Advice from Paramhansa Yogananda on how to handle worry- excerpted from How to Awaken Your True Potential
No matter how busy you are, do not forget occasionally to free your mind completely from worries and all duties. Dismiss them from your mind. Remember, you were not made for them; they were made by you. Do not allow them to torture you…
Any time you are tired or worried, inhale and tense, then throw your breath out and relax your whole body; remain without thought or breath for a few moments, and you will become calm.
Let go of your worries. Enter into absolute silence every morning and night. Try to remain for one minute at a time without thinking, especially if you are worried. Then try to remain several minutes with a quiet mind. Then visualize some happy incident in your life; mentally go through the pleasant experience over and over again until you forget your worries entirely.
A health-giving mental fast will clear the mind and rid it of the accumulated mental poisons resulting from a careless, faulty mental diet. First of all, learn to remove the cause of your worries without permitting them to worry you. Do not feed your mind with daily created mental poisons of fresh worries.
Worries are often the result of attempting to do too many things hurriedly. Do not “bolt” your mental duties, but thoroughly masticate them, one at a time, with the teeth of attention, and saturate them with the saliva of good judgment. Thus you will avoid worry indigestion.
Whenever you make up your mind not to worry and decide to go on a worry fast, stick to your resolution. You can stop worrying entirely. Say to yourself: “I can do only my best; no more. I am satisfied and happy that I am doing my best to solve my problem; there is absolutely no reason why I should worry.”
When you are on a worry fast, drink copiously of the fresh waters of peace flowing from the spring of every circumstance, vitalized by your determination to be cheerful. If you have made up your mind to be cheerful, nothing can make you unhappy. If you do not choose to destroy your peace of mind by accepting the suggestion of unhappy circumstances, no one can make you dejected. Be concerned only with the untiring performance of right actions and not with their results. Leave the latter to God, saying, “I have done my best under the circumstances. Therefore, I am happy.”
Three times a day, shake off all worries. At seven o’clock in the morning, say to yourself: “All my worries of the night are cast out, and from 7 to 8 a.m. I refuse to worry, no matter how troublesome are the duties ahead of me. I am on a worry fast.” From noon to 1 p.m. say, “I am cheerful, I will not worry.”
In the evening, between six and nine o’clock, while in the company of your husband or wife or “hard-to-get-along- with” relatives or friends, mentally make a strong resolution: “Within these three hours I will not worry; I refuse to get vexed, even if I am nagged. No matter how tempting it is to indulge in a worry feast, I will resist the temptation. I must not paralyze my peace-heart by shocks of worries. I cannot afford to worry.”
After you succeed in carrying out worry fasts during certain hours of the day, try doing it for one or two weeks at a time, and then try to prevent the accumulation of worry poisons in your system entirely. Whenever you find yourself indulging in a worry feast, go on a partial or complete worry fast for a day or a week.