Spiritual Ways to Dealing With Worry
To worry is a common thing within the human being. We worry so much, almost all the time. Worry can be related to everything in life, but it tends to be strongest when it comes to things that are related to ones own survival. We constantly worry about so many things. For example, what others think of us occupy a strong place in the mind, and it is a worry directly related to pride. All of the worries have their roots in one ego (subconscious inner state, a defect) or another. Worry itself is an inner state/defect that pops up and manifest as an emotion, thought, or an impulse, and sadly often time it can consume the human being.
The best way to deal with it would be as with any other defect – observing it from the state of detachment. Once the defect is observed in that way, we gain an understanding of it, and can then eliminate it. This would be an ideal way to do it, a way also known as the First Key of the Path to Awakening. However, for those who are not yet ready for such technique, there are alternatives that could work.
Not long ago I’ve read a book by Annie Besant, a famous Theosophist. In it she says how a worry is a strong thought current, and if frequent enough, it digs for itself a channel by which it makes continuous impression on the mind of a person. She suggests that in order to counter it, a person should create a thought current and a channel of an opposite character. She says:
“Let, then, a person, who is suffering from worry, give three or four minutes in the morning, on first rising, to some noble and encouraging thought: ‘The Self is Peace; that Self am I. The Self is Strength; that Self am I.’ Let him think how, in his innermost nature, he is one with the Supreme Father; how in that nature he is undying, unchanging, fearless, free, serene, strong; how he is clothed in perishable vestures that feel the sting of pain, the gnawing of anxiety; how he mistakenly regards these as himself. As he thus broods, the Peace will enfold him, and he will feel it is his own, his natural atmosphere.
“As he does this, day by day, thought will dig its own channel in mental body and in brain, and ere long, when the mind is loosed from labour, the thought of the Self that is Peace and Strength will present itself unbidden, and fold its wings around the mind in the very turmoil of the world. Mental energy will flow naturally into this channel, and worry will be of the past.
“Another way is to train the mind to rest on the Good Law, thus establishing a habit of content. Here the man dwells on the thought that all circumstances work within the Law, and that naught happens by chance. Only that which the Law brings to us can reach us, by whatever hand it may outwardly come. Nothing can injure us that is not our due, brought to us by our own previous willing and acting; none can wrong us, save as the instrument of the Law, collecting a debt due from us. Even if an anticipation of pain or trouble come to mind, it will do well to face it calmly, accept it, agree to it. Most of the sting disappears when we acquiesce in the finding of the Law, whatever it may be. And we may do this the more easily if we remember that the Law works ever to free us, by exacting the debts that keep us in prison, and though it brings us pain, the pain is but the way to happiness. All pain, come it how it may, works for our ultimate bliss, and is but breaking the bonds which keep us tied to the whirling wheel of births and deaths.
When these thoughts have become habitual, the mind ceases to worry, for the claws of worry can find no hold on that strong panoply of peace.”
In my opinion, these two methods mentioned by Annie Besant could potentially over-dominate worry, so that the latter stops or at least ceases manifesting to such a strong degree as it previously did.