At this time every year, I suffer with terrible allergies. Eczema flares all over my hands and neck and I get lots of congestion. It makes me kind of miserable.
Allergies are caused when the immune system overreacts to innocuous substances like dust or pollen. The immune system thinks these allergens are harmful and so it launches a full-scale attack. Ironically, while the allergen itself was never actually threatening, the body's overreaction to it ends up being harmful...or at least very uncomfortable.
This is not unlike our brain's overreaction to the circumstances of our lives.
Someone posts their opinion on instagram, and your brain creates a whole lot of resentment.
You decide to start your own business, and your brain goes into overdrive producing fear.
Your child refuses to pick up their room, and your brain generates a healthy dose of frustration.
Just like the innocuous allergen, none of these things are actually harmful until your brain identifies them as a threat and gives you a thought, which then produces a negative feeling. Now you have a problem on your hands.
But notice that the problem was created by your brain. The problem is not the post or the business venture or the messy room. It is always our brain's response to these things that creates the problem.
The painful part is not the pollen. The painful part is the body's response to it.
In the same way, the things your brain sees as problems are not actually the problem. They are just "pollen." And the better you can get at taking control of your brain's reaction to the "pollen," the smaller your problems become.
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