By Diana Proemm, CTRS
Over the holidays I had the opportunity to teach skiing in Montana for 10 days. The last four days I skied with a couple of gals from the East coast. They were spirited 12 and 14 year olds. The 12 year old in particular (I will call her Steph for anonymity) was a girl after my heart.
Steph went for it even though she was a beginner/intermediate level skier. She reminded me of a 12 year old version of myself who skied the powder, the trees and jumps whenever she could. On day one she skied right into a small tree well and was buried in waist deep powder hanging onto a tree branch. As I approached her she was laughing out loud and did not panic. (Please note she was not in any real danger.) I pulled her up and out all while laughing and the other kids with us laughing as well.
When she got out and back on skis she brushed off the snow and continued on as if nothing happened. That situation could have been disastrous in the sense of she could have cried and never wanted to ski again. Could you imagine what life would be like if we had the ability to keep the brain of an innocent kid? Where if we fell, we could just brush off the dust and move on.
When your 12, life most likely hasn’t thrown you curve balls that you upset your life. You live in an age of innocence free from modern day anxieties and pressures. Life seems to get harder as we age. The “falls” become more mental sometimes paralyzing us into stop action.
Here are three lessons learned from a 12 year old.
1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
If you are like me, I sometimes get caught up in all the little things that seem like big things. Try to take a step back and figure out what you are really getting upset about and if it’s worth the anxiety or stress.
The goal is to look at your worry thought instead of “looking through it,” LeJeune says. That is, you begin viewing these thoughts as “separate from yourself,” he says. You remind yourself that your thoughts are not reality. They’re not actual events. Separating thoughts from reality is called “cognitive defusion” in ACT. Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
2. Let Of The Things You Cannot Control.
Here we refer to number one. There are so many things I worry about in the future sometimes and I get ahead of myself. Then I realize I cannot control the future. I have to stop and take note, and stop worrying about stuff that I cannot control, especially things are that are in the future with an unknown outcome.
3. Be Mindful and Present
Here we take a step back and bring it right to the present time. Accept that you are struggling with an issue and work through it. Is this issue really worth your time to give it energy and stress? Support your thoughts and move forward toward reality and freedom from fears and stress.
Remember your values and become clear on what your want to bring into your life. Don’t get messed up in society’s standards and focus on your own. Do what is right for you and only you. What makes your life worth living?
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