A few days ago I caught myself doing this… thing.
I was sitting at my desk, staring past the monitor, looking at the sky. The sky was blue, the city sparkled with sun light, some birds flew by.
I had no particularly pressing items on my to do list, no emergencies or disasters, no appointments or responsibilities. I could be doing anything I wanted to do.
Then, my mind started moving.
First it thought about the new lease I just signed and whether or not it was the right thing to do. Then it started worrying that my posture at the computer was going to kill me. Then, it started spinning:
- I should travel more, why don’t I travel more?
- Maybe I should have gotten married
- Shouldn’t I have kids by now?
- I’m spending too much money on groceries
- What if there is a fire in my apartment building?
On it went, spinning rapid-fire thoughts that slowly knitted a quilt of dread over my entire body. My heart started beating harder and harder. I got nervous. I felt anxious.
Then, something happened.
I gave my full attention to the inside of my body. I observed myself like an outsider views a painting in a gallery. I decided I didn’t like the thing that I was looking at. And I didn’t like the way I felt. So very quickly, and without thinking I decided to change it.
I decided to Feel Good.
My heart slowed down, my nervousness went away and the feeling of dread lifted, like a soft, helium balloon.
I felt Good.
Nothing had changed. Nothing in my life was different than it was a moment before. I still wasn’t traveling, I had no children and my lease was still signed. The only thing that had changed was that I had decided to alter my own internal feeling, from Dread to Good.
"Good things happen to the human spirit when it is left alone." – John Taylor Gatto
The Stock Market
I once heard Warren Buffet say that the stock market has always gone up. It would be almost impossible to lose money if you invested in the Dow Jones and left it alone. Yet, thousands of people have lost fortunes and wiped out their savings.
I saw a story about weight loss. A woman had lost around 30 lbs over a period of six months. She tracked her food and weighed herself daily and posted her progress report. Her daily and weekly results were all over the place and frustrating. Some days she lost weight, other days she gained weight. But over time, her weight steadily went down.
There were plenty of times where her weight jumped and she could have quit, missing the recovery that happened soon after, every single time.
Both of these examples show the trouble you can get yourself into if you become too focused on the day-to-day feelings and lose sight of life’s long-term progression.
If you were a participant in either of these examples and dropped out early because you lost a little money (had a bad day) or gained a few pounds (didn’t get your way) you would never get to the long term result… which is almost always good and happens every single time.
Only Good Things Happen
I have a small Post-It note stuck to my bathroom mirror that says “Only Good Things Happen” .
This is a reminder that although some terrible things have happened to me and around me during my lifetime, even the worst experiences resulted in some kind of good.
In fact, the worse my problems are and were, the more uniquely qualified I become to help other people down the line. Have you ever noticed that your worst experience has actually been of use to someone else at some point later down the line?
- For example. I struggled for many years with alcohol, drugs and the suicides of family members. Those experiences were horrible and almost destroyed me at the time. But now, years later I can talk to someone who is dealing with addiction or the death of their parent and I can have a conversation with them in a way that no one else can. I am more qualified than a doctor to help them with this problem, because I have been through it, felt it and lived. So in that way – even the worst things that have happened, were good.
- In your life. Many bad things may have happened to you in your lifetime. But if you’re reading this – they did not kill you. You were not destroyed. You are alive and well and have a computer and an internet connection. What if instead of worrying about how things should have been you spent your time helping others that are currently going through what you went through many years ago?
Now, when I put things in perspective, I realize that if the worst things that I have been through didn’t kill me and may have actually caused some good to happen… then the 1 year lease I just signed can’t possibly be worth worrying about.
So instead of worrying about it, I choose to feel good.
Choosing to Feel Good
We all have things going on in our lives that are worth feeling bad about. There are bills to pay, relationships falling apart, health problems, regrets and disappointments. But when you look back at your life, has worrying and feeling terrible ever solved any of your problems?
The answer is no.
So if your problems are there – and worrying about them will not solve them. Why not choose to feel good? Even if it accomplishes nothing (same as worrying) it will set you free. Free from the heart pounding, anxiety and regret that you might be feeling right now.
It’s Easy To Do
Choosing to feel good is simple. And you can do it right now. Seriously, do this with me right now.
- Stop everything
- Notice the feeling going on inside of you
- Take a deep breath, smile and say to yourself “I Feel Good”
- Breathe out
Anytime you catch your head spinning, do it again.
Life gets busy and you may forget to feel good. Imagine how many times you’ve discovered a new book you wanted to read online and forgotten it as soon as the phone rang? It happens to me all the time.
I use phone alarms to remind me of things.
In this case, I want to remember to Feel Good. So I set a reminder on my phone to go off every few days (every day becomes annoying). When the alarm goes off, I take a breath and feel good.
Give it a try. It may save you when you need it most.