We live in a very anxious time.

Some of the stress is justified, I guess, but when I look at what’s happened for the last decade, or two, or three … a lot of what I felt at the time didn’t really make anything better.

So I try to maintain a little perspective.

Some people do a great job of calming their minds by calming the body. Meditation, prayer, yoga, and mantras can be great tools for many people. Unfortunately, they also tend to be short term, as long as you can keep your body quiet. A few hours, maybe a day or two.

For me? I tend to live on the logical side of my brain rather than the artistic. I’ve come to peace that at heart I’m an analytic engineer. I tend to look at every challenge as “a problem which can be solved.”

But I can get stressed and worried just like anyone. So I’ve developed a way to “logic” myself out of these situations, which might be helpful to you as well.

I classify many problems in these categories:

  1. Things I can’t really have any impact on
  2. Things I can influence, but not right now
  3. Things I can do something about

The first category, well, that’s 98% of what’s going on in the world. If I’m honest, it makes absolutely no difference whether I worry about it or not. Stuff happens.

The second one I’ve addressed through a phrase I call “Just-In-Time Worrying.” By using that phrase, I’m giving my permission to put it on the back burner until it actually matters.

And the third category, I work on those. Because it’s actually useful.

I classify some issues as “people problems,” and those I struggle with a bit more. I guess it’s because people aren’t necessarily logical. Including myself.

For those, I try to rely on my relationships and values more than anything else.

  • Who’s affected by this?
  • What’s the right thing to do?
  • Is there something which will bring more peace and joy?
  • How can I do something which will make this better NEXT time?

But I still fall back on the understanding that there are a lot of “people problems” that I can do absolutely nothing about. Or where acting now wouldn’t be useful.

How do YOU address things that worry you?