I’ve shared the following story many times because it so aptly describes how we increase our stress through preconceived ways of thinking about situations we encounter. A woman in front of me in a grocery store line was stomping her feet and sighing loudly. She exclaimed “Every time I come in here, it fills up with people!” I said, “Isn’t that odd, the same thing happens to me.” She said, “ Something’s going on.” I said, “I notice the manager goes into his office and he’s probably calling people up to come here to see you and I.” She looked at me and a small giggle escaped her lips. However, she continued to stomp and sigh, albeit with less enthusiasm. I realized she was having a hard time removing herself from her old thinking patterns.
Do you recognize yourself in the above scenario or any of the following: “I’ll never lose weight.”, “No one will ever love me.”, “Everyone gets waited on before me.” If the weather is bad and it’s your day off, you’re sure some invisible force did it because they’re out to get you. Almost every situation is married to a plot to drive you nuts.
What you’re doing is globalizing, and it’s permanent and it’s pervasive. The people who do this are into big-time suffering. First they pre suffer: “ I’m going to the store, and I know it’s going to be crowded.” Then they get there and their nightmare comes true. They’ve done the advance work, and now they actually get to suffer. This takes away the opportunity to think about options. Perhaps they could enjoy the people at the store, or shop at a different time when it’s less crowded. The most sensible thought is if you were the only one that came to the store, the store would close!
In order to get the most bang for the buck most individuals segue into post-suffering. It usually includes global whining. Millions of people whine together all the time. If we expended the energy we spent on feeling bad about things, we’d have solutions to all our problems.
When we tend to think in terms of black and white it says that the cards are stacked against me, I was born unlucky, I always get bad luck, and nothing works out for me. When you think globally you are multiplying situations by forever. That is, when things are bad, they believe they’ll always be that way and that things will never change for the better.
It’s important to stop this kind of globalizing because it adversely affects your mind/body and spirit. Begin by examining your thoughts. Do they make sense? Our words and actions have an impact on those around us. We can become the change we want to see in the world, but it takes effort and a willingness to see the world through a more optimistic lens.