I wrote a little free-verse poem earlier and I wanted to expand on it a little bit here. (i will link the poem at the end)
According to some people around me, I am apparently one of the calmest people they know. I never really noticed it before because it’s hard to ascertain certain qualities within yourself. I did ask a close friend to expand a little on what he meant (as he was one of the people who said this to me), because I wasn’t really sure what people were generally referring to.
He mentioned that he never saw me get angry before, and I am usually calm no matter the stressful situation. I did understand what he meant here after I started to look at people around and how they behave. I do believe that personality, genetics and other factors do contribute to how we think and behave, but I also think that in this particular aspect, worrying/stress and being quick to anger, we do have certain control in how we react.
When it comes to worrying and getting emotional about things, my philosophy is simple: is it useful to the current situation?
Stress is of course useful in many situations, because it can make us more alert and ready for action. At work, for example, whenever something happens that needs urgent action, I can do tasks a lot faster than usual, and I’m sure that applies to many people on here. This doesn’t mean that we usually don’t do our best when we work, its simply that, because of the urgency, we cut out the useless parts of our thinking (like overthinking about the outcome) which makes us boil down the task to its essentials.
As they say, too much of a good thing is not good for you. Over-worrying about everything becomes extremely prohibitive and exhausting to you as a person. Most things that we worry about are things that we do not have control over. If we can’t do anything about the situation, what is the point of worrying? What does it provide us except anxiety and stress?
Because the process is quite difficult and complicated, I’ve created a flow chart below to help you decide when to stress and when no to:
Joking aside, the flowchart does actually represent what I think about when it comes to potentially stressful things. I did create the flowchart as a joke to begin with, but it dawned on me that the process, logically, really is that simple. Of course there are many factors, like I said earlier, that contribute to how we react to things, so some might not be able to follow this thought process, and let’s be honest, we are human so it’s impossible to control ourselves every time.
The same applies to getting emotional, namely angry, at certain things. Of course anger does serve its purpose in some situations, just as worrying does, but anger is an emotion that has an added layer of complexity, because we wouldn’t simply be harming ourselves, but potentially others around.
There are certain ways that help me control myself when it comes to stress and getting emotional.
One is watching comedy: be it TV shows, comedy stand ups or movies. Comedy definitely helps with de-stressing and, when done right, it can also help you see the funny side of otherwise gloomy-looking things. This is a general remedy to maintaining a happy outlook on life, and it works for me.
Another, more instant way (at least for me) to reduce my worries is thinking about the universe. How expansive it is, and the number of things it contains: endless galaxies filled with endless planets, stars and other mysteries of life.
I think about how it took Voyager 1 (a probe sent out to explore Jupiter and Saturn) about 35 years to leave our solar system, despite travelling at over 40,000 miles per hour! Just how massive is our universe!
When you think about how massive our universe is, you’ll realise just how small the worry you have is in comparison. This might not work for everyone, but it does for me. It puts the issues I have in perspective and helps me see the bigger picture of the issue (after I demolish it with the massive big picture of the universe and my existence within it).
As I said above, we are all human and there is absolutely no one in existence who does not have anxiety, worries or stress, no matter what they look out outwardly. Stress can serve its purpose of course, but we need to make sure that it doesn’t consume us.