Worry, anxiety, stress and concerns can become predominant in our lives, and can feel debilitating. With everything is accessible at our fingertips. The world is becoming more and more transparent, and things that never saw the light of day be it good or bad. And with all that knowledge comes fear and a natural sense of worry. How does one deal with worry, because someone telling you to chill out or charm down, is easy to say, but not very productive or achievable in the moment.
Epictetus said – “Some things are in our control and others not” And this quote speaks to the act of letting go, physically and mentally. We have to come to the realisation that some forces are beyond our influence. And accepting this is OK and not acknowledging this can be detrimental to your mental health.
“For such a small price, I buy tranquillity” – Epictetus
Seneca said – “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so, wants nothing.” This quote touches on contentment in finding a state of happiness and satisfaction with what we already have or the situation we are in. This is easier said than done. Just be happy when you are not, just accept the way things are when you can’t. This is all very enlightening but useless, I feel you saying. And you are not wrong. So how does one change their state of mind?
Here are some ideas and techniques that can help you change your state of mind. Do something just for fun. Get outside and feel the wind in your hair and switch off, walk away. Write it down, and reflect on your thoughts, why are you feeling that way. Do some gratitude practices. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Talk to someone you trust, that will give you honest feedback, not just says what you want to hear. Volunteer or give to someone else in need, be it time or resources or knowledge. Change the scene you are in, even if it’s just a different room. Are some of the things you can do to change your state of mind.
For me, it’s going for a walk/run or having a nice hot long shower/bath. Removing myself from my situation or thoughts. And when my thoughts follow me, to be aware of them, acknowledge them and ask myself why am I thinking about this. Why is it affecting me, why does my ego care so much? Or why did that hurt me, what am I trying to protect.
I would like to think that I don’t worry much, that I am a cool charm and collected. But I do worry like all of us, the only difference I see in other people is that I don’t express my worry, I don’t let those emotions dictate my reactions. I take a step back and access the situation. What is happening, why it happened, can I do anything about it. And go from there. Sure there are times where anxiety lasts longer than I would like, minutes, hours days and weeks for myself. Sometimes just waiting before I can do anything. Anxiety and patients don’t mix well together. Abraham Lincoln said “And this, too, shall pass away.” nothing lasts forever. Pain, stress and worry do pass with the entropy of time.
I would like to leave you with a philosophy that I live by that has helped me charm in situations of worry, stress and anxiety. “If you can change it, then there is no need to worry about it. And if you can’t change it, there is no need to worry about it.” And ever since I found this out to be true it has helped me charm myself. My life has become so much easier. From worry about what someone else is thinking, my reaction would be that is their problem and it is only appropriate to help them if they ask for it. To worry about having a job. When in this situation I would take action and find alternative job opportunities or job openings. Because nothing in this life is certain and nothing lasts forever. Take each moment as it comes and lives in the moment because the past is the past and the future is just speculation. Why worry about what if’s that might never be. Live in the moment, act when appropriate. And remember it’s OK.
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