Worry Garden Metaphor
Plant your worries in the garden and leave them there
Worry Garden Metaphor Stress Relief
The Worry Garden metaphor is an extended metaphor that allows you to symbolically bury all your problems. The Worry Garden metaphor is typically used for removing stress, similar to the Worry Tree.
The metaphor works to relieve stress by getting you to transform your worries into metaphoric objects. Doing that gives you a strong visualization of how you have changed them.
Gardening is an activity that most of us have done at some point in our lives, so it is easy to imagine yourself doing this. We are all familiar with digging holes and planting things.
We are all familiar with the idea of planting seeds and getting something to grow from it. We are all familiar with the idea that plants grow, and flower, and die in an endless cycle.
The metaphor links these familiar processes to the idea of symbolising your problems and planting them in a garden. We can all visualise in some way, planting a bulb, or a seedling, and walking away from it. We are all familiar with the idea of neglecting a plant, and letting it die.
The Worry Garden hypnosis metaphor links your knowledge of growth and decay to the feeling that problems can grow, but they can also decay. It encourages you to plant your worries in the garden and leave them there. If you leave them in your garden, and don't attend to them, they will just naturally shrivel up and die.
The worry garden metaphor is continued by encouraging you to focus on the natural process of growth and renewal. This allows you to visualise your old worries turning into something different, something new and fresh.
Managing your worry garden
The metaphor works as therapy because it encourages you to use the metaphor many times, daily perhaps. If you visualise constantly taking your worries out of yourself and putting them in your garden then nature will look after them for you.
You can take the Worry Garden idea one step further. The plants in your garden can be fast-growing weeds, annual flowers or vegetables, and long-lived perennials.
Your worries come in the same variety. You can have problems that are fairly straightforward to deal with, but need to be dealt with immediately, before they grow into major problems. Think of these as the weeds.
There are problems that every garden has. The fruits and flowers and vegetables have to be nurtured and cared for but will produce a major benefit for you. Think of these as productive worries. They need a bit of care and attention, but are part of a normal life and can be managed successfully.
And then there are the problems she can't do anything about. These are like the perennials in your garden. These will look after themselves. These long-lived problems will grow and interact, will get tangled in each other, but will eventually settle down.
Over time you can prune and trim them into trees or hedges. But mostly you just forget about them, and let them go their own way. They will fight it out for dominance amongst themselves. Just let them get on with it.
Once your worries are in the worry garden, you don't have to think about them any more. They will grow, blossom, or die according to the weather and the seasons. It is no longer your responsibility.
Once your mind accepts that they can be changed, even a little, by the outside forces of nature, your own healing ability starts.
EXTRACT FROM THE WORRY GARDEN METAPHOR SCRIPT
|[use your normal induction]
|and as you are lying there... relaxed... relaxing even more... your mind begins to wander ... to think of a summer day... a place outdoors... a place with trees and fields and water gently flowing... warm air...
|a tranquil place where you have nothing to do... nothing to think about...
|and yet... there always seems to be something that stops you relaxing... isn't there? Worries and concerns... and sometimes it seems like they never go away...
|and you know, there are times when you would just like to forget about then... and when you think about it... why not do that?...
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|The rest of this Stress Relief script is in the Scripts collection
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