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WORRY: A Self-Destructive Habit

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

In my experience, worrying is one of the most powerful self-destructive habits and what makes matters worse is that we underestimate the effects of it because we think it's normal. We accept worry as a natural element of our lives.

But did you know that worrying is defined as tormenting oneself with (or suffering from) disturbing thoughts? Tormenting... That means that by worrying we are inflicting upon ourselves severe pain and suffering. In addition, worrying creates and magnifies negative thoughts, emotions and health issues, thus impairing our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. It is a very serious problem.

Most of us have some kind of worry constantly running in the back of our minds. We worry about health, work, finances, family and relationships. We worry about our self-worth. We worry about the past or the future. We worry about all sorts of things, except the negative consequences of worrying.

Worrying cripples our ability to make good decisions.

The biggest problem with worrying is that because it brings about negative thoughts and emotions, it cripples our ability to make good decisions and take appropriate actions.

Excessive worrying can create an inner state of emergency, a 'fight or flight' arousal response in which decisions are made either impulsively or frantically, or not made at all.

Being in this state of worry is dangerous because, depending on our personality, it might cause us to be:

1) More vulnerable to other people's influence, manipulation and/or opinion of us.

2) More likely to be controlling, manipulative and dishonest (with ourselves or others).

3) Avoidant.

4) Actively self-destructive.

We worry about the things we fear, and we fear the things we believe we cannot control or avoid.

We go from fearing something, to worrying about it happening and then trying to control or avoid it. We fear the things we don't trust ourselves to have the power to overcome.

As we get stuck in cycles of fear, worry, and control, we might find ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically drained. Ancient spiritual traditions teach us that we cannot control anything outside of our own selves in the present moment. For example:

  • We cannot change the family and circumstances we are born into, but we can heal them within ourselves.

  • We cannot change our past actions, but we can make conscious, coherent and empowering choices in the present moment.

  • We cannot control how other people choose to act or treat us, but we are in charge of how we treat ourselves, others and how we allow others to treat us.

We cannot avoid suffering in life, but we can learn to stop fearing it.

Regardless of who we are and our circumstances, all human beings experience suffering to different degrees. We cannot stop the fact that life has suffering, but we can learn to find a purpose to this suffering. We can learn to see it as an opportunity for change, healing, growth, and most of all empowerment.


The founder of Usui Reiki, Mikao Usui, added a new component to the practice of his Reiki healing method. He included the daily practice of five zen principles for the healing of all illnesses. These principles are known in Reiki as the Five Reiki Principles.

One of these five principles is: JUST FOR TODAY, I WILL NOT WORRY.

To overcome the habit of worrying we first need to find a way to release it. Since WORRY has its root in FEAR, we can only overcome it by developing TRUST.

Trust cannot be intellectually learned or acquired, it can only be gained (realized) through the personal practical experience of empowering choices and actions, and the spiritual experience of wholeness within. We can achieve this through healing practices such as Reiki and meditation.

With Reiki we can all get to experience our inner connection to the infinite Source of Life, that energy from which everything originates and materializes. We can experience that our power to change and create new circumstances is always within us and that we can can then use this source to help us make the choices and take the necessary actions to support our journey from fear and helplessness to trust and empowerment.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that worrying exaggerates our suffering because it's like two arrows hitting the same spot instead of just one. The first arrow is the cause of our pain; the second arrow is magnifying the pain by adding strong emotions like anger, fear, or worry making the situation more dangerous.

In my course on THE FIVE REIKI PRINCIPLES we study these practices and how to use them to release our suffering and heal our lives. The next 5-week series of this course begins on January 9th 2021. Please book your spot if you are interested, space is limited!

If you would like to learn more about the Reiki Principles, book a Reiki Healing, a Reiki Meditation session or if you are a Reiki Healer and you would like to learn more about the use of Reiki in meditation please email at or visit

~ Guillermina Neal, Reiki Master/Teacher - 2020

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