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Avoiding Mountains and Molehills (Creating Space in a Noisy, Chaotic World)

By Karen Vally on 15 Jul 2017

Life is peppered with magic moments and unexpected inconveniences. These ill-timed surprises cause us to feel irritated. What if we were to explore the benefits of doing things differently?

Despite the fact that we know that we shouldn't make mountains out of molehills when something minor goes wrong, we just can't help ourselves overreacting, can we? How could we respond in a more beneficial way?

Being in a constant state of stress affects our longevity. Did you know that even when we agonize over something insignificant, our cortisol levels rise by 10 - 15 %?

The good news is that we can train our brains to refrain from sweating over these less important issues. Dr Leslie Becker-Phelps suggests that we begin by making our well-being our top priority. What if we were to ensure that we get a good night's sleep every night? She emphasises the role that eating healthily, drinking plenty of water and regular exercise play in enhancing our ability to cope with unexpected challenges. Taking a holiday and regular breaks from our work and doing something we love every day (no matter how hectic that day turns out to be), will contribute to a greater sense of balance and will keep that sense of overwhelm to a bare minimum. Practising mindfulness and meditation reduces churning and thinking negatively.

Dr Becker-Phelps encourages us to recognise the early warning signs. When we are stressed, emotions are heightened and the reasoning part of our brain is diminished. It is a good idea  stop and take a few deep breaths, to examine our thoughts before reacting and to write down the exact causes of our discomfort. Some people find it helpful to toss this piece of paper into the bin. It helps to clear the mind, they say. Talking things over with a friend might also help to put things into perspective. It is only when we shift our focus from our feelings to exploring our options, that possible solutions begin to emerge and feelings of anxiety disappear. A relaxed mind and body facilitate the finding of an effective solution.

" Concentrating on what matters most and working towards a balanced life will help you to deal with common stresses and take more control of the day."

To become a more even-keeled person, we need to learn how to think like one. These type of people seldom appear stressed because they are so busy searching for a possible solution.

"Consider every irritating incident as a chance to work out the reasoning area in your brain and you'll realise that what constitutes a stressor is subjective and that little setbacks will ruin your day only if you let them." The little things are part of life. It's our responses to them that determine the quality of our lives here on earth.

The world around us is noisy and chaotic. Create some space. In that space, find peace and contentment.


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