Feeling anxious? Who doesn’t what with the economy, stock market quotes and your favorite football team unable to move the chains? It’s how we deal with the worry that’s key.
Some of us reach for a cigarette, some for chocolate and some for alcohol. But it would be best if we reached for something that didn’t cost us calories or impair our ability to drive.
Worry beads and stones are an ancient Greek response to the worries of life. Fashioned to keep the hands busy, they are often enough of a tool to release our worries and calm us down.
Years ago I bought a small kit which included a set of Greek worry beads and a book on the history of worry beads (and some tricks you could use to play with them.) I located the book on my book shelf after some looking, but couldn’t find the beads (which caused me to worry, of course!). The reason behind my search was that I had just found a worry stone at a new wellness store near me and wanted to match it up with my old beads.
A worry stone is generally oval-shaped with an indentation where your thumb goes. You hold the small polished stone between your thumb and index finger and rub away, back and forth or in circles. It is absolutely soothing and even without a worry stone in my hand have relied on this same circular rubbing motion when I needed to calm myself -- like while strapped into a claustrophobic MRI machine with a helmet over my face. Dear Lord.
Worry stones are available at a lot of “New Age” stores or on the web. For a very small price you can carry one of these in your pocket or purse and have it with you when you need it. Before buying, practice using several stones so that you find one that is right for you. Each stone has a different feel to it. Be sure that your finger motion is completely smooth under your thumb.
Why these stones work, how keeping our hands busy allows our minds to relax is something that I’m not sure we can explain. There must be a mind-body connection that our ancestors inheritantly understood. But we don’t really need to understand it. We just need to do it.
By Teresa K. Flatley