When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me a set of Guatemalan worry dolls. I kept them on the windowsill above my bed and used them when I was feeling anxious.
My grandmother told me that I should take the dolls out of their box and share my worries with them. One at a time, I held a doll in my closed hand, shut my eyes, and told it one of my worries. I then placed the doll back in its box. When I was finished, I closed the box and went to sleep.
She told me that, by engaging in this practice, I was turning my worries over to the dolls. They would worry while I rested.
Do you think it worked?
You bet it did! Was it because they were magical dolls? Probably not.
It’s more likely that it worked because I believed it would. That, right there, tells you the power of our beliefs, and how our beliefs can affect our reality.
I also think it worked because there is something valuable to clearly naming our anxious thoughts and then deciding that we will no longer ruminate on them. There is power in acknowledging and then releasing. That sounds a lot like mindfulness meditation, doesn’t it?
Anyway, worry dolls are not actually a requirement in order to acknowledge and release our anxious thoughts. They are a tool. Tools exist to make life a little easier for us, to assist with tasks that might be difficult to complete on our own. We use tools in many aspects of our lives, yet there is often a sense of embarrassment when it comes to mental health tools. Really, there should be no more shame in utilizing wellness tools than there is in using a hammer or a fork.
If you find yourself needing some assistance, take time to explore the different wellness tools available and find the one(s) that work(s) best for you. Maybe you’ll even create your own. There’s no reason to pound a nail with your bare hand when you have access to a hammer. Allow your wellness journey to be a little easier. Who knows? Maybe you’ll rediscover some childhood magic along the way.
Here is a link to this particular set:
This is a children’s product based on a similar concept – and it’s super cute! (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2KAsf8K