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Monday, July 9, 2012

Oh, That Way Madness Lies

Or, instead, just breathe. How can we avoid the meltdowns in life?
I tend to worry or stress out about things... a lot. Which isn't saying much, I know, because it's an affliction we all face due to the mere fact that we are human. But a little lesson from King Lear has taught me how to stop the madness caused by anxiety and stress.

A lot of the time, when I'm anxious or stressed out or super worried about something, I allow my mind to wander through a series of "what if's" that build upon each other, with each thought making me more and more anxious or stressed or worried. And sooner or later, I find myself feeling like I'm about to lose my mind.

It goes something like this: Oh crap, I overslept. What if I'm late for my morning meeting? Is my boss going to be pissed? What if everyone is sitting around waiting for me? Will they all be annoyed with me? What if they just have the meeting without me? Will it mean I'll lose the deal? Will they give the deal to someone else? Did I just ruin my chances with this new client? Will this hurt my career?

I've decided that the best way to manage stress and anxiety is to stop it before it starts. When facing any type of adversity, simply make a decision NOT to stress out. And instead, just breathe.

Sounds too simple? Think about what causes stress and anxiety. It's usually not caused by anything immediately at hand. It's commonly triggered by our minds thinking about what MIGHT happen in the future.

So rather than allowing myself to worry about something that hasn't yet materialized, I've come up with a personal mantra to remind myself that going down the "what if" train of thought will do me absolutely no good. It will only make me crazy.

The mantra is from King Lear and it goes something like this: "Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that. No more of that."

So if you're like me and you tend to be a worrywart, next time you're stressing out about something, stop asking yourself what will happen tomorrow. And think, "Oh, that way madness lies." You can even repeat it to yourself a couple of times over. And just breathe and focus on what's happening right now. And you just might realize the present moment isn't as bad as it may seem.

Happy de-stressing,

oxox roxy