This is a post about worrying, but let’s start with cake. Things are always good when we start with cake.
Imagine that you had to blow out 25 candles, how many breaths would you take? 4? 5? Maybe even 10.
Now, do you know how much air you just blew out? 100ml of air? 1000 ml? I’ve got no fucking clue. What about the amount of water in a puddle? I can’t imagine that. And neither can you.
But, at the same time, we can easily guess that there’s about 1.5L of air in a small balloon or half a litre of water in the vessel.
The deal is this: As humans, we suck at estimating the size of things that don’t have a fixed shape. We get overwhelmed. But, when we put a shape to things, they become manageable.
This applies to problems as well.
Like you, I keep worrying about things – my job, my family, my savings, friends, my future, health and what not. These problems keep bouncing around in my head – continuously changing shape and taking on new dimensions.
When this happens, I end up having a minor mental breakdown – often accompanied by stress eating, swearing more than usual and, of course, mood swings. Ask my wife. She knows.
But, when I write these problems down, I start giving them shape. And slowly, once the problems have a fixed shape, then – and this happens every single time – I see that they are much, MUCH smaller than what I had imagined.
With this, my stress levels drop and everything seems more manageable. No more mental breakdown – and no more angry wife.