I have this strong inclination to worry. And to cope with anxiety, I have to remind myself that I can do something with right now. Because I have this moment, I have the chance to make the best of it.
So I prod myself not to overreact, and just stay.
It is really possible to pause, and cultivate a mind that sees more clearly. And that can bring us to seeing the fine line between the mundane and the special.
Especially in true pain, I believe, this kind of adaptability is vital. The world can be so unpredictable. A good day suddenly turns sickly, unfair, and depressing that our perceptions become 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 must be” have we not got ourselves in a slump. At the sight of discomfort, we think our lives have been robbed, when, in reality, our situation is far from worst—it’s just a circumstance. Of course, it’s not to undermine a really terrible situation, but to toughen our spirits over things we don’t have control over.
Looking back now at the times I’ve been upset—exams, emails, 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 perceived perturbations. I could have maintained a cool head and walked unopposed.
More than we realize, we are in strong control of how we feel and react: We are empowered to turn a “bad” situation to our own advantage by learning from it. These circumstances could been teaching me to be calm, patient, accepting, forgiving.
As Ryan Holiday said, the obstacle is the way—hurdles are opportunities. Bad things are bad to those who see it. Should we cultivate to see the good, every day becomes a launching pad to better ourselves.