In the spirit of living your best life wherever you are, i.e. Everblossoming, without waiting for the perfect friend, job, house, or dress size to come along, I’d like to share a few ways to shift your mindset from negative to positive (or at least… more positive) without denying how you really feel.
We all find ourselves discouraged at times. We all feel anxiety about the future. But there are better ways to deal with that than to play society’s collective game of “EVERYTHING IS FINE!”
Ask yourself: what’s really bothering me? What am I really afraid of?
Then ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?” And then plan out what you would do in that situation.
I used to feel a lot of anxiety over money. I let it eat me up – I always felt like we never had enough! My husband never had this issue. He asked me, “What are you so afraid of?”
I thought about it… and being homeless came straight to my mind. We were never anywhere near being homeless. But I lived in a shelter for a short time when I was a kid, so it always felt like a possibility in my mind.
I was stressed about money in general, which came up in things like not being able to buy organic food and having unpaid medical bills and pinching every penny. But when I followed those worries… I ended up at the worst money scenario, which, to me, was being homeless. So I thought that through, and it turns out it really wasn’t all that bad.
This thought process made me realize that even if my worst fear came true, I would still be okay. We would stay with family. We would work like crazy to save money. We would stay in a shelter if we had to. Drive down south and sleep in a tent until we were back on our feet. But we would be okay.
Even though being homeless was not even a real risk, knowing what I would do if it ever did happen helped me feel more at peace in general.
Take a step to improve your situation.
Take it one step further and take a tangible step toward improving the whole situation around whatever it is you’re anxious about.
For me: this meant getting a better system for budgeting and feeling more in control about money. We ended up following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, which literally changed our life. There are a lot of great “money programs” out there, but his has been great for us. The main game-changers were making a zero-based budget (as opposed to pay the bills that are past due and spend whatever’s left) and saving an emergency fund.
Anxious about money? Make a budget. About your weight? Do a quick workout. Feeling overworked and overwhelmed? Stop everything right now and just sit and breathe, read a book, or do something you actually enjoy. (The world will not actually fall to pieces in your short absence, I promise.)
Realize that your needs are important and recognize when they are not being met.
Most of the readers here are women. One thing I can say about all the women I know is that we tend to meet everyone else’s needs before our own. But this isn’t healthy and we could really do better.
Flight attendants say, “In the event of an emergency, please secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” I’d really like to see studies done on female flight attendants on whether they are more balanced in life after internalizing that message.
Because life can sometimes be one big emergency, baby, and that’s what we have to do. Meet our own needs first so that we actually keep having something left to give.
We all have basic human needs:
- Physical needs
- A need for respect and affection
- A need for rest
- Mental challenges, creativity
- Spiritual needs
- A sense of identity and beloning
There is a widely accepted scale of human needs that most of us could look at and see where something is lacking. There might be a couple or even, oh no, a few – in which case I would try to feel which lack was hurting the most and do whatever I could to meet that need right now.
I don’t think it’s actually possible to have perfect balance in life all the time, but even actual blossoms are a little crooked.