Why worry when you can pray: A five minute active meditation for overcoming worry and anxiety

How often do you spend time feeling worried and anxious about things in your life that you care about but cannot control? It can often be much more beneficial, rather than struggling with the worry to simply acknowledge it and then pass it over to a higher power through a simple, improvised, on the spot prayer. In the exercise below I address all the prayers to “God”, but when you are doing this yourself you can fill in whatever expression of a higher power feels comfortable to you:

 Sit comfortably; spend a short while centring yourself by focusing on the breathing or other appropriate method. Then just let your mind wander onto the things that it feels anxious about. Each time you are able to identify a cause of worry and anxiety, offer up a short prayer and then release the worry to a higher power.

For example:

1)  I notice that I am anxious about an argument with my partner or family member.

So I offer a prayer: “Dear God please help me resolve the conflict between myself and X, I am not sure what to do about it, but I pray for your grace and intervention”.

I then release the prayer and let go of the worry and relax for a few breaths.

 2) Then a worry comes up about a talk that I have to do tomorrow to a large group.

So I pray: “Dear God please help me to find appropriate material for tomorrows talk, and to be able to present it in a way that the audience will connect with.”

I then release the prayer and let go of the worry.

So, the entire five or so minutes is simply spent oscillating between these three activities; noting a worry, praying about it, and releasing it to a higher power. At the end of the meditation I recommend you spend a little while just resting in and enjoying the release/letting-go stage of the exercise.

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first. Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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