You may be wondering why there is a question mark as part of the heading. You may be one of those people who think one of the benefits we take for granted with worry beads is that they focus the mind. I can bet that 99% of people think this is rubbish as it is too complicated to understand. I suspect the other 1% are taking the statement on faith.
What I am going to do here is provide a logical explanation of why this statement came about and is true to a greater extent. I would remind all readers that I have no psychiatric training however I have had severe anxiety and depression for 18 years in which I have been given a huge amount of knowledge in the field and understanding of how the brain works. You must therefore make up your own mind if what I say has meaning to you.
To start with “focus the mind”, it is completely misleading as I do not believe worry beads do this however one of the outcomes of using worry beads is that you think clearer, more creatively, can access memories better and process the information much better. What I felt almost immediately after starting to use worry beads was a feeling of calm and being far more relaxed than I was before using them. I do not know the science of why this happens although the slower I use the worry beads the slower my heart rate feels. I also suspect that the rhythm of using the worry beads is like rocking a babies cradle, it is both relaxing for the baby and the rocker.
If the main thing worry beads do is to relax you, then the leap to greater brain power is a much easier leap. Now to take an example which I hope we can all relate to, exams. I have always suffered from exam nerves. My school reports showed a clear picture of this where I would come 1st in term work and then 23rd out of 30 in my exams. Very few people can use the tension of exams to heighten their performance, for most of us all the nerves do is reduce our capacity to think. So if worry beads make us relaxed the huge benefit that comes from that is a clear head to think through problems and excel at anything we try.
Let’s go back to my heading of “Worry Beads focus the mind?”. I can now conclude that focus is the opposite of what happens. Instead of focusing on nerves or the pressure of a task worry beads have the opposite effect in that they enable you to widen your thoughts and give access to much more of your memory and processing power. By accessing the memory better we can have a greater level and depth of information to work with.
I shall give you some other examples of where relaxed thinking is more productive. I used to attend many workshops/training events. At the beginning they always started with an “icebreaker”. Something completely different to get the attendees to relax and become receptive to the objective of the day. Secondly, I am a designer/inventor so have to do a lot of creative thinking. If I try and find solutions in a hurry I am rarely successful however when I go to bed with the problem still outstanding, on many occasions I will wake with a new line of thinking. This is because when waking your mind is at its most relaxed. I would estimate that a least 80% of solutions I come up with are when I am relaxed and not under pressure. Creative thinking is by its very nature, requires so much more brain power as you are not just accessing one piece of information but many pieces that when put together will be a new unique solution. I could come up with many other examples but I hope I have made my point, a relaxed mind is a powerful mind!
The English Worry Bead Co