A direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane. The internet going down for a month. Being controlled by robots. Big.
Personally, I’m afraid that our global food system will break down (there are few major crops, vulnerable monocultures, global shipping ….). My husband lovingly calls me paranoid about the whole thing. But since he loves me, he also supports my efforts to mitigate against the BIG THING that scares me. (It’s a garden, with berries and fruit and nut trees, if you didn’t already guess). It hit me the other day how much relief taking action has brought me, and the resulting evaporation of stress I wasn’t fully aware of.
Your BIG thing is different than mine, and that’s okay.
The nagging thought in the back of your mind changes from one of worry (stressball) to one of comfort and pride (bring it!).
If a Category 5 hurricane is your thing, getting hurricane windows and an emergency supply of food and water is a place to start.
If your BIG thing is losing the internet, maybe buy some reference books and board games for entertainment.
My garden won’t keep us fully fed, the emergency supplies will not prevent total disaster, and you WILL get tired of playing Monopoly. The point isn’t to eradicate the BIG thing in zombie-apocolypse-disaster-prepper style, it is to alleviate some of the fear and stress that the unlikely event holds on our psyche.
We evolved to be alert to dangers and see the future possibilities before making decisions. This is fantastic if you are thinking through taking a new job, buying a house, or otherwise actively affecting the direction of your life. It’s melodramatic when done against imaginary foes. Think a two-year-old temper tantrum over not getting the candy – inputs over time affect their reaction (sugar addiction, previous attempts to placate, etc.) and yet it is still an overreaction to the possibilities.
How many times have you thought through your BIG scenario? How many times have you dangled the metaphorical lollipop in your thoughts and reacted with extreme emotion that far outpaces the chance of your big thing actually happening?
By doing so, you not only have prepared yourself for a possible dangerous situation but you have removed the lollipop from your mind …. Or at least shrunk it down to size.
If none of this rings any bells, try going through the Seven Questions to Find a Stressor you Didn’t Know Was There to uncover a lollipop hiding in the corners!
Katie calls Richmond, VA home with her husband and all the furry, four-legged creatures he and municipal code will allow. She has spent years bringing her anxiety under control, learning to trust her intuition, and dreaming of a world where people live in sustainable harmony. She is addicted to popcorn, avoids wearing shoes, should do yoga but doesn't, reads non-fiction for fun, and reluctantly gave up caffeine in search of peace. Just don’t ask her to give up sugar (read: ice cream).