Okay, I admit it - I'm a worrier. It's not that I enjoy worrying. Quite the opposite. But lifetime habits are hard to break and I still fall into the worry trap on a regular basis. Someone gave me a book called "Simple Spells for Success", by Barry Dolnick a few years ago and it's been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. It finally caught my attention the other day, so I pulled it off the shelf and opened to a random page, where I read that worry is not only non-productive, but it can be as addictive as crisis. Wow, I had no idea.
The author suggested keeping a tally to track how many times a day you worry and how much you rely on worry to get yourself through your daily routine. This sounded like a good plan, so I tried it and my tally was uncomfortably high. Oh no! Another thing to fret about! ;)
Not to worry - Mr. Dolnick had the answer. He suggested asking these three questions about each and every worry
"Is what I'm worried about going to make me die?"
"Is what I'm worried about going to leave me penniless?"
"Is what I'm worried about going to leave me homeless?"
If not then you're probably in better shape than you thought you were. If the answer is "yes", then your worries are important ones and could best be solved by keeping a clear, calm head.
With this in mind, I've decided to treat myself to a candlelight bath as part of my daily routine. I place a white candle on a silver dish and sprinkle my favorite bath salt around it. Then I run a bath and add some of the same bath salts to the water. I lay back and bring out my worries, one by one, only to release them and watch them rise upwards with the candle smoke and the steam from the bath. I imagine my worries drifting up through the air, through the ceiling, through the clouds, until they finally disappear completely.
Invariably, one or two of the most stubborn worries drift back down and land in the bath water again - no problem! Those go down the drain when bath time is over.