Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Neither Do They Spin"

This post is a continuation of my "20 Things" series.

I’m not a worrier. Not that I NEVER worry about things, it’s just one something I’m not very good at. See, my brain is kind of weird. Anytime I have any sort of unrest… be it a problem I’m trying to figure out or a situation I’m unsure of or anything else that requires worrying, my brain goes into overload and won’t stop thinking about it. It’s very stressful and I’m just not good at dealing with stress. So, in order to keep functioning, I’ve developed a coping mechanism.

Here’s how it works:

A problem arises. First, I figure out if I can do anything about it. If I can’t, I block it from my brain. If I can, it goes on in the process and I brainstorm possible solutions.

Brainstorming is the most lengthy part of my problem solving process. If I know I can do something about the problem but don’t  have any immediate solutions, I’ll put the issue on the back burner of my brain and keep my eyes peeled for ideas in my day to day life. Solutions pop up in the most random places and if my mind is tuned in to look for them, I’ll pick up on the ideas even if I’m not actively worrying about it 24/7. For more straight forward issues, I’ll draw up a mental list of possibilities.

When all the ideas are formed, I weigh the consequences (good and bad) of each choice. Sometimes the solution is obvious. Sometimes it’s not. When it’s not, and I don’t know what to do, I just pick one. I go with my gut and choose an option and go with it. I figure once I have all of the information collected, thinking about it over and over and over isn’t going to be productive. I’m not going to get any farther so I might as well just make a decision.

Now, the final key is, once I make a decision, it’s permanent. I make up my mind and that’s it. Going back to the problem and second-guessing myself only negates all of my previous mental deliberation and toils and brings back the stress that my brain so strongly needs to be rid of. Once the choice is made I don’t think about the problem anymore.

This may seem like kind of a harsh system, but for me it’s a sanity saver. Stress is the one thing that really affects my happiness level, so when I have issues weighing me down, it’s in my best interest to get rid of them asap, otherwise I’m a mess.

These days whenever I find myself starting to worry about something, I pull up a mental chart like this one and STOP WORRYING.


The Butler Clan said...

Perfect. I love it! and I will apply it to my life as well, just what I needed to hear.

Rachel said...

I love these posts, as they always make me think. I read them and then carry them around with me for a while. I like this perspective a lot-- particularly the open brainstorming sessions and the "make a decision, stick with it, and move forward" perspective. I think that is SO key for happiness.