Don’t stress over dilemmas

Valerie Teegardin

Reflect on your current situation as it is right now; not two days from now, not even five minutes from now, but right at this particular moment.

Is your apartment flooding? Is someone breaking into your car? Are you getting attacked by your neighbor’s dog?

Most likely not. The fact of the matter is that 99 percent of the problems we think we have don’t exist. Situations, however, do.

Say, for example, your pants catch on fire. Do you think your brain will stop to think “wow, I have a serious problem” while your legs go up in smoke?

Of course not! You immediately react to the situation because that’s simply what it is; an experience you have to respond to right then and there.

Problems, on the other hand, are passive. We can whine about them for days, but we don’t really have any intention on actively dealing with them head-on.

It’s when we think ahead to future situations we deem unpleasant and slap them with the label of a problem that life becomes stressful and we develop gray hair prematurely.

So why bother?

If there is no current problem in your life, then there is no need to worry. If you do have a problem, can you change it? If no, then it’s out of your control and there is no need to worry. If yes, then change so there is no need to worry.

Before you freak out over an upcoming exam or whatever is stressing you out, keep in mind that problems are all in your head.

Valerie Teegardin can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @vteegardin.