We live in a world where the term ‘anxiety’ gets tossed around like confetti – and everyone I know seems to suffer from some form of it. And while I’m no doctor, I think it’s nice to share tactics with each other if it helps us feel better, right? I’ve already shared my thoughts on reducing anxiety here and sleep anxiety here, but today I wanted to touch on a quick trick I noticed recently.
While running an errand at 5 pm on a weekday recently, I felt anxious the entire time I was in the store. Knowing traffic was lingering and that I probably wouldn’t be home for an hour, it almost took over my brain. And let’s face it – an hour of traffic isn’t the worst thing in the world, yet there I was feeling a huge weight of stress weighing on me.
As I got in my car and headed towards the traffic, I was pleasantly surprised that it kept not appearing. Mile after mile, the roads stayed clear. Eventually, I hit the stopped cars and it was oddly relieving to finally hit it – instead of anticipating it. But what I realized was that instead of being pissed for hitting the jam, I should be grateful for all those miles of clear traffic. I only ended up sitting in it for about 20 minutes (and got through a great podcast in the meantime). So while I could have cursed every driver and let the traffic ruin my night, I tried to be grateful for the time that I wasn’t in it.
I thought more about it and how I could use this tactic in life and came up with a couple of other ideas:
- Lines – being grateful that there are only a few people in front of me instead of a register being out and having a line of 10.
- Getting sick – once you finally get a cold, being grateful for the years or months you’ve been healthy instead of being anxious about the approaching sickness.
It’s a really quick mind shift – taking your mind from being anxious about the bad to being grateful over the good, but it’s something that’s really helped me lately. Hope it does the same for you!