Negative Thoughts? Take these 3 steps now!

Saturday, March 7, 2020
Image result for mountains sunset
I am feeling a bit like a hypocrite this morning. For one, last week was a fairly negative one. I overshared with a couple of people at work on Friday, due to a stressful situation and feel a bit of regret. Especially since a big thing I overshared about seems better. I should feel better that it is better, but instead I feel I was blowing it out of proportion to get attention or sympathy or something. Then I was feeling anxiety about possible future events outside my control and found myself directing that anger in the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, it was almost entirely internal, but a few less than complimentary comments on my part have me stressing. I am better than that. I know better than that. And if I don't handle the internal struggle, eventually it become external and that's destructive.
 A family member has been ill and is struggling with dealing with illness and weakness, and I fear he is making it worse with his worries. He doesn't seem to be getting out or walking or doing any of the things he has always loved and which ironically probably kept him healthy for so long. It is hard to watch someone flounder, especially when you feel if they would just listen to advice, relax, take their meds, and stop the alcohol and nicotine roller coaster, they would probably be just fine.  But he feels he is dying. And maybe he is. He is closing the world off around him and that is not a good way to flourish. He is saying anxious I love you's, and my brain wonders if it is anxiety and depression driving him or intuition. And it worries me.

And the house is a mess.

And I sit here, feeling like a hypocrite, Who am I to give advice on living to another person? Who do I think I am? That's the feeling running through my veins.
But it is just twisted perfectionism hounding me. This idea I harbor telling me perfection is attainable if I just TRY HARDER, and then I will be fit to give advice.

Nonsense! I mean really. A big load of bull. Everyone struggles.

First thing to be done is take a big, deep breath, and then let it out. And  then another. And another. The second thing is to mentally take this pile of worries and push it away. Seriously, I am visualizing a big brown dirty scruffy Charlie Brown pile with a white sign and red letters painted "Worries," and just pushing it all away by hand. I don't have to carry this load.
YOU don't have to carry this load. Push it away! Now it's all there, but it isn't blocking the path. From perfectionism, to desiring control to ensure a perfect outcome, to worrying about things which are in someone else's hands, I acknowledge that I can't fix all this. I can however stop tormenting myself with it all.

Now, I visualize myself walking right past that pile down an open path (sun setting in the distance, of course). And I feel lighter.

One of the hardest things to do, when you are caught in a negative cycle, is realize what it is. It is just you choosing to focus on the wrong thoughts. PUSH THOSE THOUGHTS AWAY. Unless you are actively coming up with a plan to alleviate your concerns, just thinking about them, running circles around your brain, is not going to help. It is going to keep you stuck.

Newsflash! You are going to screw up. You are going to say the wrong thing, leave the wrong impression sometimes, and deal with family illness. It's going to happen. Ruminating will not take the words back, scrub your impression clean, or heal your sick person. It won't. YOU CANNOT OUTTHINK MOST OF YOUR PROBLEMS. I have been trying for years. I am no Einstein, but I know some things (though I have forgotten so much more than I know-which reminds me,  you know when you meet that person who not only can recall a lot, but can quickly use it in arguments and discussions? I envy those people. Meanwhile I am over here, like, Hmm. My gut tells me you are wrong, but I need to go home read some books, search my soul, and figure this out. I will get back to you next week, how's that? I guess that is why I like to write. Meanwhile, the world is following that quick thinker and easy speaker EVEN IF THEY ARE WRONG, because that's how the world works. Silliness).

When things are just wrong and you believe you have screwed up one of the best ways to get relief right away is to just stop everything. Stop digging that hole. Stop trying to fix the problem with thoughts and words and just be still a moment. Then walk past the problem. I get it. The problem is still there. I do understand that, but you do NOT have to live a life of misery because you are not perfect,  or because certain things are simply outside your realm of control. You don't.  Just stop, gather your wits, and walk away for a bit. And later, when you are busy in a project, doing a hobby, watching a favorite show (and make sure you really love what you are watching or do something else. Life is too short for mediocre), or just sitting completely in the moment watching the world around you, you will find that the problem might not be so bad.

And what if it is? What if that pile marked "Worries" is persistently following you and there are serious problems stacked up in that pile? I guarantee if you take a break from them, if you write them out and leave them to a higher power, and ask for help in solving them, the help will come. I don't guarantee it will be the answer you want or the way you want it. But if you can pull yourself away from demanding it all go down in a certain way, it will all work out in the end.

So my 3 steps in a nutshell?

1. Stop and breathe. Breathe deeply and exhale through your mouth several times. Feel your shoulder, chest, and upper back relax with those breaths.

2. Visualize that pile of worries and push it away.

3. Walk past that pile into the distance and start doing something else. Something you love, something you have to do, something constructive, or something frivolous. Just get busy, even if that means just watching the birds hop along in your backyard busily searching for their next meal.


You can revisit the worries later. Now is not that time. Now is a gift. Unwrap it with joy.



Post a Comment

fblikes

Instagram