Reflection: Awfulizing: The act of blanketing an event or circumstance with a black cloud, assuming the absolute worst, and actively driving mind and heart into a downward spiral of doom. Been there? Done that?
Some time ago, I wrote about the concept of Discretionary Burdens – worries which may or may not be real. The DB’s are a common outcome of awfulizing. The DB idea generated a strong reaction, which prompted me to develop a DB quiz and work it into my presentations on stress, wellness and balance.
I thought you might enjoy checking your own practices for DB tendencies. Give yourself 1 point for each question to which you can answer ‘Yes’.
- Have you ever exploded one small comment or action into a great big hairy deal?
- Have you ever turned something you like to do into something you have to do?
- In the absence of information have you ever made up your own?
- Have you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror on an ordinary day, and wondered who is that miserable so and so and who peed in their cornflakes?
- Have you ever translated a whiff of unsettling news into a full-blown disaster scenario?
Scoring Code: The closer to 5, the greater your awfulizing tendencies and the more you could be stressing yourself out unnecessarily.
Action: The questions themselves suggest these helpful antidotes to awfulizing:
- Keep your reactions in proportion to events.
- Appreciate what you get to do.
- Search out the facts.
- Put a smile on your face.
- Don’t give gossip any more time, attention or weight than it deserves.
Quote Of The Week: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom
Resource Of The Week: Check out this commentary on Awfulizing and Rebounding by athletic coach, Dean Hebert which includes an interesting scale, “Just How Bad Is It?”
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Many Rights Don’t Make A Wrong
Pause reader CD writes: I so agree that understanding that there are many ways to see things, and that different views are both valid and valuable … is vital to contentment and growth in life. This is an evolved way of thinking and seems to be linked to deeper levels of maturity. I think that fear and uncertainty are often underlying for ‘right fighters’. They want to secure their world around them, and to take a chance that they may not have it cased is uncomfortable for them.
Pause reader MO writes: “The miracle of your mind is that you can see the world as it ISN’T.” I thoroughly enjoy your messages each week, Pat. You make me smile each time I read them. A great way to start the day.