In Summary
  • This chain of events makes us go back into our cocoons, not wishing to face up to the never ending ride of emotional upheavals. Sometimes we panic, get anxious, worry, get depressed and often times deeply discouraged.

Nelson Mandela said “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” Could this quote be truer? Every time we overcome a current challenge, another one quickly comes out of the woodwork. How do we respond to the successive challenges that dash our euphoria constantly?

This chain of events makes us go back into our cocoons, not wishing to face up to the never ending ride of emotional upheavals. Sometimes we panic, get anxious, worry, get depressed and often times deeply discouraged.

What if we re-framed the way we think about the never-ending challenges that face us? What if we realized that sometimes the hills in front of us are not as insurmountable as we feel, that though we see hills in reality they are anthills?

Let me share an old fable that tells this story; one day the Countrymen noticed that the Mountains were in labour; smoke came out of their summits, the earth was quaking at their feet, trees were crashing, and huge rocks were tumbling. They felt sure that something horrible was going to happen. They all gathered together in one place to see what terrible thing this could be. They waited and they waited, but nothing came. At last there was a still more violent earthquake, and a huge gap appeared in the side of the Mountains. They all fell down upon their knees and waited. And at last, a teeny, tiny mouse poked its little head and bristles out of the gap and came running down towards them, and ever after they used to say: “Much outcry, little outcome.”

Sometimes our emotions become overwhelming about a situation but when we do get to the end like the fable shared, nothing much comes out of it.

The emotional churning we experience inside becomes totally unjustified and only serves to make us sick mentally and physically.

Here are some tips to manage the anxiety and worry that we so often experience:

1. Form and develop some calming habits – this may be done in the form of rituals. Something you do everyday, it could be some few minutes every morning sitting comfortably and reading something of interest to you.

2. Breathing – learn the correct breathing technique, practise it and form a routine that allows you to breathe properly a few times a day. When breathing is done correctly it has huge calming power

3. De-personalise the challenges that you face. Be careful and deliberate about the message you internalise every time you come across a stumbling block. Ask yourself, if someone else sat in your chair, would they not face the same challenge? If the answer to that question is yes, they it isn’t about you, it’s simply the cycle of life.

4. Reduce noise. We have so many distractions from the gadgets we possess, social media etc, prioritize to reduce the noise to find more quiet experiences

5. Create a grateful list. Find a tin or a box and everyday; write 3 things you are thankful for. At the end of the week, read all the notes and take in how blessed you are. Repeat the routine the following week and so on

6. Create routines to deal with your anxiety that work for you. For some, a power walk of 10 minutes helps to restore the body chemical mix to positivity

7. Ignore the reaction your body is producing and focus on what can be done about turning the challenge presented to you to an opportunity. Re-frame your thinking and perspective

8. Re-name the negative emotions. This little trick will get your brain to view the situation with a different perspective. Call frustration – desire, anticipation – fear,

alarmed - curious etc

We will never run short of challenges, we must accept that the journey of life is a continuous up the hill, down the hill and before you can catch you breathe you are to climb up another hill. The most critical thing is how we adapt to ensure that we are prepared in all ways especially mentally to succeed in all circumstances. I read this somewhere recently;

“Our only job is to be an example of a life that is working.” A life that is working is one that is lived fully from the heart. Enjoy the job of your life. Make your choice to be more conscious and mindful, every day. Our thoughts may run amok, and we can get swept up in the frenzy around us, but we can choose to honor our hearts, and to dwell in them more often, so that we can return again and again to that source of inner serenity. Be a witness to the process.

Think about it, practice it!