As a champion worrier (our family refers to this phenomenon as me going to my “Stephen King mind”) I have been thinking about what to offer you in the myriad ways I have learned to address compulsive worry and obsessive thinking (Vata imbalance) and have decided to give you the brilliance of Deepak from a lecture I attended while I was working on my certification to become a Meditation Instructor. It is called S.T.O.P. (he loves a good acronym!), embellished somewhat by me, as I tend to do. I use it daily and it has been an amazing tool to to help me maintain my pleasing personality and keep me fairly zen (ha!)
The lecture centered around creating expanded awareness through the practice of meditation and how we experience mostly contracted awareness. He says that whenever we have a problem, in this case obsessing and worrying about anything, including obsessively worrying about obsessively worrying, we experience the symptoms of contracted awareness which negatively affects our perception, expectations, assumptions, beliefs, feelings, moods, health… everything. He offered the following practice for those special moments.
When you become aware of the unwanted thoughts, behavior, emotion:
S. Stop, close your eyes and go to a level of feeling. Where and what do you feel? Remembering that we call emotions “feelings” because we feel them in the body.
T. Take three deep breaths. The decreased oxygenation of the cells in stress will be immediately transformed from one of fight/flight to restful awareness, positively affecting every system in the body-mind. Think of and remember a feeling of love and this will additionally transform the physiology.
O. Observe the sensations in the body again and intentionally evoke a feeling of gratitude for the miracle that it is.
P. Proceed in any activity with kindness, love and compassion to self, and others.
The brief 2 minutes spent on the above activity, moving from contracted awareness to expanded awareness could alter your day, your month, even your life in untold positive ways. It has in mine.
Of course learning to meditate, consistently, daily is the simplest, most successful method known to heal and balance every aspect of your life, to release all unwanted experiences, especially stress and make you aware that you already have the ability for freedom and control of your body-mind within you. Whatever method of meditation you enjoy and actually practice is the best meditation for you. Start with 5-10 minutes a day and see for yourself.
The great thing about all of this is we can decide to become the creator of our experiences. To quote Abraham/Esther, “It is our choice in every minute of every day. You can’t get it wrong because you never get it done.” Allowing your thoughts and your life to become a runaway locomotive is a choice too. It’s called default.
Begin with Yoga, moving the body gently with awareness in Asana practice and allow the rest to show up effortlessly.