When you’re mindful, you’re working in a proactive approach mode.
Instead of trying to predict things that can go wrong, you go with the flow. You wait for things to happen, you allow them to happen and, when bad things happen, you use your mental resources to explore new possibilities and to solve problems to make the stress go away.
Exercise: Write down one thing you are worried about. It can be anything, big or small, but try to make it the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and look at it but don’t judge yourself for worrying. Worrying is a natural part of living defensively and, worrying is sometimes very healthy. Instead, acknowledge the worry and, try and decide if you could have reacted to it in a different way. Write down the answers to each of these questions in response to your worry.
- Will worrying help solve the problem?
- Does the problem matter? What does it affect? Who does it affect?
- Could your energy be put to use in a better way than worrying about the problem?
- Can you take any steps to solve the problem so that you are not worried about it?
- Would not worrying about this make your life better?
Interestingly, many of us are actually afraid to be proactive in solving problems surrounding worries. But, by approaching every problem with the knowledge that you have the choice to respond to your problem or issue rationally, instead of allowing your primitive brain to step into autopilot to create stress and worry, you can begin to develop the mindset that will allow you to be mindful.