How to deal with worries mindfully

Psychologist, author and yoga and meditation teacher Jenny Light sheds light on dealing with worries and restoring inner calm.

It can be challenging at times to touch base with any measure of calm.

Worries intrude into our quiet moments as a loud barrage of jangled thoughts. Then you are like a little pebble skimming across the surface of life without sampling the real depth of calm beneath.

You may reflect in quiet moments, that life lives you, rather than you living life, bombarded as you are by worries of daily life.

Take a step back and try to view problems at a distance. First of all assess: is there anything that I can practically do in the present moment. If so, act. You may find that prevarication has been the problem. 

Muster the courage to face the situation head on.

Sometimes we can feel lost as to what to do first.  If you are finding to difficult to organise your thoughts, a helpful tip in these situations is to bring yourself back to the present moment.

Be mindful of your body breathing in and out, with a comforting regularity. Then ask yourself: what happens next? Take simple action, even if it’s only making a cup of tea or walking the dog.

When we change the ‘frozen’ moment into action, we are no longer stuck. We are then in the immediate next moment and not a big, looming, uncertain future.

And if there’s nothing that can be done immediately, take control and imagine that you are wiping the problem off the whiteboard of your mind, just as if you were dusting it off your hands.

When you have tried everything that’s practically possible, there are some issues have no resolution. Mindfulness is a powerful way to release holding onto the worry.’

Here’s a powerful breathing technique to develop a fresh perspective and insight on an issue that you may be facing:

Sit upright. Focus on the belly inflating fully as you breathe in and out (it can help to place your hand lightly on the belly until you are sure that you are breathing into the belly and not the chest).

Imagine as you inhale that it is filling you with lightness just as if you were a hot air balloon. The out breath expands your boundaries.

Each in breath brings you more expansiveness and each out breath gives you more buoyancy and lightness.

After a few breaths, you are buoyantly and joyously lifted into the air as the earth falls away. From this vantage point you can see to the far horizon in all directions: trees, fields, rivers, mountains and a shining sea.

The sky is a vast blue. The higher you lift, the smaller and less important worldly things seem. In the distance, you may see or sense a fresh solution or find that you can let the worry float away.

As you come back to awareness of the body breathing, affirm strongly in your mind, with intensity of feeling:  ‘I act with courage. I am strong. I am resilient.’

Find the calmness in the present moment. Living life in the present, instead of worrying about the past or the future, is much sweeter.

Jenny Light

In the present, the past has already gone and the future is yet to be. So let go of the past and let the future take care of itself.

Jenny runs courses and classes in Glasgow and Kilmarnock, as well as retreats and workshops UK-wide. Find out more on her website

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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