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Stop worrying about things that haven’t happened

Do you ever find yourself worrying about things that haven’t happened yet? Maybe you worry about what others think of you. Or you might even be thinking about things like losing your job, or having your partner leave you, or the dog getting run over by a car, or your teenage child doing drugs, or your parents-in-law dropping in unannounced…

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of our thoughts, fears and worries, where we spend a great deal of time imagining how they could play out, but then we attach ourselves to the emotional effects of such thoughts becoming real. These ‘dramas’ in our mind are of things that haven’t happened – but they might happen, and as a result, we give energy to the fear that they might happen. They haven’t happened in real life, but already we’re panicking out about them. They become real to us.

I call them mind dramas. They’re fictional dramas about things that could go wrong in our life that occur only in our mind, but they make us feel like they’re actually going to happen. As we go through our daily life we hold on to the stress of these mind dramas, which often changes how we behave.

For example, if we have a mind drama where our partner is going to leave us, we’ll start behaving in our relationship as if that’s what we expect to happen. We end up more sensitive than usual, and more argumentative or defensive. We have anger and fear within us that affects how we interact with them, so that suddenly they feel like we’ve changed, that we’re no longer the person they thought we were.

We can often end up causing the very things we fear will happen.

As another example, if your partner talks about the changes they’ve noticed in you that have resulted from your fears, and they tell you that they’re not going to accept it, you might think that just confirms the fears in your mind that they’re actually going to leave you. As a result, you can often end up making things even worse.

Mind dramas are insidious. They get in the way of joy and happiness and contentment. They cause stress and anxiety and even paranoia. They’re our fears talking to us, making themselves real in our mind before making themselves real in our life.

When you’re feeling caught up in a strong emotion and you’ve got dramas occurring in your mind, it’s a good idea to take a breath and ask yourself: is what I’m feeling based on something that’s actually happened, or is it based on something that’s happened only in my mind?

When we can realise that we’re getting emotionally attached to something that only exists in our mind, it can help us let go of it. We can tell ourselves we’re just being silly, getting all emotional about something that hasn’t happened, that it’s just not real. We can tell ourselves to calm down and move on from the fear.

What about the cause of those fears?

We can look at these dramas in our minds to understand what we’re afraid of, instead of just letting them play out. Instead of focusing on the fears coming true, we can put our energy into understanding why we’re afraid of these things.

If we look again at the fear of our partner leaving us, we can look at why we fear that. Could it be because they’re not communicating with us enough? Or we’re not communicating enough with them and we know it? Are they doing things we disapprove of that makes us fear they’re thinking of leaving us, or we know we’re doing something they disapprove of? Are we knowingly contributing to their unhappiness, and we fear the result?

Most of what we fear can be dealt with by taking some kind of action to address the things that are contributing to those fears. For example, we can take action to do something that we know will help prevent the eventuality of what we fear – like communicating better, or actually doing what we say we’re going to do.

We can ask our partner if they have a problem, and when we know and understand what their problem is, we can make the decision to work on resolving it before it becomes a real issue.

Your fears are caused by something. Take the time to understand what that is, and then work out how you can resolve it so that you no longer fear the consequences of doing nothing. If you don’t work on fixing it, the result won’t just be mind dramas, but life dramas.

You can change your future

Think about all the dramas that have existed in your past, in your life. And think about those life dramas that existed in your mind first. Could you have resolved them in your life by resolving them first in your mind? Could you have taken the time to understand what you were afraid of, so that you could deal with those fears before they became real?

I think you could have done things differently in your past, and even though you can’t change the past with thinking about this, you canchange the future.

Your past behavior is a good indicator of what your future behavior is going to be. If you want different experiences than what you’ve experienced in the past, then you’re going to have to change your behavior.

If you’ve ignored dealing with your mind dramas in the past, and they’ve ended up becoming life dramas, then maybe it would be a good thing to deal with those mind dramas before they can influence your life. Maybe you can prevent a lot of your future life dramas by resolving your mind dramas first.

Think about how your life and the people around you are influenced by what goes on in your mind, and how it affects your behavior. And when you’re done thinking about that, think about how resolving your mind dramas can prevent negative influences and drama in your life.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a great idea to seek a peaceful mind to bring about a peaceful life.

In fact, I think I’ll start practicing that myself. Meditation, here I come!

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