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Don't Worry Be Happy

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

Here are a few Buddhist and non Buddhist tips on overcoming worry

"A mind full of preconceived ideas subjective intentions or habits, is not open to things as they are !"

~Shunryu Suzuki~

Zen Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
Hinduism
Scientific approach

Motivational approach

"Don't worry be happy"

How do you deal with worry?

lobsterVastmind

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Some interesting stuff there, thanks @shoshin - I thought the scientific and motivational info was good and practical, about de-stressing the brain and redirecting thoughts. I think that there could be an entire practical art form of how to treat your own brain that comes out of that approach.

    I'm not a major worrier but I have the odd attack. Which means I usually just suffer through it, I don't have a lot of coping strategies. Staying relaxed in stressful situations is my major challenge, the question is how to stay in the moment and not cling to things that seem to be important.

    Luckily these kinds of stressful situations don't come along that often...

    BunksShoshin
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    What has worked best for me for both anger and worry is to become a problem solver when I go down those roads. Taking action, even internal actions to change perceptions or attitudes, redirects alot of that energy into something constructive.

    ShoshinlobsterFosdickVastmind
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Iz good plan! Many thanks @Shoshin
    I am off to read some of the positive 'daily gratitude' responses on the insighttimer.com app. Always makes me happy - no worry. :)

    Shoshin
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    Whenever I am unhappy I stop and remember how this time a year ago I was even unhappier. No matter how long or painful it feels to get better, improve, and move on, I can always look back in retrospect and see change.

    lobsterpersonShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:....How do you deal with worry?

    I don't let it worry me.

    This too shall pass.

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @eggsavior said:
    ... I can always look back in retrospect and see change.

    Sea change. Indeed. =)

    Keeping a spiritual diary, a blog or as many do, a visual record, gives us insight into the changes we undergo. Even conversations on forums give us an indication that rigid ideas can become more mere fluid ...

    Happiness is not something we take. Happiness is something shared.

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    "You'll have to face it one of these days anyways" "It's better to learn to cope with it before it happens, than to fear it and let it keep bothering you" are some things I try to keep telling myself.

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited July 31

    @person said:
    What has worked best for me for both anger and worry is to become a problem solver when I go down those roads. Taking action, even internal actions to change perceptions or attitudes, redirects alot of that energy into something constructive.

    Yes that's right, but sometimes you come across a place where you're blocked. For instance, yesterday I was about to do my tax returns (which here can only be done online now) when my computer decided to install a safety update, and my machine was locked up for a couple of hours. That was worrying and frustrating, without much relief in sight.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Kerome you should be able to schedule updates so they happen only when it's ideal for you (ie when you shut down the computer, at 2am, or whatever). Sometimes, we can't do anything about what is going on now but working to avoid it in the future gives us something to do in the mean time and gives us some semblance of control. So you couldn't do anything about the computer locking up. But what could have been done differently otherwise? Could you have finished them at a library or internet cafe if necessary? Were your taxes due that day? Perhaps giving yourself more time so you aren't stuck with deadline stress? Never rely on technology to work right at the last minute, something always goes wrong. But even in that case if you couldn't have done anything at all to change the situation, finding something else to do can take your mind off the worry and help time pass faster so when you return, you are all set to go. Distraction might not be ideal but focusing on the worry isn't, either. I have to busy myself with something when my son is traveling to and from college. I can't do anything about the situation, but at least I am getting my housecleaning done while I wait for hours, :lol:

    Kannon
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited August 2

    @person said:
    What has worked best for me for both anger and worry is to become a problem solver when I go down those roads. Taking action, even internal actions to change perceptions or attitudes, redirects alot of that energy into something constructive.

    @Kerome said: Yes that's right, but sometimes you come across a place where you're blocked. ...

    For many problems, calm, detached analysis may be the best way to proceed. What is the apparent difficulty, what is the real difficulty, what are the possible options, how shall I proceed?

    But there are problems that really have no rational solution and no reasonable expectation that a favorable outcome is even possible. Anxiety becomes a powerful force that in-the-moment mindfulness cannot assuage.

    In my experience the use of a mantra can be very helpful in such a situation, and can block the insistent negative thoughts that are causing and strengthening the anxiety.
    I use a lot of different things for this, mantras based on one of the factors of enlightenment, any inner mental quality that is in opposition to anxiety, Namu Amida Butsu, whatever seems to work best to squeeze out the negative thinking.

    Shoshinlobsterkarastisilver
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 7

    I came across this article about "Happiness & Depression" yesterday in the NZ Herald..

