Some friends are concerned about another friend who is about to undergo brain surgery, and ask how they can contain their anxiety and worry with imagery or meditation, so as not to make matters worse.. Question: Recently my friend and I found out that one of our very close friends is sick. He has a cyst on his brain and needs surgery. And he''s going in next week. My friend and I both have a knack for thinking the worst of the outcome. In the meantime, is there any type of meditation or something that we can both do on our own time, so that our anxiety won''t get the better of us? My friend and I both are in shock and we feel really helpless at this point.
Monroe and Harriet

Dear Monroe,
It’s great that you have such self-awareness and concern for your friend that you know that your job is to contain your anxiety and not get in the way of his healing. Too often people get so upset over a beloved friend or family member’s situation, that it somehow becomes about them, and energy has to be diverted from the actual crisis into reassuring and taking care of them. How wise of you to look for meditation and imagery methods that will reduce your sense of helplessness and keep it under control!

There are many possibilities, lots of good resources for anxiety and stress: Tracy Carreon’s A Moment’s Peace: Reducing Stress and Creating Balance through Guided Visualization ; Letting Go of Stress by Emmett Miller; a DVD, Momentary Meditations by Barbara Biziou; our own Health Journeys Relaxation & Wellness ; Andy Weil’s Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing; and Stress Relief by Michael Reed Gach.

Any one of these can do the job of keeping you centered and steady. Good luck to you both and your friend, too!