Worry is a meditation. It’s not particularly useful, but it is a meditation and we are all naturally good at it.
You don’t have to put any effort into mastering the art of a worry meditation. It just happens, automatically. With a single thought of concern, you can pass several minutes, even hours, pondering that thought again and again.
I have often caught myself, deep in a meditation of worry, what-if-ing myself into all sorts of negativity.
- “What if my kids don’t go to college?”
- “What if I can’t afford to help pay for their college?”
- “What if I lose all my clients and my business fails?”
- “What if my mom or dad passes away?”
- “What if I completely fail in life?”
One time, after a nice, sixty-minute run, I noticed I had a heavy feeling of discouragement and wondered how on earth I could feel discouraged after a good run like that. I, then, realized I had used my entire run to worry about my children. Some “great” meditation, rehearsing a few negative thoughts again and again in my mind, just like a broken record.
There is productive meditation, when we focus on the positive and there is unproductive meditation when we focus on the negative.
Positive meditation takes intention and does not happen automatically. It requires effort, diligence and dedication. We must look for the silver lining, find gratitude, and cultivate appreciation. It is by choosing to ponder positive statements and phrases, that we can begin to transform our thoughts of worry, into thoughts of peace.
Negative meditation, such as worry, takes passivity and does happens automatically. It is always geared toward disappointments and failures of the past or fears and concerns about the future. As you can see from the five worry-thought examples I shared above, most of the things we worry about are not rooted in fact, often times irrational, and quite honestly, unnecessary, as they don’t end up happening.
Let’s face it, worry is a waste. So, the choice is ours, what will we meditate on, the positive or the negative?
This year, my number one goal is to develop a more positive attitude. In my efforts to achieve that goal, my worry meditation was exposed. I didn’t realize how much I worried, until I started focusing on and assessing the quality of my thinking. I did this through a combination of journaling, paying attention to my thoughts and the words I was speaking, and also by empowering those closest to me to call me out on any negative talk, including words of worry.
With a simple attention to the type of thoughts I was thinking, it became evident that my worry meditation was not working for my desire to have a more positive attitude. It was, instead, smothering out any and all positivity. My worry meditation shaped a negative perspective and it had to go! I decided to transform from a worrier to a warrior!
I am four months into the year and have gained tremendous success. Just the other day, I called my mom all excited, telling her about how great it feels to live without worry. Normal for me, used to be to have a constant stream of worry thoughts flowing in the background of my mind. Now, for most days, that is not the case. New normal for me is to live in peace and joy, with a gratitude meditation stream flowing. I realized I am going to meditate on something, why not meditate on things I am grateful for or on positive statements, such as a proverb or scripture, instead of thoughts of worry?
The main key to my success has been through a second goal of mine and that is to memorize one scripture verse per week. This is not a plug to tell you to read your Bible or start memorizing scriptures, although that is what worked for me. This is a message to tell you that finding something better to meditate on and think about is key.
Our minds need to be given direction and be given something to think about because that is what our minds do. They think, think, think. Therefore, lets think on positive thoughts. Think on things we are grateful for. Select positive affirmations to focus on. Find something positive to fix your thoughts on and when you catch yourself worrying, shift your attention onto your positive affirmation or statement of gratitude.
It might sound something like this:
- “I’m so grateful for my health.”
- “I am getting stronger and stronger every day.”
- “Everything my hand touches prospers.”
- “There is a learning lesson in everything.”
- “My life just keeps getting better and better.”
I hope this message encourages you. I also hope it helps you raise awareness to the type of thoughts you are thinking. Every thought is like a seed. When you think about it, you “water” it and it grows deeper and deeper roots into the belief system of your mind. Worry is a weed. Uproot it. Replace your worry with thoughts of faith, hope, and gratitude. and your meditation will transform from disempowering to empowering. You will feel stronger, more confident, and be bolder than ever!
Make this a great week, improving the quality of your meditation. I’ll be working on mine and I hope you will work on yours!
With Love and Voliton,