Friday night I spent at the South Glen Mall waiting for my son to finish his volunteer job of handing out balloons and candy at Old Navy. The Mall was hosting a Trick or Treat event for children. What fun it was to see all variety of costumes and the joy in the kids eyes as they pretended to be someone or something else. Halloween is a time for imagination and fear (hopefully the safe, thrilling kind!) A quick adreniline rush and the nervous laughter that comes from a scare makes us feel alive and perhaps grateful to be alive. The problem comes when we develop patterns of fear that stay with us day after day.
We don’t usually call it fear. It uses many other aliases… stress, worry, concern, overwhelm. The body however, doesn’t know the difference. It reacts by releasing fear chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine just as if we were being chased by Zombies. Think about a typical day at work… How often do you worry about potential conflict, stress about the pile of work on your desk or get upset about the direction a meeting is taking? Most of the time when we have conflict at work we relive that conflict numerous times. Thinking about what we could have said differently, worrying about what to do if it happens again. Yes, scaring ourselves silly over and over.
The problem with living this way is that well, it isn’t fun! Your body is put under constant stress and eventually wears out . Instead of focusing on what is right in your life your mind is busy trying to predict and prevent trouble in the future. Our minds are problem-solving machines always looking around for the next issue to resolve. So what can we do to stop scaring ourselves and begin to enjoy life more?
The first step is to realize that YOU control your mind. This Asian saying explains it so well, “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” You can decide what to focus on in this moment. Believe me, I know it’s not easy but it is very effective. Focus on the present moment. When you find yourself worrying about that next meeting or the possiblity of conflict choose to stop. Focus on what you can do right now. You don’t control the future and when you walk into it with a calm mind and body you will handle what ever comes with wisdom.
So my message for you today is, “Stop scaring yourself!” Instead look around. Are you okay right now in this moment? The answer is probably, “Yes” or you wouldn’t be reading this! Then take a deep breath and focus on right now. All is well.
Have an Amazing Monday!
Leanna Fredrich, Mindset Coach