Beyond our control
"If it's out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too."
- Ivan Nuru
How much do you value peace of mind? Our mind can be our best friend or worst enemy depending on our mindset and particular outlook on life. Some people are able to weather the passing storms in their lives with relative ease. Others, get flooded by their emotions when there is too much going on, making the storms in their lives much tougher to handle. Sometimes, it's simply a matter of perspective that can turn the gloomiest of days into more brighter ones, where the clouds break free and allow more sunshine in our lives.
I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder about five years ago, according to "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," 5th Edition (DSM-V). My main symptoms were restlessness, impaired concentration and irritability. One of the biggest red flags for me was my constant need to worry about my life, especially matters that should not have been so pressing or concerning to me. I would worry about how others perceived me, future events or reactions from others that would never come to fruition. My mind loved playing these doomsday scenarios in my head, I felt, to somehow torture me.
I used to rely mostly on cannabis to ease my anxiety (I also tried Lexapro, which is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Currently, I rely on a more holistic approach. Meditation and mindfulness have been crucial in helping me be more self-aware so I can address my feelings before they take me off on some unwanted anxious adventure of worry and doubt. A few years of talk therapy also helped me gain some coping skills when I was feeling overwhelmed. I still get anxiety flare ups every now and then, but I am able to manage them more effectively to keep my emotions in check.
I'm not a big fan of "It is what it is," since I hear it used as an excuse when people can actually do something to fix the situation. However, sometimes it actually is what it is, and worrying or feeling overwhelmed about things that are out of our hands only makes things worse. It took me almost 40 years to understand that if it's beyond my control, and I can't do anything to fix it, it's not worth me worrying about it. It has helped immensely in gaining my own peace of mind and improving my quality of life.