I think a lot. Too much, some may say. I think about the future, the present, the past. My thoughts spin around in my mind one million miles a minute, and half the time I am not even cognizant of what I’m thinking. I often don’t tune in to the fact that I’m participating in this sprint marathon until I notice the red flags. These include the physical manifestations of worry, which in my case present as tummy troubles, mild nausea, chest tension, increased breathing rate and a general sense of muscle tension throughout my body. Once I begin to experience these symptoms, (and after I remind my self that these are triggered by stress and not some life-threatening illness #hypochondriacmuch), I can begin to sift through what thoughts precipitated these bodily sensations.
Seeing as I am in the midst of planning my future (grad school, med school), most of my thoughts/worries pertain to the future. What I can do to aid in my acceptance to medical school? What things do I truly want to accomplish, or be involved in, regardless of medical school admissions? All of the grand plans I have, envisioning my life as a practicing physician, the integrative practice I wish to open up one day with other clinicians and professionals, the book I wish to write, MCAT prep, the difference I want to make for those suffering with ED’s etcetcetc. I feel bursting with excitement one minute, and like a brick house is sitting on my chest the next minute. Do you notice how all of my ‘problems’ are self-imposed? Ya, me neither.
Anyways, I get myself in such a state thinking of all of the things I *must* accomplish that I feel like I am being suffocated. And that makes it hard to be productive. And if I’m not being 100% productive, then I can’t do my work effectively. And if I can’t do my work then I won’t get into med-school and none of my life goals will materialize!!! And now I’m so stressed I have no appetite. And then I won’t eat and so I’m going to relapse!! AHHHHH!!!!!! *Entering crazy town.*
**Catastrophe** This poster was too good not to use…spelling mistake, pshhh
But ya know what?
Seriously, I do not have time for that! Nor do I want to waste my time (*life*) unnecessarily freaking out. Sure, I may not be cognizant of my thoughts all the time, and so the physical manifestations may creep up. But that is where it ends. Once that happens, I need to take a chill pill. For realz. I need to purposely and consciously, stop doing my work. Do two minutes of deep breathing. Be in the moment. Cause the moment is all we have. And this moment is safe. And calm. Go to a funny website. Call a friend, your Mom/Dad or sibling. Watch a funny movie. Once you can breathe normally again, begin to think rationally and calmly about your future. What do you have coming up that you need to focus on? A presentation tomorrow? A mid-term Thursday? Let’s focus on that. We have our whole life ahead of us, and we do not need to plan it all out in a single moment, nor do we want to. What happened to being spontaneous? Our lives are fluid and forever changing. What may seem like a master plan today, may seem like the worst idea tomorrow. Our interests change, our passions evolve, WE evolve. There is no need to know it all. And there is no need to be ‘perfect’ and accomplish things in the ‘perfect fashion.’ Sometimes you just need to try the best you can, and trust that it will all work out the way it’s meant to.
Haha! But seriously…Be content with what you have done, know that at the time it was the very best choice for you, and calmly look towards future possibilities. Don’t waste hours ruminating, working yourself up about this, that and the next thing, as my Mom always says. Just be in the moment. Be excited about your future (fluid) plans. And reflect on the past. Thinking does not need to feel chaotic and out of control.
So tell me friends, what have you been stressing about that really isn’t warranted? How can you re-construct your thinking in order to create the day-to-day life you want to live?
Much love and health,