I had a doctor's appointment today. I've been dealing with something minor but annoying that's been an ongoing problem. Unfortunately, the best diagnostic tool has been playing trial and error with different drugs to see how I react. Today I got to report that the current experiment has improved the problem a fair bit, but not completely.
I asked, "So, what does this tell us?" He gave me a quick summary.
"What causes this?"
"Most of the time there's no clear cause. Stress seems to be a contributor in lots of cases."
"I don't have much stress in my life."
He seemed genuinely surprised by my comment. "Oh? How do you manage that?"
I explained to him that I figured out that being happy was more fun than being unhappy, so I decided that's what I was going to do. I started with the little things and just didn't let them get to me anymore. Somebody cut me off in traffic? That's fine... it doesn't really affect me in any significant way. The waiter hasn't shown up for ten minutes? I can get cranky about it, or I can cheerfully flag someone down and asking them to send our waiter over. Stressing out or complaining about a problem doesn't help me solve it. "These days, the most annoying thing in my life seems to be the people who get cranky about every minor thing that happens to them."
"Good for you! I've tried to do that too, but most of my patients aren't like that. They tell me about all the negative things in their lives and about how they worry about everything. Of course there are things in my life that concern me, but I try to deal with them instead of worrying."
"It's better this way, isn't it?"
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