Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

2am feelings

There’s an old saying: Worrying works; 90% of the things I worry about never happen. I worry a lot at 2 o’clock in the morning. This is prime worry hour for me. Can’t do anything about it, so I toss and turn thinking of what might be. But when I wake up a couple of hours later, everything feels differently. I then begin to over analyze why I might think those things to be true or worrisome in the middle of the night. Are these worries real? Is my subconscious onto something that I don’t know yet?

“Always remember: you are not your thoughts. You think all kinds of crazy stuff and dismiss most of it. But with emotional stuff we tend to undergo "cognitive fusion" -- we think that we are the thoughts and feelings. If you broke your arm, you'd say "my arm is broken" not "I am broken." And so the correct response to worrying thoughts is "there are worries" not "I am worried."”-Erik Barker

What I realize is that I too am framing it incorrectly. I say all the time that “I am worried” when I mean to say “there are worries” and the second one feels like I can influence and fix the worries. This small change helps me think about the concerns in a way that is proactive and it reframes my mental model of what is actually important. This doesn’t stop the 2am wake ups, but I do have the right tools to get back to sleep.

We are judged by our actions, not our intentions

Be the Loveable Star

Be the Loveable Star