It can be difficult to find a balance between being plugged in and engaged in the world around us and overwhelmed by the world around us. Some of us agonize over the state of things and carry around a toxic burden of unease that drains joy from our world. I’m not suggesting we adopt an unrealistic and superficial attitude toward matters that affect us, but it’s much better to do something—anything—and then move on rather than dwell within the realm of self-disturbance.
Here are a few tips:
1. Something bothering you? Take one or two steps to address it, today. Write a letter. Outline your concerns.By putting something on paper you take it out of the cloudy world of worry and make the problem both real—and approachable.
2. Avoid pre-emptive worry. Sometimes people think that if they worry enough about an issue, if they fret about it just the right amount, the situation will improve. While that may sound like a silly practice, people do this all the time.
3. Don’t disappoint yourself prematurely. This is in the same class as “pre-emptive disaster”. By keeping one’s expectations not simply low, but scraping the floor, people attempt to reach a state where life cannot possibly hurt them. Being immune to life’s pains would be pretty great, but I’m certain that making ourselves miserable before any potential misfortune can is not a good approach.
4. Realize that a day is a day; it’s not all of life. We tend to think of a day as metaphoric for our lives. A shiny, brilliant start, a glorious, sunny middle period, then a slow and easy decline toward the night. That’s a fine metaphor. It is however, a metaphor only. Some people don’t actually start or finish projects because they cannot be finished in a day or two. Oftentimes the great joy and fun in a project is the doing of it, not the finishing.
5. Be active in the lives of others (as long as the others welcome your involvement). What can you do for someone today?
In closing, the best way we can take care of the huge problems in life is to prevent them. When we stay insular and steeped in our own fears, we become of no good to ourselves or others. A little action will go a long way towards our own peace and serenity.