That which we pay attention to gets bigger. Perhaps we’re looking for a sense of urgency we don’t feel we’re getting. Perhaps we’d like to get a little more attention than we’re receiving. Perhaps we’re just not focused on what the real problem is.
Magnifying situations means a distorted reality, you really have allowed the situation to become larger than it actually is. This kind of thinking, which we can control, can lead to anxiety attacks and /or panic attacks. It’s helpful to be able to step back and clearly define what the problem is, the impact it has on life as you know it, and the possible solutions.
What exactly does magnifying situations get us? Do people come running? You remember the boy who cried wolf, right? Assigning false alarm to things in our life that don’t deserve it will most likely result in a lack of support when you really do need it.
Perspective is important.
Well, crap. This has my name all over it. I wouldn’t say I ALWAYS magnify situations, but I FREQUENTLY magnify situations.
When I magnify situations, it usually comes from a place of anxiety and/or insecurity. I can spin myself into an emotional knot because a situation has not worked out the way I thought it should and, of course, in my head I must be to blame. Then the “what if” game starts. What if….I can’t finish this project…I’ll lose the client. What if….I lose the client and can’t find another? Will we lose the house, the car, the cat, the dog? That’s kind of an extreme example, but when the anxiety starts where self-confidence has taken a ding, the emotion triggers thoughts that are not based in fact. Then the brain-induced non-facts trigger more stress and anxiety. It’s a whole vicious, wicked, nasty circle that I am learning to tamp down.
The first part is realizing the emotion I feel is real. Then I listen to what my brain is trying to spin and ask if this is a fact, or emotional thinking. (It’s always emotional spin.) Once I take a deep breath and realize that this is an emotional response, not fact, I begin to calm down. I ask myself if this situation will matter in a day, a week or a month, or if hyperventilating will help. And…the answer is more times than not….no. Sometimes it helps just to verbalize the anxiety – to talk about it – because it lessens the power of the emotional thinking. Yep – this is me….and I’m WORKING ON IT with SUCCESS!!
I think as I age I get more gray areas in my life (no, I’m not talking about my hair). I can look back and see a real difference in the way I think about things now as opposed to my younger years. Little things would be completely blown out of proportion and as a result make me miserable and most likely those around me. But, I’ve learned to let go a little and not be disappointed if some things are not like I’ve pre determined them to be. Now, I work on kind of a ranking order…I ask myself how will this affect my life & what kind of attention does this deserve…The higher the impact the more attention it gets. In the meantime, excuse the mess here….I live here.
I used to work at Apple and I can’t tell you how many times people would come in with flailing arms and anxiety in their voice and faith and make the over reaching proclamation…this phone doesn’t work. After several questions and trying to understand what indeed the customer wants the phone to do, it often boiled down to a simple fix in the settings and then the entire problem went away.