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What is a Worry Box?

Worry boxes may provide comfort in times of stress or sadness.
Some mental health professionals assert that people who are suffering from grief may benefit from the rituals associated with a worry box.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2014
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While shopping for small but elegant gifts such as musical boxes or jewelry cases, one may encounter an item called a worry box. A worry box may contain elements of a music box, and it may hold jewelry, but it has a slightly different agenda. It all has to do with friendship and compassion during a difficult time.

Any style of box or container can serve as an ad hoc worry box, but commercial models usually feature intricate design work, inspirational poetry, and at least one Guardian Angel-style figurine. The basic idea is for the recipient to write down his or her current worries on a piece of paper and immediately place it in the worry box. The inspirational words found inside the lid are meant to reassure him or her that Guardian Angels will help these worries disappear over time. A worry box sold in gift shops may also play inspirational music such as 'The Wind Beneath My Wings' or 'When You Wish Upon a Star'.

As worries and concerns begin to lessen, the recipient is encouraged to replace them with other thoughts until he or she finds some piece of mind. Some mental health experts believe that the rituals surrounding a worry box actually provide some comfort during times of stress or grief. Expressing feelings of worry or sorrow in writing can prove to be cathartic. It allows the person to acknowledge the emotional pain and then safely give it away to a spiritual being.

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A worry box can be a good gift for those recovering from illness or accidents, or friends who may be facing difficult financial or emotional times. Even if they choose not to follow the rituals right away, a musical worry box can be a special keepsake. The craftsmanship of a high-quality worry box can be impressive, especially that of the Guardian Angel figurines.

Manufacturers of high-end music boxes will often develop a worry box line as well. Online gift catalogs also offer a wide selection of worry box designs. For those who enjoy a good craft project, homemade worry boxes can be constructed out of unfinished wooden jewelry boxes, which can be found in many craft shops, and some creative painting or decoupage. Be sure to include at least one Guardian Angel figurine and an inspirational poem or personal greeting.

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pleonasm
Post 3

@croydon - There are online versions of that, although I'm not sure that they have a video hookup. They are basically worry boxes for the technology generation, and are essentially a page with lovely music and a place to type your worries. The words then dissolve or drip down the screen and it's supposed to represent your worries fading away.

croydon
Post 2

@browncoat - I actually find that, rather than writing down my problems, I like to talk them out on my tablet camera. I know that sounds a little bit weird, but somehow it's kind of comforting to watch afterwards and realize that my worries from last week aren't bothering me any longer and perhaps the worries from this week will go the same way.

It was actually suggested to me as a treatment for anxiety by my counselor as she thought I would be more willing to talk about my problems with someone who I absolutely knew wasn't going to judge me, even if that person was literally myself.

And it's true. I'll say things to the camera that I would never say to a friend because I wouldn't want to offend or burden them and sometimes you just need to say stuff out loud to realize it's not that big of a deal.

browncoat
Post 1

I think the best thing about a worry box is simply the act of articulating your worries and putting them in concrete form. Often I'll be very anxious over something that I haven't really sat down and thought about properly. But when I really make myself think in concrete terms about what is really worrying me, it isn't that much of a problem.

I've just been making it into a bigger problem than it actually is because I'm not looking at it directly.

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