W: WORRY STONES
Many may be too young for this memory. Does anyone remember the ‘worry stone’ fad of the 70’s? I remember my mom getting us some worry stones. They were small polished stones with a slight indentation carved out, where you could rub your thumb across, to calm and soothe yourself.
I’ve always loved rocks, any form of rocks or stones, so naturally I thought they were magnificent.
Happier.com writes of the benefits of worry stones in ‘The Calming Power of Worry Stones’.
Designating some physical object with this kind of (imagined) power is a small effort that can have a major impact on our ability to acknowledge, move through, and then move beyond uncomfortable emotions. Having the ability to self-soothe is an underestimated life skill everyone should learn.
And keep in mind that a worry stone doesn’t have to be a stone at all; it can take many forms and be used in many different situations, whatever works best for the individual. Maybe it’s a bracelet to fiddle with before giving important presentations at work, or perhaps some special token to focus on during your bedtime ritual that helps melt away the stress of the day. Whatever it looks like, the important part is taking those moments to acknowledge — not ignore or deflect or invalidate — your feelings so you can go forward with clarity and composure into a calmer, happier space.
The 70’s was a long time ago. I’ve grown up since then, yet still find myself falling back on this technique to get me through rough spots. For six years I worked at a retail position (for a nationwide employer that I won’t call out in this post). The job always had times that were more stressful than usual, especially the ‘holiday season’, which was miserable from October through January. The last year there with a new manager was the worst. I used this a lot to get me through the days without exploding. Sometimes it was a polished gemstone in my pocket, such as an agate, quartz or moonstone. Sometimes it was an old antique key. Sometimes it was a pretty glass piece I’d fused.
Whatever little goody was tucked in my jeans, it was just enough that when a difficult moment arose, I could easily put my hand in my pocket, caress the hidden touchstone, and I’d feel more grounded and centered, and I was able to shrug off the drama that surrounded me at that moment.
Try it and see. Is there a little special something laying around on your dresser or in a drawer, that will give you solace and peace when you need it?