The Problem is NOT the Problem

Aug 20, 2020

The Problem is not the problem. The problem is the incredible amount of overthinking you are doing about the problem.”

These words struck me recently. I had found myself in a mental rut going over the same problem again and again. In this instance it was a relationship problem I was having. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even though there was nothing left for me to do to change anything. In the end, I was allowing the problem to dominate all my thoughts, and in turn, all my emotions.

This is a situation that truck drivers can find themselves in often. When the vast majority of your day is spent holding a steering wheel and watching little while lines out the windshield it is easy to set your mind on a problem and stew and fixate on it. As the miles go by the problem can turn over and over again in your mind. It is incredibly easy to fixate on a problem until that problem overwhelms your mind.

This can lead to all kinds of trouble. Negative thoughts always breed negative emotions. Negative emotions breed more negative thoughts. It is a vicious downward cycle. There are all kinds of problems that drivers face and dwell on unnecessarily.

  • Slow traffic and road construction

  • Wait times at shippers and receivers and washouts 

  • Hours of Service and ELD regulations

  • Wanting to get more done than you have to do

  • Disagreements with dispatch and management

Instead of dwelling on these, or other problems you are having, here are a few more positive actions you can take.

  • Pick up the phone and talk about the problem with a trusted friend

  • Get out of the truck and take a walk, intentionally looking for the beauty in the world around you

  • Speak aloud, or write down in a journal, all the positive things you have in your life

  • Watch a movie or a sporting event that you enjoy

  • Take some deep breaths and listen to some music you enjoy

What I have found is that the problems I am having are never as big of problems as I make them out to be in my head. And sadly, all the overthinking does nothing to solve the problem, it just makes my day worse and makes me feel negatively about everything else. Don’t give your daily problems the power to run you day. Stay positive, relax, and keep on trucking. Tomorrow will be a new, better day.

 



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