Staying sane in an insane world
I don’t know about you, but my sanity gets challenged on a daily basis. I have often looked for the answer on how to stay sane in an insane world. Rude people, queues, money worries, relationship challenges – being a counsellor doesn’t mean that I’m not in this ‘soup’ like everyone else.
I have learned a few strategies over the years through working with clients and through my own professional and personal development. Here they are:
Don’t over think
This is the worst thing you can do – worrying about what might happen and thinking up worst case scenarios. One thought leads to another and soon we have made up an entire story in our heads consisting of our worst fears and insecurities. Realise that you are ‘buying into’ your thoughts and that thoughst aren’t facts. Make an effort to stop that train of thought, remind yourself that there is no evidence for this type of thinking and employ flexible thinking = ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation.
What we focus on becomes our reality. Self fulfilling prophecies are more likely to come true when we repeat the same scenarios in our heads. Be open minded about the future, there are no guarantees but just because life is uncertain, it doesn’t automatically mean that bad things will happen.
Learn to look at the world in a balanced way, there is good and bad, try to focus on the good and not just the bad (negative mental filter).
Be aware of what you are focusing on, the more you focus on things you can control, the good things in life and what you like about yourself, the better.
Try as much as possible to live in the moment. Live as if today is your last day. Yes, that’s a cliche and not always practical but you get my drift hopefully. Enjoy who you are with, really listen to them. Take in your surroundings – notice the small things – the birds singing, the butterflies. Feel the breeze on your face.
Absorb the moment in full!
It’s always a good idea to have something to look forward – a positive goal. It also makes sense to find meaning and purpose in our lives. Have you thought about what makes you happy and what you need to fill your life with? Putting some structure into life and goals to work towards can give us a sense of purpose, a reason to get up in the mornings. Without this sense of purpose, we can become more prone to depression. Any small step in the right direction is a small success.
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? What goals would you set? Use this ‘free’ thinking to help you find the right direction for the future. Check in regularly to make sure that you are on track and going (generally) in the right direction.
All work and no play creates stress and anxiety. Allow yourself fun time – play and do things you really love to do. Play without guilt, we all deserve time off!
We can make life heaven or hell by the way we choose to see life around us. Choose your thoughts carefully and remove toxic thinking before it can take hold. Question your beliefs regularly and get rid of the outdated ones. Keep the thoughts that help you to feel safe and happy.
Photo by Predi