Stop Stressin' It: "The Tensy Shoe"

My legs are shaking. My heart is beating fast. I’m trying to keep my cool as I sit tight in the doctor’s waiting room. I can feel my palms begin to sweat. What am I going to do when she gives me the negative news? How am I going to tell my family? The thoughts are running wild in my head, so I begin to pray. Please, God. Please let everything be alright, I beg.

Knock knock. “Come in,” I answer.

The doctor walks in with a few sheets in her hand.

“Alright. I just need to review a few things here with you,” she says.

“Can you just tell me if I’m dying?” I ask.

She laughs and sympathetically asks, “Now, why would you think you’re dying?”

“Well you took a while and when you walked in, you seemed pretty serious.”

“And that made you assume the worst?”

“Yes, sorry. I honestly avoid doctor visits because I’m expecting the worst.”

She shakes her head and looks puzzled. “Yet you come every year as a preventative to ensure you’re healthy. Are you keeping up a good diet and being active every day?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Then stop worrying!” she chuckles. “You have a respiratory infection. I’ll prescribe you antibiotics and you’ll be back to normal in no time!”

Have you ever pondered on a problem that doesn’t exist? Have you ever worried, tossed and turned at night over a premeditated issue that hasn’t taken place? Yup, we’ve all been there, done that! If we’re going to be real, most of us live like this every day.

As humans, we spend more time thinking negative thoughts than we do positive ones. The worst part about this is that it takes a toll on us mentally, emotionally, and physically. We create problematic scenarios in our minds that don’t exist. Then, we waste time and emotional energy worrying about and finding solutions to our non-existent issues. After reading it, it sounds pretty idiotic, doesn’t it? Yet, here we are, and we can’t deny that this is both a hard truth to swallow and a hard habit to break.

Now, I want to be clear here. There’s nothing wrong with planning and thinking ahead. The issue I’m referring to is the everyday thoughts that you magnify in your mind and stress over. For example, the person who looked at you wrong who in your mind hates you. Or the “we need to talk” text that in your mind means the relationship is over. Or the email you got from your manager that in your mind means you’re getting fired.

Here’s the bottom line: If we spend more time investing in our present, we will worry and stress less about the future. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you cannot control the future. As much as you would like to believe you can develop a solution for everything, the reality is that life will throw you curve balls that will require you to think on your feet.

The future, your tomorrow, is unknown. It isn’t promised. But the present, this moment right now, is a gift. Seize it while you still can. Why waste it dwelling on “what ifs” and “what could haves” or “what should haves.” Instead, focus on what you can do right now to make today count. Take a step closer to a goal. Try something new to break the monotony. Do something for someone just because you want to.

You’ll find that as you begin to take advantage of your present, you are also preparing for the future. Whatever comes your way, you will be better equipped to handle because you focused on ensuring that you made the most out of each day. After all, people are remembered by the things they did, not by the issues they magnified and worried about. So today is a perfect opportunity to take a step closer towards the best version of YOU!