April is Stress Awareness Month
Stress happens. But it doesn’t have to last. Here are two of my favorite tools for overcoming worry and negative thinking.
The loving-kindness practice Buddhists call metta calms your mind, opens your heart to goodness and love, and helps you know the positive power within your true self. The practice also asks for the healing of your fears, worries, and negative thinking so you can serve others’ growth.
1. Read the words aloud, pause, and then read them again.
May I be at peace. May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the light of my own true nature.
May I be healed. May I be a source of healing for all beings.
2. With one or more of your loved ones in mind, say the prayer again changing I to you: May you be at peace. May your heart….
3. Next, change you to we: May we be at peace….
4. Now use the May you version of the prayer for a person you feel is causing you worry, frustration, or pain.
5. Whenever you have a negative thought about anything, repeat the phrases of loving-kindness and notice how you begin to respond differently.
The Activity of God, by Sig Paulson, Daily Word (Unity)
I repeat this affirmation whenever I feel trapped by worry or stress. It reminds me my negative thoughts are making my problems appear bigger than they are; and these appearances are just that, figments of my overactive imagination. It shrinks my fears by reminding me of who I truly am: an individual expression of positive loving power.
The activity of God is the only power
At work in my mind, heart, and life.
All false beliefs, all negative appearances
Are dissolved right now
By the loving, forgiving action of God.
I am whole, strong, and free
As God created me to be.
First, you assert your positive power is supreme, that it’s bigger than your past wounds, stronger than your worries and fears, and it’s wiser than your intellect. This benevolent power is the only one you want to influence your life.
In the second section, you claim your loving power dissolves your negative beliefs and fearful imaginings. (I love the image of dissolving; I see it as washing out, softening, and reducing the sludge-like fears and worries of my mind.)
In this same sentence, you encounter the words, forgiving action of God. This forgiveness doesn’t refer to sin or any other dogma. It simply means releasing the negative thoughts and actions that separate you from others.
You claim the truth of who you are in the last sentence; not the person you may present to the world, but your true self, endowed with positive power, whole, strong and free.
Gigi Langer is a former “queen of worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, published in February, 2018. “Langer’s frank and empathetic tone will comfort readers, as will the practical steps she teaches.” (Featured Book, BookLife by Publishers Weekly)