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Stress stems from ratcheting the unthinkable in our mind’s vice grip – worrying, fussing, and planning our futures, when the best course of action (for all concerned) is to simply relax. A family member of mine calls this “letting things fall into place.”

Paradoxically, loosening the mental clamps allow for unexpected solutions to occur. What if we stopped imagining the worst, and instead focused on the best outcome possible? Relinquishing the idea that we are somehow responsible for everything (and as consequence, driving ourselves crazy) is a recipe for mental illness.

All we can do each day is our very best, waiting for guidance/intuition to steer us in the right direction. Providence lends itself to our defense when we allow it. If we choose to take the reins, we find ourselves frustrated. Many times our heightened sense of paranoia stems from working too hard, not taking enough breaks, and using every minute of our weekends to catch up on the upcoming week. A cessation of incessant churning may be just the ticket to promote an expansive viewpoint.

Silo vision results from a life that’s out of balance – in other words, too much focus on one area, instead of in a variety of spots. Worst case scenario thinking is what keeps us in agony, engaging us in CYA activities that are unnecessary. Five years from now, will anyone even remember (or care) about the molehill that caused your near breakdown? Trusting other people to do their jobs, allowing things to unfold on their own, and “letting sleeping dogs lie” may be just the ticket for continued happiness. If you chose peace regarding your current peccadillo, what might happen? I imagine the earth wouldn’t fall out of its orbit.

Relatedly, Leman mentions that a relaxed approach to life necessitates not beating yourself up about the obsessive. Thinking an imaginary bogey man is around the corner will keep you in bondage. Is this really where you want to reside? Step into the sunlight of freedom by putting your best foot forward, and then letting the chips fall where they may. Both your mood (and your life) may dramatically improve.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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