My stepson had a stroke when he was just 4 years old. That has left him with both cognitive and physical challenges. He has worked very hard through some of these challenges, but we decided to hire a clinical psychologist who specializes in brain injuries to help him work through some stuff that parents just cannot help him with!
When we dropped him off at the psychologist’s office one night, I spotted the image above sitting on the corner of her desk, captioned “Buddhist Worry Map”. She had been discussing the mindset of ‘worry’ with another client earlier in the day.
It has always struck me how simple – and therefore effective – the Buddhist approach to matters such as worry actually is. The ‘map’ makes perfect sense (albeit I don’t believe they actually have a map of it), yet we often feel that worry is something we “should” have and an experience we “must” endure.
Worry is a learned behaviour, as are 99% of negative responses (and many positive ones too).
Of course, it is an emotion, but worry is also exacerbated by our ruminating and speculating. While neuroscientists such as Candace Pert (author of the great book Molecules of Emotion) understand the mind-body connection, we also know that worry is not required.
Action – Today, I am choosing to be happy. How about you?