We live in a world that is very different from our ancestors.
We don’t need to worry about a tiger going to suddenly appear in our village and eat most of the people (maybe yourself).
But the thing is, our world evolves faster than our body.
The most obvious example is imagined fear.
Our society and our culture dictate that if you want something you need to pay for it – not just in monetary sense but also in term of efforts. You want to have a good education; you need to suffer studying and taking all these exams. You want to have a good physique, you need to sweat and work and SUFFER.
Because of this, whenever we feel comfortable, the natural response of our mind is to think “GOSH, this is so good – but am I deserved of this? Did I suffer enough to enjoy this?” Then the mind starts racing to find some kind of reason to reject your current comfort, looking for some sort of threat.
This imagined fear is present in all our daily life. Imagine you take a vacation on a beautiful island. Once you are settled and sunbathing on the beach, you are clearly enjoying yourself. However, your mind begins to wonder off and you begin to think about things back home: what would I be doing if I am backing home, what are my coworkers in the company is talking about right now. Are they talking about me and the project I was doing last week. Did I turn off the stove when I left? Oh gosh, what if I didn’t. Before long, you just find some reason you shouldn’t be there and you should be doing something else.
This tendency manifests itself the most when you worry about some imagined threat and trigger the ancient “fight or flight” response. You begin to sweat, your heart pumps faster. Your mind just can’t get off of the fear.
Given the complexity of the modern world -you can’t just kill the tiger like your ancestors could do – most of the fear and pressure is not easily resolved, you have to find a way to deal with your natural responses. Here are some tips of how to deal with it:
4. Constantly tell yourself “so what”. So what if my coworkers are talking about me. So what. What if that person thinks me this way? So what. – what can he do.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
2. Delay the worrying. This is related to what you call break-accelerator problem. Think about your worry as both a break and an accelerator: if you tell yourself “don’t worry about this right now”, it is like you are stepping on the break and accelerator at the same time: the thing you are worrying about would constantly in your mind. But instead tell your mind, OK I know this might be important, and I can’t solve it right now. Why not worry about it in the future. Then your mind would get off the topic and forget about what you were worrying about in the first place.
1. Develop some mechanism to distract you from worrying thoughts. Whether it is a hobby or turning on TV- anything that can distract you for now is good.