I love to worry and it’s not helping.

I always have to remind myself of the importance of “now”—at this very moment, clear of wandering thoughts. I prod myself to stay and enjoy the moment.

Once it’s been your momentum, it’s hard to pull one’s self from the constant flow of thoughts and motion. But when I learn to pause, see, and feel the moment for what it is, I feel like a superhuman with ordinary powers, turning the mundane to quite special. It feels like lengthening the time that would otherwise fade in a moment.

Especially in pain, I believe, this kind of mind-framing is vital. From regular, predictable days turned sour, sickly, uncomfortable, full of hurdles, our perceptions are at their most vulnerable to change. Our minds suffer.

Instead of calming down, we tend to cling to the past (or look forward to the future), mulling over what could be otherwise have we not got ourselves in a slump. We entitle ourselves to what things should be, rather than what is and accept it. At the sight of discomfort, we succumb to the thought of our lives having been robbed, when, in reality, our situation is far from deadly—it’s just a circumstance.

Looking back now at the times I’ve been upset —exams, emails, conversations, random remarks, sickness, emotional turmoil, and stories in my head—I realized how much energy and sanity I could have saved have I practiced and guarded my mind from such “perceived” perturbations. I could have maintained a cool head and made the most of the situation.

More than we realize, we are in strong control of how we feel and react: We’re empowered to turn a “bad” situation to our own advantage. After all, as Ryan Holiday said, the obstacle is the way: Hurdles are opportunities. Bad things are bad if only we deem them as such. Should we choose to see the good, circumstances become launch pads to better ourselves.


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