The Imagined Problem

Open the window to fresh air


Here is a peaceful truth – A great number of our problems do not exist. For a large part of our day and life, we are trapped in continuous mind activity.

So for instance, I had a situation that occupied my mind and ‘time’. I sat motionless with a heavy chest, heavy breathing and immense worry. Hours later I was filled with joy. The situation did not change in the least, it in fact had gotten more grey. But, I was bursting with power and resolve.

Inner peace and freedom from over thinking is what I pray most for. Sure, I can think when I need to build my client’s defense case but I don’t need to play out and rehash a situation that took place nor do I need to project and have anxiety about a situation I have absolutely no control of. It’s as if anxiety really believes  that the more it builds, the more the future changes in it’s favour.

The truth is, the only change that takes place from mind activity is your heart rate; increased cortisone/stress levels and speedy aging.

I’ve been learning to relax and take in my environment without the mind activity, without the guilt and stories of the past and without the worry of uncertainty with the future.

So are you stressed? Do you have a situation you’re dealing with? Take a brief internal assessment, see whether it is your mind or if you have a real problem. A real problem is the rain beginning its descent with your almost dried clothing on the line. A real problem is a burning building. In either situation you will not say “oh no, what to do??”  No, you’ll just act.

But, still, those are just things that must be done physically and in this very moment. Otherwise, think of your problems as simply puzzles. Viewing it that way changes the perspective and approach, it’s more fun.

You might be wondering ‘well, it’s only natural for a person to be worried about x situation.’ And I can understand if the mind activity is the default reaction but there is nothing natural about it. It’s social conditioning. An assault on the self if you ask me. It’s torture to replay drama, to imagine negative what ifs. The thoughts of a problem is itself a problem because it too causes harm.

This week I’ve had to do some letting go. It’s amazing how the thing that one cries over can become the source of rejoicing through relaxing and by reduced thinking.

If this sounds too esoterical for you, just ask yourself whether your thoughts of your situation is bringing about actual change. If you’re developing a strategy it’s best to get it out of your head either way. Write it on paper, see it plain and clear, not ‘up there’ in your head. In other words, release it from your mind. Either get in action or stop thinking.

But how easy is it to “stop thinking” ? There are times when the reality that – my thoughts would not change the situation – does not sink into my brain and heart. I.e, I find myself stuck in mind activity. I therefore put all my focus in something that requires my full attention. This usually means exercise or helping someone else with a task. I’ve found it difficult to jog, do box jumps or bicep curls while thinking of a perceived problem. This may mean reading a book or playing an instrument for you.

This is all a point of growth for me. Feel free join me in the practice of remembering that mind activity, rehashing an event, playing out how you wished it had taken place, does not bring about any change. We are all here to support each other. Like my friend who I’ve asked to remind me of this when I’m stressing about something “Hopelessness is for pussies”. It doesn’t have to be so out there for you, but do something to break the mind activity.

So, what problems do you have now?

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