How to Stop Making Problems – Start Making Not-Problems

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I don’t know about you, but I have a little tendency (or maybe a big tendency) to take a situation and then start making problems. For example, let’s say I have a friend comes with the problem and asks for my help. I give them my advice, but I make it into a problem for me. How? I become tied to their outcome. I start worrying about whether they will take my advice are not. Will they go off the deep end? Will their problems get worse? Will they continue to have this problem? And so on.

The answer is maybe yes and maybe no. The way to make it a Not-Problem is to realize it doesn’t matter. Each person is on their own path. You can give help, advice, and love, but they must walk their own path. And you must walk yours.

Worry over future negative outcomes = “creating problems.”

Do you ever do this?

Let’s examine the simple solution to make Not-Problems.

Example of Making Problems.

Let’s say you notice a physical symptom in your body – an ache, a pain, a rash, hair falling out, whatever. Making it a problem would be imagining all the different disastrous outcomes that could result from that one symptom.

Most of us can do this at lightning speed. And not only that, but we can imagine several possible disaster storylines stemming from any initial situation, even good ones!

For example, “Gee, everything is going my way today. I wonder when the other shoe will drop?

It’s Natural

Don’t get down on yourself, though. Negative thinking is actually part of our survival tendency. The little mammals that were nervous, anxious, and paranoid about possible danger were the ones who survived long enough to procreate. We evolved from them. (For more on this topic check out: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson.)

The happy-go-lucky little ones usually bit the dust sooner. So this instinct is a survival leftover from back when we were scurrying around trying to avoid being eaten.

But we don’t need to be thinking like this all the time anymore. In fact, most things we worry about are not an immediate threat, which is what that instinct was originally designed for.

The good news is we can learn to override this tendency with practice, building new habits.

Why Stop Worrying?

There’s a good reason to try to overcome this legacy tendency of negative thinking. When we think negatively all the time it creates chronic stress inside our bodies – making us unhappy and actually unhealthy too. When the body thinks it is in danger, it feels fear and produces the fight or flight hormones. At the same time it turns off other bodily processes “temporarily” until the danger is gone.

The problem is “temporarily” becomes “always” when we are always living in fear, rushing around on adrenaline, and stressed out about….everything!

Processes that are turned off during stress: the immune system, cellular maintenance, repair and growth, digestion, and many more. Over long periods of time, the body can’t keep up with repair, growth, and cleanup needs and consequently we develop these problems called diseases.

Avoiding the big diseases of our time should be reason enough to stop worrying about the future, but how about just being happy? Wouldn’t that be nice a nice thing to have also?

How To Make Not-Problems

So here’s the solution. It’s simple and easy in theory, but to make it really work you need to practice it every day as often as you can.

What To Do:

  1. Any situation arises – could be bad or good.
  2. You notice yourself thinking of potential disasters stemming from that situation.
  3. Mentally say to yourself, “Aha! I see what you are doing! Let’s stop.”
  4. Decide which positive outcome you would like to follow from the situation.
  5. Mentally focus on that story line, and the action steps you might want to take to facilitate that happening.
  6. Take action.
  7. If there are no action steps be taken simply keep visualizing a positive future repeatedly. Any time your mind strays to a negative vision reinsert the positive vision that you want to happen.
  8. Affirm to yourself repeatedly: “I can handle anything that comes my way. I’m okay now. I will be okay in the future.”

This Is Powerful

Thinking positive is not just a nice thing to do. It has power. Your thoughts are packets of energy and like a tuning fork they bring to you that which you focus on. And the more mental focus (energy) you give to your positive vision, the closer you will be to realizing it in the physical world.

I don’t ask you to believe me. Simply try it yourself for 30 days with an open mind, open to the technique working. Then see what your results are.

We find what we look for in this life.

Let’s look for Not-Problems!

Peace and love to you!

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