Sunday, 4 November 2012

Chill Out

"A memory test - What were you worrying about one year ago today?"

Something I am exceptionally good at, worrying. About? Oh, about money, uni work (2nd year counts?!), my job, being punctual, eating well, the dark, my relationship, the future, audition rejections, my appearance, cleaning the house, keeping everyone happy, performing well at frisbee, my health... the list, as they say, is endless. And see if you can tell how many of those I have absolutely nothing to worry about. That, my situation regarding them is perfect, and I wouldn't change a thing about them.

It's odd, we battle with so many things, and try to better ourselves in so many ways, how is it that so many of the things that keep me awake at night are not problems at all, are even barely the potential to become problems in the future.

"I've been through terrible things in my life... and some of them have actually happened"

I think I've become so used to dealing with stress in my life that if there isn't any - it stresses me out. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed; I enjoy often telling the story of how I used to get stress nose-bleeds in GCSE chemistry lessons because I couldn't understand a single stupid thing. Isn't the irony beautiful? Something which used to cause me so much discomfort, actually provides me with entertainment a few years on down the line. And I still don't know what a freakin' mole is.

What I'm trying to say, is that everyone needs to chill. I see constant facebook updates worrying about deadlines, and admittedly it is reassuring to know that I'm not the only one, but I think instead of everyone rushing through life in a blind panic, we should all make a pact to stop the hell worrying about it all. If I just review my life, and breathe, and imagine how in a year's time I'll be making people laugh with tales of my present situation, it helps. Of course that's not actually very constructive, so here is some real advice if worrying about everything is a problem for you, too.
  1. Write it all down, in order of priority - Not only will you realise you have no way near as much to do as you think, it'll encourage you to do the most important thing first instead of putting it off.
  2. Take breaks during work - Especially important, because it's so easily overlooked. If you don't take 15-20 minute breaks every couple of hours you're just going to lose concentration and go round in circles and take twice as long to get anything done.
  3. Ask! - Teachers, lecturers, classmates, anyone you know who has some level of expertise in the subject you're struggling with, will probably feel touched that you've come to them for help. So have chats with people when you get stuck.
  4. Don't be so hard on yourself - No one in the world is as hard on yourself as you are. Instead of finding fault with everything, work hard at discovering what you like about your body, personality, whatever. Make a list of things you would never change. Add to it all the time. This girl will help you out: Laci Green
  5. You can't be friends with everyone - One that's particularly hard for me to take, if you have opinions, some people will disagree with you. As hard as you try, Abigail, you will not be able to get on with them all. Learn to appreciate those closest to you so that the others cease to matter so much.
  6. Ignore the advertising - You are beautiful. Yes, you really are. You're just going to have to get used to it. Ignore products telling you to be thinner, younger, smoother, taller, curvier, big-eyed and pouty. They will never leave you alone and you will never feel good enough. Come to terms with how you really look, and it will be hard for people to shake your confidence.
  7. Don't let rejection get you down - It can be horrible, putting yourself in a position of vulnerability and being trodden all over, but try not to let it get to you. Stand up, shake it off, and the most important thing here is that you learn from what went wrong. In most cases, it's not because there's anything wrong with you, it's just that you're not what the Director, boy, girl, etc. was looking for. But don't change for them, soon you will be the person someone is looking for.
  8. Use. Your. Words. - Directing this one at relationship issues, but applicable in literally any situation. No one (apart from Derren Brown) can read minds. Are there problems? Talk about them, they will be resolved. Is something going well? Talk about it, so it can be repeated. You just want to have a moan? Your partner will probably be glad to know what's going on in your head, and relieved that it's nothing to do with them. I can't stress this one enough, but I'll give it a go. Use Your Words.
  9. Take tissues to chemistry lessons
Of course these are all personal to me, both the problems and the solutions, and things you're struggling with may not correlate with mine at all. But I hope that I have encouraged you to try and think a little more positively about everything.
I think that's probably enough for now. I didn't realise just how much I had to say on this subject until I started writing. I might return to this at some point, but I need to stop for a while. I was only exploring this subject to try and stop myself worrying about my first assignment of the year (due in a week), after all.


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