One thing I’ve struggled with in my life is worry. The kind you chew on throughout the day. Anxiety which keeps you up and makes it hard to sleep at night. My thoughts can become fixated on some dilemma, devolving into worry spirals. This can be troublesome to say the least. And I find it can be difficult to leave such spirals behind once they get started.
In a previous article, Self Love: Filling My Cup Through Routine, I talk about establishing a routine which helps to fill my physical/emotional/spiritual cup every day. However, there are times when my daily routine does not quiet or dispel worry or anxiety. Therefore, I’ve found helpful allies and developed magickal methods to fill in the gap when mundane solutions are not quite enough.
A Worry Doll Ritual Can Assist During Spirals
Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome”. Everyone experiences worry or anxiety to some level in their life. An event or situation might occur, causing a person to dwell on it in their mind to the point symptoms such as moodiness, restlessness, inability to sleep, racing thoughts, etc., develop.
Solutions for dealing with worry spirals include sharing your concerns or troubling thoughts with another person. Prayer to a deity is an option many people turn to for confession or releasing a burden. And for some, whispering their worries to a miniature effigy before falling asleep can be a signficant and valuable bedtime ritual.
Worry Dolls are tiny figures, usually a collection of six to twelve and kept in a box or bag, for the purpose of releasing burdens, anxiety, fears and worry. These helpful dolls come from Guatamala. According to legend, if a person (most often children) tell their concern(s) to the tiny figurine (one-half to 2 inches tall, handcrafted and dressed in scraps of traditional Mayan woven fabrics) and place it beneath their pillow or beside the bed, the doll will take the worry so the person may have a restful sleep.
The other day, I purchased a set from my friend Nichoel (who owns Potions and Pathways, available at The Shamanic Vine). Worry Dolls have been imbued with specific intent over multiple generations from the Guatamalan Mayan people. They carry strong magick within them. Approached with sincerity and respect, Worry Dolls are powerful allies in overcoming worry, anxiety, and fear through this simple ritual.
*Support Guatamalan artisans by shopping Fair Trade resources.*
Finding Other Allies To Halt Worry Spirals
Being a Green Witch means I work with plant allies. Whether managing a container garden, flower borders, or preparing herbs for teas, tinctures and salves, plants are important to me in all areas of life. Because of their beneficial healing and magickal properties, plants and herbs are excellent for a variety of things. Lavender, lemon balm, and sweet basil have pleasant, uplifting scents and are great allies to assist with worry spirals. For myself, working with these plants through growing and harvesting has been a great way to deal with anxiety.
For those without a green thumb (or the desire to acquire one), taking a moment to stop and breathe in plant or herbal properties through an essential oil can halt worry spirals. How? The scent provides a way to narrow one’s focus from intrusive or anxious thoughts to what they are smelling. Frankincense, which is a resin, provides a similar experience. Another way is through preparing a cup of tea, focusing on each step of the process, from heating the water to drinking the brew, thereby halting a worry spiral.
And if you’re not into plants, then find something else upon which to turn your focus. Rocks and stones are wonderful allies in this kind of work. Ever hear of a worry stone? Through sense of touch, by rubbing a thumb on the surface of the stone, worry spirals can be stalled and the mind is drawn toward something else. I wear a sandalwood bead bracelet for this purpose. Through it I have the benefit of feeling the structure of the beads and can draw upon Sandalwood’s calming spirit.
Mantras and Affirmations Can Change A Worry Spiral
Another excellent method to stop worry in its tracks is to change your thought process. Mantra’s, chanting, and positive affirmations are a good way to do that. I think it’s also important to note that a worry spiral doesn’t have to be caused by a bad event or situation. Even a joyful event, such as a wedding or upcoming move to a new home, can create anxiety.
The problem comes when the worry goes to a level where thoughts go into overdrive. A person finds themselves imagining scenarios where an unexpected (or unwelcome) outcome could occur. Unrealistic expectations tend to play a role in such cases as well. This is how some “bridezillas” are born. A person who wants their wedding to be so “perfect” the tiniest thing out of place could become a disaster.
So, when a person begins to feel anxiety or worry spin out of control (or others start saying “stop worrying so much”), they can take a few moments to slow the breath and think (or say) something like:
- My mind is peaceful. I can deal with this in a calm manner.
- I do not live in a place of fear but strength, calm, and logical thinking.
- This problem does not need to overwhelm me. I can handle it.
- Even when stressful things happen, I can be calm.
- I am letting this go. I will think about it in a calm, rational way later.
- My mind and body are calm and peaceful.
When we allow ourselves to spiral into worried or anxious thoughts, in the long term, we are harming our bodies. Chronic worry and emotional stress causes a build up of cortisol creating a continual “fight or flight” stress response. As a result, blood sugar and fats are boosted to the point damage is caused to various systems, leading to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, to name a few.
This is why it is important to learn how to deal with our worry/anxiety or seek medical assistance if it becomes a major problem. However, we can use ritual, mantras, magick and allies as backup for normal stress or as a complement to a treatment plan (should one become necessary). And remember, check with your doctor first if you choose an herbal support route such as tea, tinctures or essential oils if you begin, or are already taking, medication.
Simple Anti-Worry Spell Jar
What You’ll Need:
One small jar or corked bottle
Bergamot Essential Oil (a few drops)
Himalayan Rock Salt
Rose quartz chips or small stone
Howlite chips or small stone
One small white candle
Place all of the items into the jar or bottle one at a time. As you do, ask the spirit of each plant or stone to assist you in this spell to ease worry and stop your thoughts from fixating on a problem but allow you to think in a calm, rational way to find workable solutions. Once each item is placed, cork the bottle or tighten the lid of the jar while speaking your intention. Light the white candle and drip the wax over and around the lid to seal it. Blow out the candle. So mote it be.
**Place the jar on your altar or in a place where you can see it.