Magnify or Minimize Worry

My family certainly has learned through the years how to handle stress. Some days are better than others, but how you handle worry can be a big factor to your future comfort and success in life. People around us often wonder if we are miracle workers for all of the situations and events that we have to juggle from day to day for our children.

Sometimes I’m going in a different physical direction for one child at a meeting while my wife has to go to another part of the city for the other child. We are aware of the fact that now that one is a teen and the other is closing in on teenage years, this may be our way of life for a little while.

As a result, we’ve learned to be very proactive in an attempt to minimize worry. Our children on the other hand are very adept at maximizing worry. They hang on the negative words people deliver to them, and immediately believe in worst case scenarios.

Understand that the human mind tends to err on the side of negative as I believe a form of protection. Better to think you are going to get in the biggest amount of trouble instead of skating clean. We’ve worked hard on repeating the following mantra, “I’ll do what I have to do” or “it is what it is”- accepting whatever life puts in front of us and then tackling the next issue moment by moment.

We as a family learn that often how you present yourselves has a lot to do with how seriously you are taken and how much respect you are given. Not just in terms of clothing, but often in terms of how you present yourself. If we as parents acted out of control, yelling, screaming, cursing- how could authority figures or people in positions of power take what’s going on seriously?

So I think it’s best to magnify worry early on and then just let it go. Get as much out of your system early on in the matter- and then explore other opportunities and outcomes. When we fixate on one particular scenario, the flexibility and creativity within our brain goes away. Tackle the situation from multiple perspectives and you may be surprised how much more relaxed you are when having to face your worry head on.

My youngest daughter struggles with this aspect of life. She wants to know definite times and control as much of the environment as possible. Sometimes we just can’t accommodate her wishes- as our world can’t be that fixed and scheduled all the time. So we hope she works harder in the future in understanding that we have her best wishes and desires at hand- but not to worry about the minute details. Everything will fall into place.

When faced with worry, simplify, simplify, simplify. Bring yourself back to basics and remember that you are strong enough to handle whatever is placed in front of you- as long as you are open and honest with yourself.

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