Keeping It Simple

The world has lost its damn mind! At least that's how it feels a lot of the time.

Everywhere you look, there seems to be at least a handful of reasons to be stressed out. There are very real, very serious issues that millions of people face every single day, and that affect every one of us in some way or another, but there are also a monumental number of things that we are stressed out about, that really shouldn't cause such drama in our lives.

Think about the things that you are most stressed out about at the moment. Seriously. Think about the things in your life that you spend the most time worrying about?

I bet that when you really ask yourself what is making you so stressed out, you'll discover that at least half of the things are, in the grand scheme of things, not nearly as significant as you think.

Being stressed out about a dire financial situation is certainly a major cause of stress for millions of people around the world. It's a very difficult, very painful reality for many, many people. Being stressed out because you think you're on the verge of being fired because you're convinced that your co-workers are secretly plotting something against you, is not something that should be causing you any stress. If you've been stealing from your company and are constantly worried that you're going to be found out and lose your job, then the stress you feel is warranted.

We live in a world that is constantly bombarded by news and images and reports that instill fear and promote panic. It's one of the media's favorite tools to sell papers or get clicks. I'm not saying we should not have fears or concerns or be worried about anything. What I am saying though, is that we should only be concerned about the things that have a real-world affect on our lives. If you've just returned from South America and are covered in mosquito bites, yes, be stressed out. But do something about it. Go get tested for the Zika virus. The results will either confirm that you can stop stressing, or they'll confirm that your stressing was warranted. If you live in perpetual fear of a terrorist group invading your home state of Arkansas, stop freaking out about something that may or may not happen.

We need to keep things simple. Be stressed out about things that warrant it - things that have a guaranteed, immediate, negative impact on your life. But don't worry yourself to death about something that may or may not ever happen, or things that are entirely outside of your control.

Whenever you're stressed out about something, ask yourself these questions:
1) Is this thing a reality in my life right now
2) Is there anything I can do about it? 
3) Will my being stressed affect the eventual outcome
4) Do I know for absolute certain that this thing is going to happen? Or am I building it up in my mind?

Our minds have a nasty habit of creating scenarios that are almost certainly never going to happen. Being stressed out about these highly unlikely events does nothing but feed the monster. We’ve just got to keep it simple.

Take some time to think through all that you are stressed out about at the moment, and then simplify. Decide what is and what isn't worthy of all the energy and emotional ups and downs. I'm pretty sure you'll discover that you have far less to be stressed out about than you think.

Take a breath, stay in control and keep it simple.

Now smile 😁

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