If there was an Olympic competition for those who panic, fret and agonize, I would be a gold medalist. Might be because I inherited the worry gene from my mother or that as a novelist, I’ve had to train my imagination to go to scary places. But in the name of sanity, I am trying to tamp down on the many ways in which I can terrify myself. Seems the older I get the greater the toll on my physical well-being. I mean I can make myself sick over watching my children drive off. Will there be a call from a state trooper telling me there’s been an accident? If bad weather delays my flight is it a sign I should cancel the trip? Yep. I go from 0-80 faster than a 6-cylander engine. And yet there is hope. Of late I have adopted a comforting philosophy which helps to center me when I’m losing my grip.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
Or, as my late father, the great philosopher Harold Hymen, would say. Why worry? It never changes the outcome. Isn’t that so true?
So how am I doing at managing my high anxiety? It depends on the day, but I’m making progress. When I find myself getting wound up, I ask if there is real cause for alarm or if this is just my muse trying to rile me up. Then I promise myself a cookie if I can let it go. A cookie? That’s all it takes to interrupt my brainwaves? Sometimes. But when I’m especially crazed or upset, here are some of my fast-acting antidotes. Take two and call me in the morning.
Every second we lose to giving into doubt and fear is time we never get back.
Nothing is ever as good as it seems or as bad. Or as we heard in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, everything will be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
Learn to manage your expectations. Cinderella wasn’t asking for a prince. All she wanted was a night off and a new dress.
Do you have a favorite saying that keeps you centered? Please share. We can all use words of inspiration when the worries turn into the willies.