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Don't borrow trouble

Updated: Jan 6

How often do you find yourself in a place where your thoughts get a bit ahead of you? Now this is great if you're planning for vacation or party, but not if you're in the midst of a "crisis." While they both involve thinking into the future, one is connected to what you know, and the other is what you don't know, so you "borrow it."

Let's say your child is sent to detention one time. Borrowing trouble would be spending the next two days researching and trying to figure out {what if his friends are bad, what if he's taking drugs, what if he gets into a gang, what if he goes to "Juvie".} Or what if your manager asks you to rework a report one day? Instead of doing it, you spend the rest of the week assuming you're getting laid off, updating your resume, in a depressed funk, crawling the new job sites, and looking for any small sign of your co-workers being more respected.

When we borrow trouble we take a real event or situation, and create a hypothetical scenario in response to it, then allow ourselves to emotionally respond to that as if it's real. Borrowing trouble is a giant leap away from being mindful and allowing your anxious thoughts to run amuck.

There is a trick to stop yourself from doing this. When you find yourself in a situation that brings out the "borrower" in you. It's helpful to write out or talk through the scenario. What actually happened? - list the facts. What is true in this scenario and what is my mind racing to? What are the actions required for a solution? How does this event make me feel? And do I need to act on these feelings as part of the solution now? In working through the situation/solution in this way, it's possible to free yourself from borrowing trouble and focus on positive mindful problem solving.

"Monsters don't sleep under the bed, they sleep in your head." -Anon

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