Walking to an appointment the other morning, I caught myself needlessly worrying about things.
Now, of course worries do sometimes have a useful part to play in life.
In healthy doses, they can be the catalyst that motivates us to make progress and take action, and to not simply sit on our backsides praying that things will get better.
But I think there’s healthy worry, and there’s the other kind.
The kind that eats away at you, gnaws at your insides, causing you to ruminate – turning things over and over in your mind, usually to no good effect.
However, for once I was ready for this sneak ambush.
In fact the solution was surprisingly simple, and right at hand.
All it took was to begin actively taking notice of my surroundings.
A vivid green and freshly clipped privet hedge.
A black cat nuzzling its head against the bars of a front gate.
A little girl walking alongside her mother, taking three steps for each one of her mum’s.
Paying attention to what was around me banished those worries to some inner part of my mind where I could happily allow them to remain for as long as they wished.
Sometimes worries and negative thoughts creep up on you, elbowing their way in to occupy any available space in your consciousness.
If you let them.
Better, I believe, to crowd them out with thoughts of the here and now if you can.