A few weeks ago we were having a heartwarming visit with our two younger grandchildren, whom we hadn’t seen for many months due to our travel schedule. After enjoying their favorite pastime at Ananda Village—visiting the goat dairy—we were driving back through the peaceful, forested hills to our home.

From the backseat of the car, the little five-year-old said quietly, “I hope that they don’t cut down all the trees.”

“Oh, no,” we replied reassuringly. “We only cut down the dead trees and the underbrush, to keep the forest healthy and prevent fires.”

“I don’t mean you,” he expressed with a concern beyond his age, “but there are people who want to cut down all the trees.”

I turned and caught the look of worry on his little face, and wondered what he had heard to elicit this response. The anxiousness I saw briefly in our grandson is widely reflected throughout our society today.

Whatever the cause, more Americans than ever before are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression. A chiropractor we know said that in thirty years of practice, he has never seen so much physical tension and related illnesses in his patients.

What can we do about it? Is there something to break the toxic downward pull of mental anxiety and worry that is plaguing so many people?

How to stop worrying, stop anxiety, how to treat depression spirituality, Paramhansa Yogananda

How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence

Paramhansa Yogananda gave us some good, practical advice. First, he said: “Three times a day, shake off all worries. At seven o’clock in the morning, say to yourself, ‘All my worries of the night are cast out, and from 7 to 8 a.m. I refuse to worry. I am on a worry fast.’ From noon to 1 p.m., say, ‘I am cheerful, I will not worry.’ In the evening between six and nine o’clock mentally make a strong resolution: ‘Within these three hours I will not worry. No matter how tempting it is to indulge in a worry feast, I will resist the temptation. I must not sabotage my peace-heart by shocks of worries. I am on a worry fast.’”

Yoganandaji concluded by saying that after you succeed in worry fasting for certain hours of the day, try to do it for one or two weeks at a time. He also encouraged us in these three other practices:

1. Feast regularly on the society of those with joyful minds until your mind is filled with sunshine.

2. Perform tirelessly right actions without concern for their results.

3. Drink copiously from the fresh waters of peace, vitalized by your determination to be cheerful under all circumstances.

As lighthearted as these suggestions may seem, are they easy to put into practice? Of course not: It takes all of our focus and will power to succeed in overcoming worries. But remember, we have a hidden ally in our Divine Friend. Yoganandaji wrote in his poem, “God! God! God!”:

     When boisterous storms of trials shriek,
     And when worries howl at me,
     I will drown their noises, loudly chanting:
     God! God! God!

Following the teachings of the great spiritual teachers, there is so much we can do to transform our own consciousness and also to help others. Shall we begin together?

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

Recommended reading: How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence by Paramhansa Yogananda

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18 Comments

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  1. Thank you Deviji. What a wonderful reminder of increasing the Light and decreasing darkness. Namaste

  2. Dear Nayaswami Devi, Thank you for sharing with us beautiful heartfelt moments with your grandchildren. What wisdom at such a young age, they could surely teach a worthy lesson or two to much older generation of greedy companies and individuals with no though of God’s precious goodness to us all. You and Jyotish have truly lit their young lives early! Thank you again for the reminder of Master’s poem so very helpful and uplifting as always. Apologies for late reply but have been quite ill and now beginning recovery. Namaste to all

  3. Thank you Deviji,

    Very beautiful ✨ Thank you for sharing your heartwarming moments with your grandchildren 💖 Thank you for sharing our beloved Yogananda’s wisdom, here and everywhere you go ✨ and Thank you for being a living example of Love and Integrity 🙏

  4. Perhaps God,through the childs’ words,was relating to you this truth: there are certain people,corporations,that are so
    greedy,uncaring,mean and ruthless,they are now actively seeking out forests and lands to exploit,ravage and destroy,with
    of course all of the wildlife and peoples’ homes and properties.Therefore,all means to guard against,prevent and expose
    these destructive forces must be taken right away.With lawful measures taken to insure protection of forests and homes,
    having the areas guarded constantly,prayer for their safety..much worry will vanish concerning this real problem.

  5. Dearest Deviji,

    Didn’t Master have the the answer to just about everything in life?!
    He is so wonderful!!

    Thank you for being an emissary of His wisdom.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  6. SOMETIMES WE ONLY HAVE TWO BOLD OPTIONS –

    ONE – TO PLAY IT BY OUR DESIGN
    TWO – TO PLAY IT BY GODS DESIGN

    THE FIRST WE ASSUME ONUS FOR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS AND NOT BOTHER ON THE OUTCOME, RATHER ACCEPT THE OUTCOME FULLY AND COMPLETELY
    THE SECOND, WE DON’T BOTHER MUCH EVEN ON OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS AS THEY WILL ANYWAYS HAPPEN AND MUCH LESS WORRY ABOUT THE OUTCOME! BUT THEN FOR A TOTAL EXPERIMENT OF THIS SECOND OPTION – THE PRE-REQUISITE IS TOTAL SURRENDER WITH FAITH. AND TO SIMPLY LIVE BY BELIEVING THAT WHATEVER HAPPENS IS FOR OUR GOOD ONLY.

  7. Guruji paramahansa Yogandaji is a divine avtar who spread the vision of god in many humanbeing for their well being ,this body is have the prievilage of feeling it wonderfull idea . god bless u all

  8. Master’s advice like – Worry fast and other practices are really
    very nice it helps in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

  9. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for the blog 🙂
    Very Inspiring and helpful. With his grace will begin the “worry fast”

    In Master’s Love
    Prem

  10. Pranam Jis

    Thank you for the Inspiration, which helps one to Conciously Shedding off the Worries and same time ,Moving closely towards God. Aum.

    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

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