You’ve got two weeks until your next paycheck. Your rent, car note, and electricity are paid and you have enough peanut butter and jelly to last until Jesus comes home. But still, with less than a $100 in your bank account, you start to freak out and wonder how you’re going to make it without your daily latte fix.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control. And sometimes, we blow too much cash on ish we don’t quite need but really, really want. In those moments, what’s the first thing most people do?
Start to stress out.
They worry about what will and will not get paid; they worry about how they’ll eat (never mind they have stuff in the pantry and top ramen is on sale); and they worry about the fact that $100 might not last past this weekend.
I know, I’ve been there. After losing my job when I was in grad school and finding out I was preggo, I worried about how’d I’d pay the rent, and if I decided to keep my child, how would I take care of my baby. After a few deep breaths (and a few good cries), I was able to see that worrying and stressing wouldn’t solve the problem — I would.
The other day I ran across an interesting article on Leo Babauta’s wildly popular blog, Zen Habits. In this piece, writer Brad Pilon talked about the insanity of obsessing over things.
Here is an experiment I’d like you to try:
Log in to your banking account. Check how much money you have.
Now log out.
Now log back in, check how much money you have.
Now Log out.
Repeat this two to three more times.
I’m willing to bet my money that your money did not change as a result of how many times you checked on it.
The point of this experiment is obsessing about things isn’t actually action. It rarely, if ever, changes the circumstance you are obsessing about.
There are a million reasons why we stress about situations in our lives, but as Pilon points out, merely worrying about them won’t change anything.
If there’s something you really want to change in your life, the only way it’ll happen is if you change it.
And the only way to stop stressing about things is to, well, stop stressing about things.
Recognize that sometimes situations will always be wrong, uncomfortable, and a little bit difficult. As soon as we sort out one challenge, another will pop up. Instead of getting all worked up and worn out over it, take it in stride and figure out a way to solve it.
Solutions, not stress, is how we get things done. Remember that.