I am convinced that most of our problems occur *mostly* inside our heads, and if we can break the thinking pattern placed around them from growing and bubbling over, we can actually help ourselves STOP the process of creating problems for ourselves. The reason I say mostly is, of course, because there are some things in life that are unavoidable… that’s not my point. My point is that the issues we THINK we have usually aren’t as bad as we think they are at all, and it usually just takes a shift of mindset in order to change our way of thinking around it.
Here’s the problem with this problem: it is incredibly hard for humans to change the way they are thinking when they are driven by any sort of emotion, good or bad. Emotion is the single strongest motivator for us to do anything, at any time, any where, for any reason. Which means, then, that we can use it in a productive way in order to bypass some of these “issues” we all create for ourselves.
How do we get around that place in our mind that tells us to worry, be angry, or act out in our sadness? How do we jump that gap that’s actually a trap, trying to pull us in to a place where, if we stayed, we would go nowhere, achieve nothing, sit, rot, and die?
I call it the reset button.
"The reset button is the way I overcome any problem I know I might be too worried about or may be overthinking."
The reset button is the way I overcome any problem I know I might be too worried about or may be overthinking. It’s how I chill out my stress levels and look at problems with more logical emotion, so that I can easier surmount them, instead of letting them crumble me.
Mine? It’s running. Fast.
Any time I start to feel angry, anxious, worried or sad, I know that I can fall back on running to “reset” my brain in to thinking about my problems more logically. I don’t really have a lot of scientific proof that this works, but from my own experience, this has been my number-one secret weapon against anxiety, depression, and lack of motivation. How can I feel sad and down when I’m running through the streets blasting ODESZA and Kanye and Sylvan Esso? Yeah. I can’t.
Maybe it’s the physical exercise that helps me when I run. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Or, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.” Our brain is our strongest and hardest-working organ, and it stands to reason that if our brain is out of tune, so is our mind. By producing endorphins through exercise, we’re not only making our brain feel better and less stressed, but we’re making our entire body healthier too.
Sometimes, though, the reset may come in a different way - creating art for an hour or two, going and seeing friends or taking a bath and reading a book. Although my most common reset button is exercise, these are all things I have done to push my “reset button” when times get tough. They key is to not get trapped in the reset button.
Here’s some tips for crafting a reset button for yourself:
1. Try exercise first and see how it feels.
The next time you’re stressed or angry or anxious or upset, take the next available option you have and go for a run or go lift some weights - and work really, really hard when you do. Break a sweat. Pump your favorite music. Run as fast as you can. My guess is that about halfway through your workout, you’ll notice an almost “switch” like change in your brain. Suddenly, your problems don’t seem so bad and your anxiety seems so far away.
2. Try other productive things you love that will allow you to shift your focus away from the problem.
There are two types of reset buttons: productive and destructive ones. I don’t think I need to tell you why binge-drinking or writing hate letters to an ex are probably the latter. The whole goal of the reset button is to focus on something else productive, so that you can de-stress and go back to your work with a mindset of productivity, achievement, and growth. Find something you love to do, and when you find yourself in those times of negative emotion, do the productive thing that’ll get your mind off of it. Creating art, writing, reading are all great places to starts.
3. Don’t get caught in your reset button.
This is a lot easier to do if you’re not using productive reset buttons, but it can happen all the same. Don’t let your reset button become a crutch - only allow it to be a tool in your life that will help you surmount seemingly impossible challenges. It’s easy to allow the amazing feel you get from a reset button to take over, so I recommend pre-determining a set of time that you will use your reset button before you get back to work on whatever was stressing you out before.
Find that reset button, press it, and keep on going. The world needs your vision and life to make it move forward, to grow it’s culture, to inspire the people around you.
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