Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.
The leverage point between hope and despair is curiosity.
‘I don’t know’ is powerful when it is followed by ‘I wonder why?’ According to psychologists, curiosity is a superpower against anxiety. Can you stop for five minutes and bask in the beauty of possibility?
Literally, anything could happen this week. Good or bad.
But so often, when faced with uncertainty, we leap straight to despair. In the world of the unknown, kids ask a million questions. I love the stuff they come out with: “Where do the pipes from our water go?”… “Are the bones inside lamb cutlets real animal bones?”… “Why do some people chop down their trees? Will they have to borrow someone else’s air?” (All real, all in the last week.)
Adults, on the other hand, tend to meet uncertainty with ‘I don’t know’… aka: I’m too busy to find out; I’ll check google later, or; the world makes no sense. I can’t take it.
What element of uncertainty are you struggling with this week?
(Write it down)
Consider: the connection between uncertainty and anxiety
Practice: tapping into curiosity as a beautiful and innate desire to learn
Decide to: hold onto the thread of curiosity and follow it through conversations, readings, news items, questions to strangers. Follow it with no outcome in mind.
Curiosity as the leverage point between hope and despair
Curiosity is the desire to learn something new, beyond formally requiring that information. Curiosity activates the same reward centers of the brain that light up when we learn something new or accomplish a goal. Curiosity stop your anxious brain from thinking of every "worse-case scenario” because while anxiety drives fear, curiosity invites wonder. A recent study found that when we seek new knowledge, scary feelings like uncertainty shrink. Not only that but curiosity can also temper distress, make us less defensive, and less reactive to stress.
When you feel that sense of uncertainty this week, can you flip anxiety to curiosity and come out the other side with hope?
Love your Mondays