Updated: Aug 18, 2020
When I am stressed, angry, scared or annoyed, I often ask myself if I am arguing with reality. My first reaction is always to say no, that if the situation would change THEN I would be happy. But wanting something to change so that I can be happy is not really a good use of my energy. It's like arguing with the weather. It's wishing things would be different than they are, and not having any control over changing it. Not a good use of my time. That said we all do it, it's how the human mind works.
Take this weekend. Our family unknowing crossed paths with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and had no symptoms. Their entire family of 4 had been tested in anticipation for seeing grandparents, but had not gotten the results when crossed paths. 3 people in the family had tested negative, but one of the adults had tested positive without any symptoms. When the sweet friends let us know, I immediately panicked. We socially distanced but we weren't wearing masks. My mind started spinning in the "if onlys", the "what ifs" and the "I should haves". Thanks brain, yes I know that is your job.
I can't say that I have completely mastered this skill, but I was able to catch myself arguing with reality. The if onlys, what ifs and should haves, did not IN ANY WAY make me feel better. In fact they made me feel much much worse. So I decided, I am not going to put my attention elsewhere. And I focused on the things I could control: quarantining just to be safe, calling our family doctor, taking vitamin C, and taking our temperatures daily and watching for symptoms. It's a much better use of my time.
So far so good...only 12 more days to go. And though I know my brain will likely do more arguing with reality, when I can focus on the things I am in control of, I feel better.
Would love to know what ninja brain tricks you use- would you share?