Life is a hard, we experience ups and downs, twists and turns and do not know what is just around the corner. As a consequence of this, many of us suffer from depression or anxiety resulting in us significantly struggling with the bouts of turbulence that life provides.  

It is easy to feel sad. When life seems to be going wrong and things start to fall apart around us, how could we not fall into a pit of despair? It is easy to feel sorry for yourself! I am sure I am not the only one out there who has experienced the negative thoughts of believing that nothing would ever get better, and that no matter how much effort you make, or you put in, you will never be good enough.

These all consuming thoughts are horrible. They feel impossible to shake, so therefore overcoming them is tricky. But fear not, it can be done. Nothing is impossible.

Whilst at work my boss showed me something called S.U.M.O. Staring at him with a puzzled expression I said ‘what is this?’ and in response he told me that it was a guide he lived by, and one that I should too.

S.U.M.O. is an acronym for ‘Shut Up and Move On,’ which is described in many articles as a life changing program, as it is meant to aid people with mental health problems such as, anxiety, depression etc. It was created by the author Paul McGee, and what makes this strategy different to others that attempt to tackle mental health problems, is that it uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques in a way that everyone can understand, because they are simple.

Thinking has a large impact on your attitude and the way you come across and for those of us that have a tendency to overthink (me included) are therefore held back to actually smile, sit back and enjoy everything that life gives us. S.U.M.O.s  seven steps help to break this down, helping to destroy the walls of fear that we feel trapped inside. It is completely logical for those of us whose logic flies out the window at times. So here are the seven steps:

  1. Where is this issue on a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is death)?
  2. How important will this be in six months’ time?
  3. Is my response appropriate and effective?
  4. How can I influence or improve the situation?
  5. What can I learn from this?
  6. What will I do differently next time?
  7. What can I find that’s positive in this situation?

Looking at these steps I think to myself, why can’t I be this logical? Why can’t I apply this to my worries, struggles, doubts etc. The funny thing is, I can! I just need to learn to! If on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 is death, I think I can start to recognise what I should be worrying about, and what things I shouldn’t give a single thought to, as they would be a 1 or 2 on the scale. It is worth remembering that most of the worries we have don’t actually happen, most of the emails and letters we receive are anything but urgent, overspending can be managed, people do not hate you, everything is ok! Remember if it will not cause death, how bad can things really be?

S.U.M.O has certainly not cured my anxiety. I am a born worrier, I always will be. What it has done is help me manage my worries where I can actually add value to the issue and place its importance in proper context. So why not try it? Live by these steps and see what changes! You may be surprised!


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