The “Dark Arts” Habit You May Be Practicing & 5 Transformation Tips

– Posted in: Emotional Self-Control, General, Positive Outlook, Self-Awareness

The Dark Arts

The Dark Arts are defined by Professor Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling as:

The Dark Arts are many, varied, ever-changing, and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible.

In the book series, practicing the Dark Arts was forbidden because it is the kind of magic that brings harm.

What if the act of worrying was one of these spells that casts our energy onto a loved one (or our self, our pet, our finances, our health, our planet) to the worst possibility for them instead of the happiest and most positive outcome?

Let’s go back to basics to see what this word means and where it came from.

Worry | Worried | Worrying

Reading the definition of “worry” is quite eye opening.  I like #1 that says “choke, strangle”, because I often feel like I can’t breathe well when I worry.

wor·ried | wor·ry·ing
transitive verb
1: dial British :  choke, strangle
2a :  to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat
2b:  to shake or pull at with the teeth <a terrier worrying a rat>
2c :  to touch or disturb something repeatedly
2d :  to change the position of or adjust by repeated pushing or hauling
3a :  to assail with rough or aggressive attack or treatment :  torment
3b :  to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort
4:  to afflict with mental distress or agitation :  make anxious
Source: “Worry.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. <>

This is terrifying!

When I read this definition to my daughters they cringed and declared right away that they’ll never worry again. Now wouldn’t it be nice to change on a dime just like that?

You can when you don’t have worrying as a habit. If you have worrying as a habit, read on for the 5 tips I have.  Hint: You don’t break a habit to let go of it. You love a habit into letting you go.

What are the costs or impact of worrying?

The costs of worrying are:

  • you’re wasting a lot of energy in rumination
  • it puts stress on your entire body
  • you influence the people around you negatively
  • you do things to distract you
  • you procrastinate
  • you feel terrible

What’s the payoff of worrying?

We don’t do something consistently, and for long periods of time, for no good reason. There is usually a payoff.  This is a personal question to ask yourself:

Call to action:  Ask your self these questions. Take 5 minutes to journal the answers if you can.

What if I didn't worry

Defense Against the Dark Art of Worrying

Tip #1Doubt it.  Start to doubt what you worry about. On the emotional guidance scale, worrying is #14, whereas doubt is #13 … one step closer to joy.  It releases energy and moves you to a more positive place. The best tool I know of to introduce doubt is the The Work by Byron Katie.  You can find links to that tool here.

Tip #2: Practice gratitude.  Take the very object of your worry and write 5 things you’re grateful for about it right now. It’s my belief we can’t be in two states of mind easily. This is the easiest way I know how to flip out of worry.

Tip #3:  Oprah Winfrey spoke of a concept in one of her shows called “joy rising“.   This is when that feeling of joy just rises up and you can feel it in your body.  It can come from a beautiful sunset or just looking at a flower.  Go do something that brings you joy. Right in the middle of all that worrying.

Tip #4: This one is a bit of ‘kung fu’ thinking because it can take some mastering.  Byron Katie wrote a book called “Loving What Is“.  It means you love what is. Like as in now. Not the future and not the past. Focus your energy on the present moment and love the heck out of it, even if there is something in it you don’t like.  If you can do this, then you enter a state of bliss. In this bliss there is no worry.

Tip #5: Visualize the future you do want to happen.  This is sometimes called the Law of Attraction. Or the book “The Secret” spoke of this.   This is only after you’ve gotten yourself out of worry, for example, using the previous 4 tips. If you’re in a state of worry and try to visualize your future, you won’t really energize that.   After you move from worry to doubt, to gratitude, joy and love, think about what you want. See it. Set the scene. Act.  When you replace your worry by your dream of the future, it’s really quite a magical thing (the nice kind of magic).

Transforming Worry Moves Your Life Forward

If worry keeps you stuck, then not worrying moves you forward.  Once I became aware of this emotion and started taking action to transform it, my life started to change. I got what I wanted the most — more time with my family, a more adventurous life, and less burnout at work.  We bought the RV of our dreams and started traveling to dream locations. Recently this summer we were in Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Grand Teton to name a few.  It was magical.  The good kind of magic.

I wish you a heartfelt success is diminishing all of your worrying. It’s not healthy, so please, please stop.  As always, book a session with me (it’s complimentary) if you want to work together.  Book your worry transforming complimentary session.

My family’s version of not worrying:

  • This RV is a dream because it motivates us to hit the open road, find adventure and connect as a family.  Worry might have a payoff, but transforming worry has even bigger payoffs.  You might think camping on top of a super-volcano that spews geysers, fumaroles and gases would cause some worry. It did at first. Behind the RV is the car we tow (RVers call it the ‘toad’), and the smoke in behind is gas coming out Devil’s Cauldron in Yellowstone National Park. Talk of other worldly!
  • Hiking to Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park was a 5km hike over snow (in our shorts because it was about 25 degrees Celsius). Snow in July. How delicious!  This hike is just off the famed Going to the Sun Road which was a goal of a lifetime for us to travel. We saw these lovely mountain goats calmly walk by all the people and we were delighted — young and old.
  • In another part of Glacier, we saw bear flowers and they make me feel like I’m in another world.


PicMonkey Collage_RV Trip with text

Excellent beer! See the bear flowers??

Beer IPA_640


Are you convinced yet that you never want to worry again?   Boost your health and happiness and transform worry away.  Book your worry transforming complimentary session.


2 Comments… add one

Stella October 31, 2014, 10:02 pm


Well! I never thought of worry like that. And although I like to think I *never* worry… I do see how the “dark arts” sneak into my mind from time to time. Thanks for the shift in perspective, and the great tips!


Sunita Alves October 31, 2014, 11:21 pm

Those British having a definition like this! No wonder there are all those “Keep Calm and Carry On” sayings…they know better than to worry. :-)

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