The thing with problems is that it creates all kinds of other side effects like stress, worry, depression and generally an unhappy life. The 84th problem we all have is that we think if we can just get these problems out of the way, we will be happier. We reason that it is these external things that are stopping us from having a fulfilling life.
The truth is, however, that some of our problems might go away and some will stay with us. Those that go away or get solved then just get replaced by other problems. Now that’s the thinking flaw…the 84th problem. The moment you think that you shouldn’t have problems or that you can only be fulfilled and happy when your problems go away, you will forever and ever be unhappy and unfulfilled. The reason is, like I have mentioned, that we will always, for ever and ever, have problems. The moment we accept this, we can let go of the grip it’s having on us. So how do we do that?
There is one sure way to solve any problem. Just get yourself a bigger problem. It’s true. Ok, you didn’t really solve the initial problem but the significance of it disappeared. The point I am trying to make is not to deliberately burden yourself with bigger and bigger problems, but that even if problems still exist in your life, they can shrink in significance and the moment that happen, it loses its negative grip on you.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t solve your problems? Definitely not. But if you are in a constant state of stress and worry you are in the worst possible space to solve them. People from the outside usually have a much clearer perspective on one’s problems than we have. It is because we are usually so paralysed by them and because of that, we struggle to think with a clear and objective mind about them.
The key is first of all to accept that it is there. To really accept it and not to resist it. Most people resist their life situations. It doesn’t matter how bad your problems are, the fact of the matter is that it is there. So except the “is”-ness of the situation. Don’t resist it. Don’t take it so seriously. This resistance is easy to recognise if you just take time to become aware of it.
The second thing is to experience and feel what’s going on inside you. Get into the present moment. Become aware of your thinking and feelings and you will find how your mind is racing around, causing worry and stress and in the process paralysing you. Most of the time it is our mind and not the situation that’s causing the worry. Don’t judge or belittle yourself for the negative thoughts. Just accept it as it is…become aware of it. Most of the time we can’t get our minds of the problem anyway. Don’t resist that either. Just become aware of it.
In the third place you need to focus on the positives in your life. If you can manage to stay in the present moment, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Like I have mentioned in a previous post, gratitude have the ability to put you in a positive frame of mind.
Now you will be in a much better space to effectively solve your problem and even if you can’t, it will shrink in significance. Our minds tend to always be in the future or the past. The past usually makes us feel guilty. The future thoughts usually makes feel anxious. If you practice this conscious, present moment way of looking at problems, you will find that it’s not the problems that’s causing the unhappiness in your life, but the way you think about them. So don’t take your life so seriously. Smile at your problems for a change.