Just stop feeding your “fears”!
Someone I know, a young man in his late 20s, is petrified that he will have a heart attack soon. Reason: he has been having a nagging pain in his chest and back regions; on the left side. He’s been through a battery of tests and nothing alarming has been reported except a suspected orthopedic condition which is being treated with regular physiotherapy. He wanted to know how to get rid of his “fears”?
This is a favorite human hobby: to conjure up worst-case scenarios and live in desperation and despondency. We must all remember that the worst that can happen to us, absolutely the worst per a worldly view, is that we will die. But this is known to all of us. So why live fearing our inevitable death?
I told the young man to stop feeding his fears. He’s done what he can. He has got medical advice. Now, he has an option to trust the doctors he is seeing or see another set of specialists. Or he can cower in fear and live a Life that’s full of suffering. His choice. But the one thing I will recommend is to let go and live free.
Negative thinking will lead you to depression. To flip your thinking switch and to break the negative spiral, you need to elevate your thinking. And the only principle that works is this: simply don’t connect the dots forward. Instead, rise above and see things from a 30,000 ft-level. When you fly in a plane and look down at the ground, you will find the tallest of structures looking like specks from the sky. Similarly, the gravest of our problems, as we perceive them, are but pimples, when seen from an elevated, zoomed out, perspective of Life! They will disappear just as they appeared. And if we don’t give them attention, they will not bother us. Only if you are anxious about them all the time will they seem like something grave and serious.
In Life’s grand theater, things will sometimes happen that you least expected or wanted and when you are least prepared for them. Such is Life. Don’t try to connect the dots forward or interpret each event and imagine the worst. What you fear most seldom happens. So, live well. Live happy!