I know that going round and round in my head on negatives eats up all my energy and leaves me depressed. Still, I keep finding myself doing it again. I yell at myself for doing it again, hoping that this would get me to quit, but it is like fighting quicksand, and only makes bad matters worse, shoving me deeper more quickly into the mire.
I justify the fussing because the things that I am focused on are often significant. They seem worth fussing with. They are unfair, unjust, or dangerous. They could be easily changed if only this or that person would admit that they are wrong. Surely, by fussing, someone somewhere somehow will realize all this and fix the craziness!
So what’s the process of change?
How do I learn to “not sweat the big stuff”?
First, when I go to bed I pause and thank God for his help for the day past, his help in “gracing” me to do my part. I leave all the results in his capable hands and then promise that when I awaken, I will thank God for the challenges ahead that teach me to hate sin and appreciate the Lord, learn my need for him, his Word, and his people.
I then out-predict my habit brain and try to think ahead, “What is likely to happen today that could trigger me into going round and round? What would be a godly response instead?”
Second, notice myself doing it again, without yelling at myself for doing it.
Third, assure myself that if there is nothing that I can do right now, then it is OK to let it go. (This will not get the brain to quit by itself, but it must have permission to quit since it thinks that it is fussing for our own good.)
Fourth, focus on:
- What can I do through Christ who strengthens me.
- What do I have that God want me to stop and appreciate.
- Who is in my life that I can give and receive from and relate to?
- Who am I and what are the unchangeable feature of that? So let me be grateful to God for my design and even the negatives that sin has added but God intends for good.
Fifth, invest in these four areas:
- doing what I can with all my might,
- savoring, using, and stewarding what God has given me,
- loving on. learning from, and ministering to the people God has placed in my life and
- reveling in who I am
Sixth, Thank God for his help refocusing and, leaving the results in his hands, get a good sleep and start over.
Over time, usually after three months, this will block the round and rounds that lead nowhere and keep my focus on God and being grateful.