    "By reconstructing a kind of micro-happiness-culture, we showed that experiencing a negative setback in such a context is worse than if you experience that same setback in an environment that does not emphasise the value of happiness. Our work suggests Western culture has been globalising happiness, contributing to an epidemic of depression."

    Also ....
    This short 1999 documentary on Bhutan's "Gross National Happiness" (which also includes flying pigs) may be of interest to some...Bhutan is a Vajrayana Kingdom boardering China & India...

    lobster
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    I have been listening to a lot of Ajahn Brahm.

    What a great, fun, happy man.

    @Shoshin I watched your Gross National Happiness video. It was very interesting.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/opinion/two-powers-face-off-over-bhutan.html

    Bhutan seems to be in the midst of trouble. I hope it isn't befallen by conflict, like Tibet. Metta to the citizens of Bhutan.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    It from what I gather has been like this for many years...

    "While the face-off is unlikely to lead to war, it shows no sign of abating either. India and China must find a face-saving way to back away from the brink and withdraw their troops."

    When you worry you make it double so...

    "Don't Worry Be Happy"

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:
    I came across this article about "Happiness & Depression" yesterday in the NZ Herald..

    "By reconstructing a kind of micro-happiness-culture, we showed that experiencing a negative setback in such a context is worse than if you experience that same setback in an environment that does not emphasise the value of happiness. Our work suggests Western culture has been globalising happiness, contributing to an epidemic of depression."

    This is exactly what "The Secret" and "The Law of Attraction" generated. A culture hell-bent on following inane but well-constructed advice on how to be happy by thinking and doing positively-based things.

    All this did was make the authors incredibly rich, and millions of people incredibly disappointed.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Whereas if they had focused on their suffering and what made them unhappy, then perhaps they would have made a lot more progress. Because, as we all know, life is dhukkha.

  • Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 9

    I'm not familiar with "The Secret" & "The Law of Attraction"...
    However I can see where the article is coming from.... The last thing that some depressed people want, is to be around "happy bubbly smiley" people.. Environments like this can often make them feel worse (possibly worthless) with self critical thoughts like "I don't deserve to be around these people" .....

    I guess for the most part the article is referring to the general population for whom Buddhist mind training is not something many are familiar with...( even thou many counsellors are now becoming familiar with one form of secular mindfulness or another)

    I think from a Buddhist perspective one has to develop one's mindfulness & non-attachment in the sense of being able to be with the emotion (whatever emotion arises) but not allow it to fully take hold of the reins... in other words not becoming totally absorbed by it, which leave no room for the buffer zone of awareness/observation, so to speak ....

    Which I guess in doing so "may" go some way in helping to re-generate hippocampus growth in clinically depressed people

  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran
    edited August 16

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Alternately, I would like to respectfully submit: Don't Worry Be Present

    ShoshinFosdick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    With regards simply to the "don't worry be happy" ideal, one thing I've realized is that happiness can't be a goal. At least not for me. Contentment, however, is another story. I can be content when I am sad, upset, frustrated or whatever. I cannot be happy in those states. When I've tried to make it my goal to be happy, I fail miserably and end up feeling even worse that I can't "turn that frown upside down" much of the time. But I can learn to accept and be ok with how I am feeling, even if I can't say I'm happy. Even if I happen to be worried or stressed. The second I say to myself "I'm worried right now. That's ok. What can I do?" the sensations of anxiety and inability to act lessen. Then my mind clears and I can go forward, either to let go of the worry or put something into action if possible.

    vinlynShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    True @karasti ...The term "Happiness" can be quite misleading because it means different things to different people... "Satisfaction" would no doubt be a better term to use when discussing Buddhism, ie, feeling satisfied with what is ...

    I've found that the more I learnt to accept the feelings/emotions for what they were/are, the quicker they dissolved ...

    When it comes to unpleasant feelings/emotions that we have an "aversion" to, it's a case of What we resist will persist ...

    Also on an intellectual level most of us 'know' This too shall pass but it would seem that habitually we still cling to past unpleasant experiences, giving them a renewal of life, by mulling over them again and again, like a scratched record...Or we start to project a mental movie of what the future may hold (anxiety)...It's like (mentally) we karmically go to work building the future event...

    It also interesting to look at the Pali word "Sati" which basically means "to remember the dharmas, whereby the true nature of phenomena can be seen" and the practice of mindfulness is just that, "remembering" ....

    No doubt for those members/people who have a major anxiety disorder, they would need professional help to get their condition under control....

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