Have you ever wondered how a worry stone works? Can it actually help reduce anxiety – or is it just a novelty item? It turns out,  psychological theory supports the use of worry stones.  According to the principles of cognitive behavior therapy, the use of a worry stone can be a healthy self-soothing exercise that can help counteract negative comforting habits like nail or lip biting for example.

Worry stones are often used in combination with other relaxation exercises.  The presence of the stone serves as a reminder to use affirmations, visualization or other coping tools.  If you rub your worry stone while focusing on a positive affirmation that counteracts whatever you are anxious about, simply seeing the stone reinforces that positive message.  It develops a series of habits and positive reinforcement that can help empower you in any situation.

What are Worry Stones?

Worry stones, also known as palm stones, are usually oval shaped.  They are smooth stones that are small enough to be held between the thumb and index finger.  Gently moving the thumb back and forth over the surface of the stone while focusing on a mantra or affirmation helps release physical tension and impart a sense of calm and renewed focus.

They are also a discreet way to manage anxiety in public.  Keep a stone in your pocket and rub it if you find yourself becoming tense.  If you have test anxiety, rub the stone during an exam.  There are many times and places to use this handy little tool.

They are made from a variety of types of stone, from river rocks to semi-precious gemstones.  Some are carved with mantras and positive messages, while others are simply plain.  This makes it easy to choose a stone that will work perfectly for you.  Different stones can be used for different purposes to reinforce specific messages.

Semi-precious stones are a great choice due to the metaphysical properties contained in the stone. A worry stone made of black onyx is perfect for reducing anxiety and imparting a sense of calm.  Onyx absorbs negative energies and transforms them, promoting inner harmony. If stress lowers your overall level of vitality; an energizing stone could help counteract feelings of fatigue.

History of Worry Stones

Worry stones, or their similar equivalent, have existed in many cultures from Native American tribes to Ireland and Tibet. In the 1970’s they gained strong mainstream popularity for awhile.  Palm stones are said to have their origins in ancient Greece, where rocks, polished smooth by the ocean, were used to impart courage and relieve fear.

In Native American lore, a variety of stones were carried in a bag or pouch and then handed down to younger generations. This was believed to provide a link to ones ancestors for help in challenging times. Stone beads are also used in the Christian and Buddhist traditions in the form of Rosaries or prayer beads.  The stones are rubbed between the fingers as specific prayers are offered.

A worry stone is a simple, affordable item that can bring great improvements to ones mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.