Don’t Worry. Be Happy!



Are you a worry wart? Do you waste needless time tormenting
yourself about what you did or didn’t do right in the past or how your life
might not turn out the way you’d like in the future? The number of things we
can choose to obsess ourselves about is literally endless. The what-if’s can
occupy our every waking moment. Some of our patients tell us they can’t read
an article about cancer without becoming convinced they have it themselves.
They may even go from doctor to doctor to verify they’re okay, and, ultimately,
their extreme worry may result in their actually manifesting the illness they
so deathly fear. Others are so worried about making a fook of themselves or
about what others will think of them that they are nearly incapacitated. Some
people tell us they even worry about worrying! Most of us struggle with worry
to some degree but, for some of us, worry rules our lives. It takes a great
deal of surrender and trust to really let go and to follow Meher Baba’s simple
advice, “Don’t worry. Be happy!”

How do I know if I’m a worrier? Many people’s digestive systems
are an indi- cation of their worry quotient, either in the form of a nervous
stomach, heartburn,

or constipation or diarrhea before or after a stressful event. Some people get
sweaty, clammy, unusually offensive perspiration, or their faces flush. Others
suffer from chronic stiffness, tightness, or pain of their neck and or are
unable to fall asleep at night or wake periodically during the night. If you
get any of these symptoms when you’re under stress, you can probably benefit
from this article.

Why do we worry? l) In utero fears- Many of us are deeply
frightened even before birth. We may pick up the fears of our mothers in utero-
perhaps her fears that she’ll miscarry, that there won’t be enough money to
provide for a baby, that her husband might leave her, or that she won’t be
strong enough to care for a child. One of our patients told us the dreadful
story of how her father pushed her mother down a flight of stairs during her
late pregnancy in hopes of killing her child. Can you imagine the terrifying
effect this could have on that little fetus struggling for life inside its
mother? 2) Childhood losses or traumas- Life-long nervousness often stems from
an early divorce, abandonment, physical or sexual abuse, or other circumstances
which teach us in our tender years that the world is not a safe place. Some of
us go through our entire lives in survival mode in a constant state of fear.
3) Parental conditioning- Others of us, even though we have secure, stable
childhood environments, are exposed to parents who are overprotective worriers.
They teach us that there are dangers lurking behind every corner, that people
may cheat and take advantage of us, and that we need to sleep with one eye
open, so to speak. We may also be programmed for perfection so that we believe
we need to worry about every little detail or we may (heaven forbid!) actually
make a mistake. 4) Adult worry mentality- Later events in our lives may
reinforce the tendency to nervousness and overcon- cern about everything. If we
experience what we perceive as failures, we may be- come stuck in an endless
loop of fear and blame and feel that worrying about everything is better than
doing nothing!

Worry myths: If I don’t worry about it, who will? Stop for
a minute and think about this one. Is it possible that there is another
approach? An alternative to taking it all on yourself? What if you could really
trust someone else to do it right? And what if you discovered that they could
even do it better than you? There’s something wrong with me if I’m
not worried all the time.
Aren’t I supposed to worry about things?
Please understand that this is a faulty premise, a misunderstanding of the
obsessive part of you. It’s perfectly okay to be calm and relaxed, even before
a major performance or decision. It’s great to go to a movie the night before
an exam. It’s fine to make fun of the those moments which seem so terribly
serious. In fact, you’ll find that the less you worry about your life, the
more it can find its natural flow, which will turn out far better than you
could have ever consciously imagined. Why spoil your life with your own limited
expectations? What will I do with my time if I don’t spend it worrying?
How about a soothing hot tub while listening to the most wonderful music yo can
think of? Curling up by a fire with your favorite book? Snuggling up with a
lover and treating yourself to hugs and kisses? Enjoying the raindrops in your
hair as you stroll along the beach? Sitting in a chair or on your meditation
pillow, lighting a candle and stick of incense, and sinking into a deep
meditation?

