Mountain Climbing Over Molehills

by : Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Someone has said that the greatest cause of ulcers is mountain-climbing over mole-hills! Is that the way you get your exercise? Many folks allow themselves to be thrown off course by minor or imaginary threats. Often they interpret these as life-or-death, or do-or-die situations. They put so much energy into their worries that there is none available for progress. Some even believe that worrying demonstrates caring. This is misguided, too.

The use you make of your energy is your choice. Simply use it consciously and constructively. Worry is neither.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher and mathematician, tells of a technique he used on himself to calm down his worries and excessive negative excitement: "When some misfortune threatens, consider seriously and deliberately what is the very worst that could possibly happen. Having looked this possible misfortune in the face, give yourself sound reasons for thinking that after all it would be no such very terrible disaster. Such reasons always exist, since at the worst, nothing that happens to oneself has any cosmic importance. When you have looked for some time steadily at the worst possibility and have said to yourself with real conviction, 'Well, after all, that would not matter so very much,' you will find that your worry diminishes to a quite extraordinary extent. It may be necessary to repeat the process a few times, but in the end, if you have shirked nothing in facing the worse possible issue, you will find that your worry disappears altogether and is replaced by a kind of exhilaration." Now that seems worth having, doesn't it? Exhilaration brings energy to push through difficulties and level mountains as well as mole-hills.

This strategy for approaching your concerns can help you to maintain an aggressive, goal-directed, self-determining attitude even in the presence of very real and serious threats and dangers. Denial is not advocated! Positive action is!

Keep It in MIND!