Laugh Hysterically at Life’s Bloopers and Joyfully Move On Now
Walking from my car to the door of the elementary school, I think, “My feet are really cold!” Why, you may ask, are my feet so cold this fall afternoon? The answer—I was wearing my slippers! In my rush to get out the door, changing into shoes slipped my mind. Now there are two choices: one, die of embarrassment or two, laugh at the blooper and move on with my day. Which will my anxiety choose today? Choosing to laugh at life’s bloopers brings joy while obsessing over blunders does not. Don’t we all need more joy in our lives?
Do You Remember?
Confession time—laughing at myself and moving on does not come easily. In fact, I can tell you every obnoxious, embarrassing blunder I’ve done in the last 30 years. My brain will randomly, for absolutely no purpose, switch gears and focus on the terrible thing I said in tenth grade. Why? What purpose does it serve? It serves none and is a complete waste of my limited energy. Yet my brain insists on flashing to all the little moments where I could have done better. The same brain spends ridiculous amounts of energy reliving conversations that happened last Tuesday as if I can change something after it takes place.
Brains Are Tricky
Have you ever heard about this thing called anxiety? Feeling anxious or worried is a normal part of being human. But for some of us, our brains magnify these feelings, giving them more time and space than they are allotted. Anxiety manifests in multiple ways and is different for each person. A little blooper like wearing your slippers to school pick up can trigger a chain of anxious thoughts hijacking the rest of what should have been a normal afternoon.
Everyone Doesn’t Feel This Way
My anxiety struggles are not new. Looking back at my thought patterns and actions, I’d say my anxiety amped up around fourth grade. It was not until I was much older that I realized everyone did not replay conversations on repeat and obsessively worry over minute details. Are you sure this is not how everyone maneuvers through life? Because it is certainly my normal.
Speak Kindly, Laugh Often, Ask for Help
Anxiety is not a one size fits all phenomenon. It manifests in different ways for different people. Anxiety can be a mild annoyance or a debilitating condition. What you choose to do about it depends on where you fall on the spectrum. Keeping in mind that where you fall may change as you walk through life.
First, speak kindly to your brain. Beating yourself up for things is not a good use of your energy. Talk to yourself in the same manner you would talk to your best friend or a child. You deserve the same grace! Second, laugh often. I venture to say we are all guilty of taking life way too seriously. Bloopers, blunders, and mishaps take place. Smile, laugh, and move on with your day. No one is perfect. It is unnecessary to pretend we are. Finally, ask for help. If anxiety starts taking over most of your energy, it is time to seek counsel from a trusted source. Help could mean therapy or medicine, but it could also mean handing over a task to someone else. Consider your God-given human limitations. There are no robots here.
Joyfully Moving on with Your Day
Anxiety tries to keep me in the past. My greatest weapon is to joyfully focus on the present. So, I wore my slippers to school pick up; the world did not come to an end. Most likely, no one even noticed. I laugh and roll my eyes, text a few friends to laugh with me, and move on with my day. No need to beat myself up or obsess over my actions. It is NOT easy to quiet my anxious, noisy brain. But the effort is worth the reward.