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Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace Blog

Do You Have the Worry Sickness?

How we begin our days can make a major difference in our lives. Lately, I've been waking up thinking of all the things I need to do that day. With thoughts racing through my head, incessant planning, and worrying about all the things that could go wrong.


This is not inner peace.


Do you find yourself incessantly planning, with thoughts racing through your head? Being prepared is one thing. Obsessive planning is something else. It not only makes us feel bad but it's counterproductive, putting us in a stressed-out fight or flight mode, narrowing our perspective, keeping us from thinking clearly and making wise decisions.


If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Research reports escalating levels of anxiety and depression in the United States and around the world.[1]


But we can shift out of this state and begin reclaiming our peace of mind with this simple practice.


When you feel your mind racing, STOP


  • Focusing on your heart, slowly breathe in
  • Then slowly breathe out in a longer exhale, feeling the stress leave your body flowing out through your toes.
  • Take another slow deep breath, breathing into your heart
  • Then exhale slowly, releasing any tension.
  • Take a third slow deep breath, breathing into your heart
  • Then exhale slowly, releasing any more tension.
  • Now ask yourself, "What am I feeling?"
  • Pause and focus on what you've been feeling, offering yourself care and compassion.
  • Then ask, "What do I need?" (physically, emotionally, or spiritually)
  • And finally, ask, "What can I do?" (This can be anything from taking a break to step outside, have a meal, exercise, check in with a wise friend or counselor, or something else).


Remember that you have the power to shift from stress to greater peace of mind.


I wish you joy in the process.




[1] World Health Organization. (2022, March 2). COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide https://www.who.int/news/item/02-03-2022-covid-19-pandemic-triggers-25-increase-in-prevalence-of-anxiety-and-depression-worldwide


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