Making me Anxious and Angry
I wouldn’t really call myself a “change agent” I don’t always like change. I do recognize that we have to change. If we don’t change the environment and the world will change around us and we will be left behind. We will change anyway.
Change happening to me makes me anxious and angry but I have a choice in how I respond. Major and minor change events can cause anxiety. For myself, I have found a few things that are simple and help me through these events. I don’t know if this will work for you but you never know! Just for the record, you can search online a billion things that you should do to help with anxiety and change. I am not looking to replace those things like exercise and eat healthy and do yoga or whatever zen bologna they tell you. This is real deal what I do to help myself.
1) Re-frame the situation – One thing that helps me through some change event is to recognize what it is, my response and what I am going to do next. Is this an emergency? Did someone die? Will someone die? How important is this? Will this be a great story or distant memory? Will this matter down the road? Will I even remember it at all? Is it worth the time to invest the energy in fighting it? I also try to look from other perspectives. Depending on where you stand a 6 could be a 9. We could stand at one end of the table and see a 6, the middle of the table and see both a 6 and 9 at the same time or the other end the table and see a 9. Where am I when change happens?
2)Recognize Where I am – I am known to say “Everyday is a gift, not a promise.” I say it out loud and people think I am talking to them but I am really talking to myself. It is important for me to remind myself that we are only here for a moment and not at our own will.
3)What if – At two points in my life, I lost almost all of my possessions. I mean literally. All of my childhood wound up in a garbage dumpster, pictures, tapes, records, documents and even important things like my grandfathers watch given to him by an enemy soldier that he saved in WWII. The loss was overwhelming and emotionally took a toll on me. I used to wake up at night with thoughts of people going through all my stuff and just dumping it. The circumstances of the loss were well out of my control. This change just happened to me and I felt as if I was being punished. It was tough.. Years later, I started thinking about the memories I have made since and the life I was able to build. I also started to think about what would any of that stuff mattered if I wasn’t around? I highly doubt anyone but me wants to look at my Bar Mitzvah video. You want to see it? It would be funny for a meme or something but really, it is something that was for me. Questioning “what if” became a tool for me in many instances. Let’s say I am at work and I am in a heated exchange about something. I ask myself, what if I weren’t here? What if we did what this other person suggested? What if this or that. If I think about all the decisions I argued over that made no real difference to my life, it really helps frame how I behave now. At the same time, when change happens, I can use “what if” as a tool.
My sense is that we are not in control. We can simply ride the wave and participate in change. I also submit to you that our world will be destroyed. The earth will be consumed in a great ball of fire. So what? All of the stuff you do and all of the things you have collected will be either destroyed or a desk ornament for some alien creature to put on his desk as he blogs. Regardless, it all doesn’t matter but some how it does matter because we are living in these moments. I wouldn’t say that “nothing matters” I say that everything matters but “so what?”
Have fun, enjoy the moments as they are fleeting and find ways to re-frame your life so that every moment you have with good health and wellness you maximize and find value. Life is change, change is life and by definition of life everything changes all the time.
Don’t fear change.. ride the wave.