Transmuting Worry into Gratitude

November 18, 2018

Maja Kuzmanovic

Take a moment to think about the state of the world that worries you the most. Whether it’s the circumstance that worries you the most often, or the one that worries you to the largest degree, reflect on how often you find yourself in that state of worry and how much this state affects the rest of your life.

There’s a way to, at least partially, transmute this worrying into gratitude by using its own power against it.

The type of worrying I’m discussing always refers to something that hasn’t happened yet. And as long as that fact (it’s absence) remains true, there is the potential to transmute that feeling of worry into gratitude.

In other words, by worrying about a possible state of the world, part of our mind has to be acknowledging that the world as it is right now doesn’t include the thing we’re worried about. It seems that we rarely notice this repository of relief within the state of worry, possibly because it’s drowned out by the worrying itself.

If we go back to reflecting on the things that we were most worried about above, is it possible to feel grateful for the fact that our worry hasn’t come true yet?

Is it possible to acknowledge that, to the extent that we’re anxious about an upcoming event, we can also feel relieved and happy about the fact that we’re living in this world as opposed to the one we’re worried about?

Ideally, it could affect our state of mind to the same extent as the worrying does, but along the dimensions of gratitude and relief.