Do you obsess over negative situations?
If you continually worry, fuss and focus on some injustice, insult or insinuation, it will continue to grow until it consumes your thoughts. Frustration, anger, resentments, attempts to control other people’s lives, and thoughts of revenge flood your mind and body with destructive stress hormones. Based on your previous experience, you might decide that alcohol, drugs, over-eating or other excesses will make you feel better. That often results in violence, regrets, guilt and shame.
What is the answer then? How can you avoid turning molehills into mountains by grossly exaggerating the importance of an issue? Well, I am glad you asked. First off, accept that life doesn’t always seem fair. Some have it easy in life while others seem to have been dealt lousy cards.
I was born on a Friday the thirteenth, during the darkest days of the Second World War, with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. A few days later, the hospital caught on fire. What a fine welcome into the world I had. Those would only be the preliminary bouts to the real challenges I faced in life which I go into in more depth in my upcoming book, “Shackles Broken, Dragons Slain.”
We all face troubles large and small throughout our lives. Some are handled readily, some we try to hide from, and others seem to overwhelm us. Perhaps we share some of these challenges:
How then do you reverse the process and turn mountains into molehills instead of the other way around? It all has to do with where you are focusing your energy. Where your attention goes, energy flows. I was never happy when I obsessed on negativity. Are you any different?
Ask yourself which is more important in your life – being happy or embracing negative thoughts and feelings? It should be obvious but it took many years for me to realize the importance of opting for the first one.
Hold on, you say, what about crime in our streets, scandalous conduct of previously revered and trusted dignitaries, be-headings in the Middle East, and other issues? Yes, they are all disconcerting, but how much energy do you want to give them? Are repeated discussions and arguments with your friends and family members going to provide the solutions you seek?
They do not rectify the situation and voicing of your opinion does not make you feel better. There are challenges enough in your life without wanting to take on those of the police, military and elected officials who are better equipped to address the situations.
Pay attention to what you focus on and whether or not it serves you. Victim talk, when you moan about problems that you are incapable of fixing, directs your energy only into being a victim. Forget about all the bad news stories in the press and on television; focus on what will move you closer to your dreams. Don’t get caught up in the negativity of those you associate with.
If the problems in your life have become mountainous, learn to re-direct your energy to gratitude, acceptance and peace of mind.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
– Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian