Friday, May 1, 2015

Imagine that...

Human beings are creative. We are creative through hobbies, daydreams, critical thinking, hopefully in our work and in a thousand other ways. I know that I am occasionally guilty of using my imagination to fuel darkly creative anxieties. For example, the last boy scout camping trip that my sons went on with their father had me absolutely paranoid that they were hurt, somewhere off in the woods, because they did not get an opportunity to call me as soon as I had hoped that they would. Like every other time that I can't immediately reach my husband or kids, these kind of thoughts step in and I imagine the worst. It's not just me, either.

I have heard other people describe going through just the same thing. Anxious thoughts took over their thoughts and every horrible situation that they are capable of imagining springs to life in their minds. I suppose that when you love something - are so soulfully invested in it - whether it is your family, your home, your job, etc., we are naturally afraid of losing it. That cruel fate will snatch it away. It happens to other people sometimes, right? Well yeah, sometimes it does. The thing is, do you really have grounds for the anxiety that takes over in those moments? You may have something tragic and painful in your past and I would never want to cheapen that. In my experience though, most people have not had those awful situations occur and with that in mind, I would ask you to reassess your reactions.

Does the worry help? Certainly not. It makes you edgy, nervous, ill tempered and any other number of negative qualities crop up depending on just how well you handle strain. I am working on not allowing my imagination to run away with me into these dark places anymore. Is it easy? Definitely not. It makes my will power really sweat it out and yours will go through the same thing. The thing is, I value peace of mind. If something bad happens, as it may, to some of my loved ones, well then it happens. There is nothing that I can do about that. If I am having an off day, does it mean that I am a bad person/ awful at my job? Nope. It means that I had an off day. That's all. And that's enough, isn't it? There's no point making it worse with negative imaginings.

 So, let's work on it together and reexamine where these types of thoughts come from and start building some new habits for our imaginations in uncomfortable, stomach ache inducing situations. Positive thinking can sound pretty hokey and I don't think that it gets you anywhere without positive, forward action but this requires some serious positive thinking and forward motion internally. It is also going to require repetition. You are going to retrain your mind and make it think in a whole new way. We can do this because our brains are pretty darn miraculous and also because I value my health and stress is counter to being healthy. You already know that, so this is kind of a no brainer. Use your imagination - your creative essence - to do wonderful things, to create wonderful things - not to diminish your wellbeing.

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