Have a problem you can’t solve? Has somebody hurt you? Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends? Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings. Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?
A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women. Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.
Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating. Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with. It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.
Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone. In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.
For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.
There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.
Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think. Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while. Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it. It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.
Most of us have trouble controlling our own lives so why do we think we can do a good job of controlling someone else’s life, especially that of someone we really don’t know. It seems that our media encourages this and hour upon hour of television news is spent speculating about people who are in the public spotlight and garnering opinions about them, who they are, what to do about them, and why they did what they did. They survey dozens of “experts” and whether these experts know what they are talking about is often not very clear.
Usually this speculating starts before the facts about the situation (if we ever really get them) are all in and often the initial information from which people are drawing conclusions is sketchy, at least a little inaccurate, and sometimes just plain wrong. This jumping to conclusions can lead to actions and reactions that are not just inappropriate, but downright harmful. Mob violence, for example, can be such a thing. There is something to be said for delays in reporting some of the news until all the facts are in and for taking the time necessary to put together a full and unbiased report. Even then should people, consumers and “experts”, be called prematurely to offer ideas as to how they would describe the motives of possible “suspects” and as to what should be done in terms of punishment and in terms of changes in the law that should be made.
How can some of us who may have similar problems of our own that we can’t or won’t solve and/or who have little knowledge of the problem in general tell others with that problem what to do? In college, the sophomore who was taking introductory psychology always knew the most about the subject and was inclined to offer other college students who had not yet taken the class, friends, and family unsolicited advice and opinions about others’ behavior and psychological problems. “Don’t look at me; look at them,” the person seems to be saying and often following this with unsolicited and unsound advice. Control yourself, not others, unless you are officially responsible for them as a teacher, law enforcement officer, judge, or parent.
Are you prone to making stupid mistakes? At least that is what you call them. There is a difference between having something turn out differently than you thought it would and going ahead and doing something because you thought it was the easy way out. With the former, there may have been no way to predict that the misfortune would happen; but it did and now you have to live with the consequences. Calling yourself a dumb dodo may help you find something or someone to blame the mistake on, but in reality it was just an unfortunate mistake. Perhaps you thought that taking the interstate after a snow storm was safer than taking the highway and it wasn’t. It happened to me. I white knuckled it for about sixty miles while driving very slowly by semis in the ditches. Would I have done it differently if I had known this. Yes. My husband was asleep at the time and we had changed drivers before entering the interstate because we thought that the driving from there on would be easier. When he woke up and the scarey ride was over, he didn’t dare call me, “Stupid.” Don’t do it to yourself.
Ah, come on, you know it when you do something you know you shouldn’t and get in trouble. Here is another weather-related driving incident. How about when you go down a road that has water starting to cross the road after a heavy rain and there have been high water signs out, but you go ahead and do it anyway because you don’t want to go back and find another way around. You know you will have to retrace your steps and then use a longer route to by pass the high water to get to where you are going. You can learn from both experiences, but you don’t have to castigate yourself in the first instance where you might legitimately do so in the second incidence. You know who you are. Make adjustments for your tendency to do the easy thing when to do so will cause you trouble. For example, teenagers and even young adults are more likely to do this because the part of their brain that controls impulsive behavior and leads to making decisions that delay rewards and reinforcement in favor of longer-term goals doesn’t fully form until they are older..
The drama queen, everything is all about her (or him). Get a new grandchild, all the pictures are of her holding the new baby. The occasion might also bring on stories about her child’s birth and delivery instead of the new mother’s. The outfit (new or old) chosen by the drama queen has to be worn home or to the christening. When things don’t go her way, she can’t cope. Sudden tragedies involving the drama queen’s family throw her for a loop as she hasn’t planned for them. It is difficult for the rest of the family to concentrate on the victim (not her) and what actually needs to be done.
The drama queen has developed what she deems as the ideal scenario for her life: loving, devoted husband; dream home; successful, supportive children who marry someone of the opposite sex and of the chosen racial and cultural background and have the requisite child or children of the appropriate sex or sexes. Plans are usually not made for any deviance from this plan. The chances that something like this will happen are almost 100%. There is only plan A; there is no plan B, C, or D.
Most of the time the problems, not hers, that this causes are other peoples’ and they deal with them instead of her. Total collapse can occur when she has to deal with her own problems and there is no one to do it for her. For example, when she has to adjust to something like the loss of the mate she depended on and focused her life around. The denial defense often used by the drama queens fails and reality hits.
Choose your biggest or most important problem, especially one where there is a time limit or penalty involved. Examine all your paperwork dealing with that issue and determine what you need to do first, second, third. Move all your other problems to second place recognizing there may be time limits on those problems which you can write down somewhere you can easily see them and check on them. Dealing with a problem can help you keep from having future problems. It can open up your mind to possible methods of solving that problem and if that doesn’t help, you can resign yourself to the consequences which you have tried not to think about before this.
If you have a major, major problem like a serious illness for which you should focus on diagnosis and treatment, leave other problems that preoccupy your mind like recurring family drama in the dust. Frequently these type of problems are on a never ending loop repeating themselves over and over and they can only get in the way of what person needs to do immediately. You can declare yourself an emergency and do what you would do in an emergency. That is focus on what needs to be done right away. This is not the time to resolve family problems and/or help out other people in your life. Post the “gone Fishing” sign on your imaginary door and don’t allow yourself to be disturbed especially with something that is not helpful. Some people take someone else’s problem and make it about their own problems taking the spotlight away from where it ought to be on you.
Clear yourself of mind clutter while you focus on yourself and your most pressing problem. Those people who do not understand that it is your problem that is the most important, not theirs, should be left out of your situation.