What Size Is the Problem?

Have you ever caught yourself over-reacting to a problem that later seemed insignificant? When we over-react to an problem, it triggers the bodies “fight or flight” hormone -- a stress hormone called cortisol. In large doses, cortisol can cause harm to our bodies. 

So, how do we train our minds not to over-react? A visual analogy can work well. To gauge the size of the problem, try correlating it to a familiar object. For this blog, I'm going to use Peanuts, Walnuts and Coconuts.

A Peanut is a small problem. Examples might include: an incorrect order at the drive through, a delayed flight, or a lost cellphone. Peanut-sized problems happen frequently but are minor life events. 

Walnut is a medium problem. Examples are the loss of an important business contract, not getting into the college of your choice, or a broken appliance. You may feel frustrated with a Walnut but you can solve it by making alternative arrangements or scheduling a repair/replacement.

Coconut is a very large problem. A Coconut goes beyond one's control and is typically not something that can be solved. For example, a serious medical diagnosis, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job. Your "fight or flight" reaction is triggered impacting mind/body health. If life throws you a Coconut, allow your feelings to come out and give yourself permission and time to process the feelings. Be kind to yourself; seek strength and patience; and accept help from family and friends.

Remember to measure the size of the nut ~ most problems are only as big as the reaction.