letting go of worry with mindfulness

An endless worrying life

Do you have worries? That would be the most naive question, wouldn’t it? Every one of us has worries and lots of them. A meeting of tomorrow that you’ve not finished preparing? Your daughter does not sleep well? Your company is closing up and you may lose your job? Or the rent is coming and you don’t feel very abundant? And each day, new worries are adding in. Our worries seem to be an endless list.

Chronic worrying (often referred to as anxiety) can affect your daily life. It creates tensions at work, loss of appetite, stressful relationships, and sleeplessness.

Letting go of worries is easier said than done. Will stress therapy helps? Perhaps. But dealing with stress and worries from the surface may not resolve the problem. There is a more sustainable way of letting go of worries: practicing mindfulness.

4 ways of letting go of worry with mindfulness

1. Pay attention to the time zones of your thoughts

This is my favorite and, to be honest, an easy tip! Keep this question in mind, all the time. “In which time zone I’m in right now?”. This is a simple question to ask when you start to worry about something. Is it about the past, that anyway, you can’t change? Is it not arriving yet, and you will be able to tackle it tomorrow?

And by the time you realize that your worry is in the past, or in the future, draw you back to the present moment. Take a deep breath, and focus on all sensations of the current moment. Maybe you’ll hear wonderful birds singing. You wouldn’t notice being lost in your thoughts. Maybe you’ll see a wonderful sky with white clouds. You would miss them otherwise. Maybe you’ll smell this beautiful rose in front of you, differently, without that thought in mind.

“When you know how to touch the present moment deeply, you touch eternity. You touch the past, and you touch the future”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Recognize the right time zone of your thought, and draw your focus on the present moment. You will find your worries dissipate. Instead, you can fill yourself with some sparkling joy of abundant nature, of which you belong.

2. Recognize mindfully and deeply our worries

Letting go of worries with mindfulness means we mindfully recognize and understand our worry, in its full reality. Why is it so?”Letting go” means “letting go of something“. This “something” can be an object of our mind, something of which we have as an idea, a feeling, a desire, or beliefs.

When you are worried, that is because we are attached to these ideas. They bring us anxiety and malaise.

“In order to let go, we need to first recognize that the idea in question is real. We must observe its nature profoundly” (Thich Nhat Hanh). Where does it come from? Is it from the feelings and emotions that we had as our experiences in the past? Is that a thought that was shaped by our childhood? Or a validation that comes from others? In short, is it real? Is it worth to be worried about?

I used to bring myself a lot of worries about my kids. Will they sleep well? Do they eat? Can they go alone?… Today, I know many of my worries do not have reasons to be. Because I start to believe that my children are much more powerful than I thought they were.

Similarly, I was also very worried about money. I was afraid of not having enough money if I didn’t work. The more I went deep into this belief, the more I found peace, knowing that it was not true. Nature is abundant. And when we follow and trust our inner energy, the universe is putting in place all circumstances & people, to realize our deepest desires.

Mindful, we can listen more profoundly to these worries. We can discover the roots of them. These roots might be unfounded, or might not be real. This profound vision will help us to concentrate our energy, and let go of the object of our mind more easily.

3. To let go of worries, recognize your ideas of happiness

How to let go of many of our worries mindfully? By letting go of our idea of happiness. Thich Nhat Hanh told once the story of Buddha that I shared with you below.

“One day the Buddha was sitting with his monks in the woods. They had just finished their mindful lunch and were about to start a question and answer session. A peasant passed by and asked the Buddha, “Dear monk, have you seen my cows passing by here?”

The Buddha said, “What cows?”

“My cows, six of them, I don’t know why but this morning they all ran away. I had also cultivated three acres of sesame seeds, but this year the insects ate them all. I think I am going to kill myself. I have lost everything!”

The Buddha said, “Dear friend, we have not seen your cows passing by here. You better look for them in the other direction.” After the farmer had gone, the Buddha looked at his monks and smiled and said, “My dear friends, do you know that you are lucky, you do not have any cows to lose.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Similar to the farmer in the story, we might have many cows that make us worried. For example, when you possess a lot of properties, you may have a lot of worries running them. Or when you think you need to succeed and have a promotion at work, you can feel under unpleasant pressure.

When we are mindful and take time to see deeply into our ideas of happiness, we can realize that many of them are not true. It is difficult to let go of your worries. Because you think having a lot of properties is necessary to be happy, or success on the corporate ladder is important. But are they real?

Take time today to look profoundly in your desires. What do you really want to achieve in your life? We can identify these “ideas of happiness”. We realize that they might not be what is truly necessary to be happy. Only then, we may let go of the object of our greed, our anger. As a consequence, we will be able to let go of many worries. Lead a simpler, yet happier, life. That is why, letting go of worry with mindfulness is a more sustainable, and meaningful way.

4. Know that “All that I desire is within me”

When we practice mindfulness, we can let go of worries. Why? Because we know our power is “from within“. Ever felt worried because you lost control about something? That’s because you think you need to control the external world to achieve your desire. While “all that I desire is within me” (Deepak Chopra).

Being mindful is a way to connect with your inner being. The day we find back the guidance, we free us from fear, worries, and the undesired objects of our mind.

For example, when we love someone, we think that person is the object of our desire. We may worry if he or she is not paying attention to us. This idea makes us feel unease. But if we connect deeply within ourselves, we know that we ourselves are complete. We can be fulfilled from the inside. And we can love, with joy. The other person, as an object, is let go of our worried thoughts.

Let go of worry with mindfulness today

Chronic worrying (often referred to as anxiety) can affect your daily life. It creates tensions at work, loss of appetite, stressful relationships, and sleeplessness. Leading a mindful life, we can let go of worry in a profound and meaningful way.

Learn today, firstly, to be mindful of the time zone of our thoughts, and stay in the present moment deeply. Secondly, recognize also your worries in its full reality. Thirdly, identify your ideas of happiness. And finally, learn to know the potential power of your inner being. These are my 4 tips for letting go of worry with mindfulness. Will you give them a try?

Read more

5 simple ways to love mindfully

How to say “no” mindfully – 5 best tips

Vipassana and grief of losing a beloved one – 3 learning

Mindful or mindless – How to free my mind from this person I hate