any feelings of being overwhelmed and for helping the mind prepare for meditation
Rhodochrosite (mid-solar plexus) for steady, deep breathing Green calcite (heart) for approaching the worry from the strength of spirit
Aquamarine (throat) for relaxing, soothing energy
Amethyst (third eye) for calming the mind and Hawk's Eye for an aerial perspective
Clear quartz (crown) to work with green calcite in channeling the energy of your spirit.

These are only suggestions. You may be intuitively drawn to other stones for these chakra points (including stones which don't match in terms of the traditional chakra colors).

In addition, there may be stones particular to the situation you're worrying about. If, for example, you're afraid that someone's angry at you rose quartz (so that you love yourself unconditionally no matter what you may or may not have done) and pink tourmaline or calcite (so that you can extend that love to the other person) may be helpful.

I also recommend holding a clear quartz in one hand.

  1. Lie down and place the stones on your body. Inhale and exhale deeply several times.
  2. Slowly rotate the crystal you're holding in your hand over each crystal, beginning at your upper legs, continuing to breathe deeply as you do so.
  3. Then, imagine the situation you're worried about. If a visual image is connected to it, see that. If words are involved hear them, i.e., "I thought you were my friend, and you betrayed me."
  4. Don't try to suppress any of your feelings; allow yourself to feel them. Part of doing this is continuing your slow, breathing.
  5. Now, surround this situation with golden light. Allow white or golden light to permeate every aspect of it. (Other colors may also be appropriate: pink for a relationship situation, green for a health condition, purple or lavender for a spiritual crisis, etc.)
  6. As you continue to surround this situation with light ask for an answer or a way to an answer. We don't always find our destinations immediately, but we may find the road to reach it, and be patient if nothing comes to you immediately. What you are doing now is preparing your mind to be receptive to an answer.
The answer will not necessarily be an external solution; it may be a new way for you to view the situation; it may be a new understanding of yourself.

And sometimes the answer is to be patient.

Meditate for as long as you like, and as often as you like.

Flower Essence Helpers

White Chestnut (Bach) is probably one of the most helpful flower essences for worry; the classic description of the White Chestnut individual is of someone who worries a lot, constantly going over what he did or should have did, often unable to sleep because her mind is so busy churning with worry. This flower essence helps to restore a state of calm.

Shasta Daisy (FES) is excellent for helping one to see the larger picture. Often our lives become fragmented, and one result may be that we become so worried about one aspect, that we lose perspective on our blessings. This flower essence helps to restore a sense of wholeness.

Often we worry because we feel that we aren't capable of doing what needs to be done. This doubt, which is basically a lack of self-esteem, is best handled with the flower essence, Larch (Bach).

Sometimes we take life too seriously. We forget how to play. Zinnia (FES) helps to restore an inner sense of joyfulness and playfulness.

More Essentials

Essential oils can also be very helpful in handling worry.

Some of the oils which help to promote a more cheerful outlook include Bergamot, Lemon, and Lime.

Chamomile and Lavender have the ability to help us relax.

Frankincense has a unique role to play. It helps us to break ties to the past. Often we worry in large part because we were trained to do so. Frankincense, by helping to release ties to the past, can assist in breaking this habit. BR>

Bach and Other Flower Essences
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