What would you do if, Heaven forbid, you arrived home one afternoon, and you heard a loud sound of water gushing? Upon a quick investigation, it is obvious that the exposed pipe in your bathroom has burst and water is spraying all over the place! What a nightmare! What would you do first?
Would you immediately sit down on the couch and complain about how bad it was and think about all the damage it may cause to your bathroom? Would you stir on thoughts like “why me?” or “it’s always something.” Would you do this before taking any action towards the pipe that burst? I would hope not… because that would only allow the problem to get worse by the second!
Instead, I imagine you would take some type of immediate action to try to solve the problem. You may get on the phone right away with a plumber or search frantically to find one on the internet. You may call a friend or loved one to see what you need to do. Or if you have some basic knowledge in plumbing, you may even know where the shut-off valve is, thereby stopping the water flow. Either way, wouldn’t any of these actions be more effective at solving the problem than sitting down to dwell on how bad the situation is?
Some people might say they would sit down to sulk after they got the water to stop spraying. However, would it not be more beneficial to skip right to cleaning up the water from the floor to reduce even further damage?
After you have done all you can do to remedy the problem, most of us would then have some thoughts about how bad the situation was. However, this is a much more appropriate time than before any actions were taken.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, this is an analogy of how we should go about most of the problems that arise in our lives. If we treat everything like this dreaded plumbing emergency, we can skip all the huffing and puffing about how bad it is and get right to working on a solution.
Try to use this approach with the next minor dilemma that arises in your daily life. I promise it will be much more effective and save a lot of emotional energy.
If you need a more structured format, you could even use the THOUGHT CONTROL format that I created. Either way, I hope this helps reduce your stress.