What is worrying about on a spiritual level? Worrying, anxiety,
nervous- ness, and insecurity are all obstacles to bliss. The more we
understand for ourselves that the Universe , Mother Father God, Spirit will
take care of us, the more worrying literally disappears. When we understand
that we are what we think, we create our own reality, and we are literal
projections of our own consciousness, it becomes apparent that worrying is
destructive. It is essential to take each moment as it comes, to experience it
fully, then to release it completely so that we can just as fully experience
the next. There is a story commonly told in India about a businessman from
Bombay who had a very important meeting to go to in Madras. He had a minor
family emergency which delayed him from leaving on time and, despite a mad taxi
rush to the airport, he missed his flight. He cursed and paced and convinced
himself that his business career was over, booking himself on the next flight
which was four hours later. He discovered the following day that that original
flight had engine problems and crashed. His family problems had saved his life.
We absolutely never know what’s in store for us. We may perceive a delay or a
change in plans as tragic, worrying every moment about the consequences, only
to find it’s the best thing that could have possibly happened to us. We never
know when we will take our last breath, so why not relax and make the most of
the precious time we do have?

If we think about it, everything in a life is a potential risk or
adventure. When we incarnate, we choose to face those situations which will
bring to us just those lessons with just those people that we need for our own
evolution. The more we can release our preoccupations about what could go wrong
and force ourselves to willingly risk, the more quickly we can move on with our
growth. As the title of Barry and Vissell’s new book teaches us, we must
Risk to Be Healed.

The spiritual lesson of worry is to surrender, to “Let go and let God” as
Parama- hansa Yogananda used to instruct. We can observe that the great
spiritual masters project their powerful, divine thoughts, affirm the highest
good of all, and then they let go and have fun, trusting that everything will
work out for the best and that their worry will only create unnecessary
complications.

You mean I can really give up worrying? Where do I sign up? Yes,
you can and you can sign up right now by reading on and integrating into your
life whichever of the following suggestions sound like they might work for you.
l. Cut out anxiety-producing drugs. Eliminate caffeine and excess sugar
and alcohol. Why go out of your way to add more tension to your mind and body
than you’ve already got?

2. Learn deep breathing. There is no faster technique that we know of
to rapidly go from tension to calmness than a few seconds or minutes of slow,
deep or alternate nostril breathing. It actually balances and calms the energy
currents of your body.

3. Neurolinguistic programming– NLP teaches you to remember a past
situation in which you were able to release worry and everything worked out
beautifully. If, each time you begin to obsess about a potentially worrisome
situation, you can replace that fear with those good feelings you had in the
past when everything resolved itself naturally, your outlook will be much
brighter. 4. Affirmations– Use an affirmation such as “I _________(your
name) release worry and fear and surrender this situation to my highest good
here and now. The Universe is taking care of me in every moment.” 5.
Visualization– Close your eyes for a moment and think of a scene which
is extremely peaceful and relaxing for you, perhaps a calming and soothing
nature setting. Imagine yourself in that scene, relaxed, and serene. Whenever
you find yourself tense and worried, gently but firmly draw your mind back to
that calming scene. 6. Homeopathy– For people whose chronic worrying
tendencies really interfere with their lives, we’ve seen wonderful results from
using homeopathic remedies. Regardless of whether your worry manifests as
insomnia, overconcern with order and details, heart palpitations, or abdominal
cramping from stress, homeopathy may provide long-term relief. 7. Talking
about it
– For some people, just talking about their worry and anxiety with
an experienced therapist can defuse it and put it into perspective for them. 8.
Hypnotherapy -Sometimes returning to the root of the deep-seated worry,
releasing the fear, replaying the event(s) in a more positive way, and doing
positive reprogramming can be very helpful. 9. What’s the worst that could
happen?
– This is a well-known stress management technique for coping with
the unknown future. Most of us feel better once we acknowledge our worst fears
and realize that we could survive even the most negative outcome. By
comparison, the actual circumstances usually don’t seem so bad. 9. Creating
safety
-Think about what it would take for you to feel completely and
totally safe and protected so that you didn’t need to worry about anything.
Imagine this scene in full detail and experience what it would feel like in
your body, in your mind, in your heart. Allow this profound feeling of safety
to permeate your whole being so that you know that deep down everything is
always just fine. You can access this inner safety

whenever you become aware of worry starting to creep in. l0. Connecting
with Spirit
– The most profound way to release worry, anxiety, and
insecurity is to develop a trusting, loving relationship with God and the
Universe so that can turn any problems or concerns over to the Source, which
provides all the solutions we could possibly need. In this way we surrender our
personal responsibility and release the burden of carrying it ourselves.
Having clearly held the situation in your mind, release it, and then give
thanks knowing it will be resolved in its own perfect way.

Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic and
homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for Homeopathic
Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of
The Patient’s Guide to
Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment of ADD
and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at (206)
774-5599.

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Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND MSW Written by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND MSW

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