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Just for today I will not worry – A mindful approach  

“If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

‘Just for today I will not worry’ is one of the five spiritual precepts of Reiki, the principles Usui Sensei felt were essential for holistic well-being. How many of us can honestly say that we don’t worry? I meet so many people who talk about their worries and describe themselves as worriers – overthinking problems, situations and other people’s behaviours; anticipating every possible outcome – usually erring on the side of doom and gloom; losing sleep and allowing life to pass them by as they live, not in the present moment but lost in thought.

And what for? Honestly, why? Has that behaviour benefited anyone involved? Has it resolved the situation? Has it left you feeling calmer, more in control or more content? Probably not!

In my experience worry is just a waste of time and energy, draining the worrier and resolving nothing. I know this from personal experience, a lesson learnt the hard way after hours lost to this pointless behaviour.

Worry is a habit that we return to mindlessly when the going gets tough or when we’re pushed out of our comfort zone. There’s good news though – like all habits worry can be undone and replaced with new behaviours. Here are some suggestions to help you make a change :

  • Make the choice not to worry. Do so consciously, perhaps saying to yourself ‘Just for today I will not worry.’ If you then feel yourself embarking on that out of control worry train gently bring yourself back to the present moment and remind yourself ‘Just for today I will not worry.
  • Set aside a proactive worry time. Create a time of quiet to sit with your worries and think about them in a constructive way. Examine them, ask yourself how real they are and what, if anything, you can do about them. If there is a solution or an action you can take then get to work and let go of the worry. If there isn’t then let go of the worry.
  • Trust that everything is going to work out exactly as it is supposed to. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean that it will be the way you want it to. On the contrary, just imagine that it might work out better than you could ever envisage.   Trust that whatever happens you will cope. You will have the resources and support you need to get through.
  • Ask yourself, ‘What am I learning from this?’ The hardest lessons, the toughest experiences, are those that offer the best opportunity for growth and development, to reveal our true potential. Finding the lessons in life’s difficulties is a wonderful way of looking at what needs changing and improving in your life.
  • Persevere with letting go of the habit of worrying. This might be a behaviour ingrained deeply in your psyche and life. Hence it may take some time and perseverance to change the way you think and act. Stick with it and be gentle with yourself. Slow progress is still progress.

Life is like walking along a path. With each step you take the environment around you changes, the views change, your awareness changes and you change. Time will pass whatever you do, however your chose to spend it. Allow life to unfold around you and before you one step at a time.  Try not to waste time worrying and exhausting yourself, lost in thought. What will be will be and you can mindfully choose whether or not to do something about it.