Saturday, 3 September 2011

A worry wart's solution

blue box for work worries
All my life I have been an agoniser. Trying to see things from every viewpoint. Not only does it create indecisiveness it also means lots of worry - night and day. Of course I have tried meditative exercises, focussing on breathing, all that palava. At night I have counted sheep, taken imaginary walks, recreated journeys - anything to keep unwanted thought from rising to the surface and swamping every waking - and sleeping -  moment.

basket for worries
red box
I should have realised sooner how helpful a visualising technique I was shown 20 years ago from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) would be. Then I was trying to deal with cat allergy. I believe that  imagining a cage and putting, in my mind, a cat in it and closing the cage door has helped and I haven't had a problem since. I have started to apply that principle to three different worries recently. I have created imaginary boxes and baskets to put worries in. Take work. How easy it is to go over and over things in your precious non working time, nothing productive and the present passes you by while you are engrossed. For this I have a blue box. I imagine putting the worry in and shutting down the lid. I don't have to get as far as locking the box now and it has triggered me back to the present! Then onto worries about family. So many ways to get this broken record of thoughts taking over enjoyment of living the present...I have a basket for this - it seemed appropriate.This is a picnic hamper as it needs to be large and comes from memories of Andy Pandy of children's TV when I was a child. I have a third set of unwanted well trod thoughts...and this is a red box...getting crowded!! I have a friend who uses boxes too but he says they are so brim full there is no room left! For me they are bottomless so I will be alright.

There is one problem. In the middle of the night it is not quite so effective. The brain doesn't seem to respond to these triggers quite so well and things that at night make sense are complete gibberish when you examine them in the light of day. Still I am working on it. Ideas on a postcard...


  1. I didn't realise you had the same problem with your mind as I have. You always seem so calm and self-assured. I have heard of this box method but as you say, in the middle of the night it's very difficult to close the lid on these thoughts. Not sure that I approve of you using Andy Pandy's basket for your worries though... he was such a darling!!! ;-)

  2. Rachael on FB said: I'm just the same!! I try to visualise problems on a TV screen then I make it black and white, add some white noise, turn the volume down then make it smaller and never quite disappears sadly but it calms my mind for a bit! x
    11 hours ago ·

  3. Funny, but for a person with a buzzing mind, I hardly ever struggle to fall asleep. I used to sleep walk a lot though, but that faded. Now I think that it might be because I tend to direct worries and repetitive thoughts into stories. :-)