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Worry Fast

Intermittent fasting from food is all the rage. But have you ever tried a Worry Fast? Take a break from worrying and free up your mental energy. You’ll have more space to think of solutions, to be inspired creatively, or to learn dance steps!

Worry used to be my secret, stupid, superpower. But not anymore. I find that short, concentrated efforts to break the habit of worrying stops the unhealthy pattern. I adapted this Worry Fast from the Ananda Meditation Retreat Center.

  • For just seven days, three times a day, cast out your worries. From 7-8 a.m., 12-1 p.m., and 7-8 p.m., commit to not succumbing to worry. Be disciplined. Become the master of your mind. 

Did you know that the definition of “To worry” is “to drag around with the teeth.” You can’t control having thoughts, but you can choose which ones to let go of, and which ones to drag around with you all day, like a dog with a bone.

7-Day Worry Fast Schedule:

When you wake up, think, “All my worries of the night are cast out, and for one hour, I refuse to worry. No matter how troublesome the news is or how big the uncertainties are, I refuse to waste energy.”

At 7am, say: “I release all worries.”

At noon, say, “I am cheerful. I will not worry.” 

At night, repeat, “I no longer feed the old pattern.” Here’s a longer version: “No matter how tempting it is to indulge in a worry feast, I will resist. I no longer feed the old, unhealthy pattern of worrying.”

What do I do when I still worry?
  • Don’t get frustrated, get quiet. Visualize a happy moment in your life; mentally repeat the experience until the worry has dissolved. The happy moment I visualize is baby Hazel finding a round hole in our floorboards and carefully filling it with blueberries, one at a time.
  • Have a mantra ready. Mine goes something like this: I put my hands over my heart and say, “I can only do my best, no more.” At other times, I say, “I am here now. I release my need to know the outcome.” Mostly, it’s enough to draw my attention away from my head and into my heart and say, “I’m here now.”

Try it for seven days and let me know if you notice any subtle changes!