As much as escape sounds, albeit resounds, attractive it’s an emotional response to the uncomfortable. The best thing to do is pause and breathe. If there is the slightest hint of wanting to get away then you must change. Stop thinking and starting working on the problem.
Define the problem
Many years of tears can be avoided by writing down in a checklist whatever is bothering you. Keep it simple. If you have to brainstorm or if you just can not get to the definition then the the first step is to pause and breathe.
Now that you have paused and breathed let’s begin with ten words that describe your uncomfortable thought. The key is here. There is a difference between thinking and solving problems. While you are playing around in your mind without any action this is just thinking. The mind is a super device for solving problems.
Thinking versus Solving
The mind is great for solving problems, otherwise it’s just thinking. Never take thinking too serious. This is why pausing and breathing is so important. The mind is an action organ. What is does it does well and what is does is solve problems. Unfortunately when there is no action related to the thought this becomes just thinking.
Here is an example of the mind solving problems:
If you are thinking about water and you are thirsty you get up and you go to the kitchen. In the kitchen you grab your pitcher of water and you pour it into a preselected glass. Upon pouring your realize by thought that the pitcher is empty. You go to the sink and you fill the pitcher with fresh water. After you fill the pitcher you notice that there is a spot of grease on the floor. You clean this up. Still aware of this thirst you drink your glass of water.
Here your mind is active and you are in the moment. Your thoughts are solving problems. Your mind is doing its job.
Solving Anxiety or Depression Through Change:
Let’s get back to your list. We just need ten things. Ten line items. That is it for now. We will call these issues. Below is an image and a link to a PDF so you can print this out or use it as a template for your exploration into solving your anxiety or depression through change. This means taking action.
Using the Solving Anxiety of Depression Through Change PDF worksheet:
- List the Issue: Once you have your sheet ready. Just write one word for the title of the Issue. Go down the list and do this for each issue that comes up. There may be many more. This is just a little house cleaning to get started.
- Define each Issue: Your issues have been listed now give each one a definition. Keep it simple. If you need more space you can return to this issue later.
Breath and Pause:
Once your sheet is complete it will be time to breath and pause. This is a very important step because your mind and your breath run on the same power. It is true that when you are experiencing anxiety, stress or depression your breathing can become erratic. Conversely your breath when you put your mind on it will become calm. This is a little exercise that has tremendous results.
Do this for about 5 minutes.
With regards to your anxiety or depression you may hear that “It is just in your mind.” This may be true but as a human being you are still caught in this life with many problems that must be solved. Taking action is about solving those problems. The solution may infact be to let them go one by one. Without a snapshot you may let go and then the issue returns again and again. There is a reason we have cave paintings, graffitti and manuscripts. This is how we humans have made plans and taken action.
Reprint or Make a new sheet by hand:
Back to action. Now look at your first list of issues and definitions. Pick the first item. With your new piece of paper cross out the words “Anxiety or Depression” and write over this what your first issue is.
What you are doing is you are throwing away a generic term for your discomfort and you are specifying what that anxiety or depression is. Now you are segueing from thinking to problem solving.
- Print: Print a new sheet or write a new one
- Cross Out Generic Title: Cross out the words “Anxiety or Depression” and put the issue that you are going to work on. The new title should read: Solving
Anxiety or Depressionthrough Change: Where the line is crossed out you are putting your own issue that you are solving. This is taking action.
- List each issue: As before you are now breaking down each issue into small parts.
- Define each Issue: Again for each issue of the greater issue you are defining the scope.
- Take your time: Now you can alternate the pause and breath with each step. You can do this anytime. This is your break.
- Once completed do another issue: Go back to your original sheet. Look at another issue. Tackle this one the same way. Tackle every issue into a sub-sheet of issues. Break down the issues from your first sheet into sub-issues on second sheets.
- Organize your sheets: Get a binder and put your first sheet as the table of contents. Each issue will be a chapter. The second sheets for each issue will be the index of issues for each chapter. You are well on your way to changing issues to problems solved.
You may infact suffer from a great monster of a problem. You may be caught in a place where you feel powerless. This could be something where you need more work. You may need professional help. The above exercise regardless of where you go next will help.
This is a snapshot of where you are. Now that you have seen it it has already begun to change. Instead of being overwhelmed now you are taking action. This is the beginning. This is today. This is right now.
Try this. You will not be disappointed.