I have found that whenever my life deals me a hefty dose of stress I tend to completely shut down and think out every single option I have and mentally travel through each option.
Notice I said "life." Not work or school. When work or school throw stress at me I start working faster and just power through what usually amounts to a bunch of repetetive tasks done on autopilot (counting pills, taking notes). My brain is completely focused on one thing: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30; "children taking steroids can experience slower growth." Ok - Got it.
However, when life throws me problems my mind goes everywhere. Life isn't black and white, there are so many shades of grey they turn into colors, and my brain wants to know every color, now.
Anytime I have to make a big decision I talk about it with everyone I trust in my life, but in my head. I don't actually speak to them, but I definitely have conversations with them; they just don't know it. My parents and sister have given me an insane amount of advice that they never actually gave, and it seems to always lead me in the right direction.
Sometimes, if I have a seriously big issue, like "oh shit my girlfriend might be pregnant," I'll end up working out solutions in my sleep. I kid you not. I'll plan and figure out exactly how I'm going to solve each problem, all while I'm asleep. It's not a very good sleep; I constantly wake up and rehash things in my head, but I usually wake up in the morning feeling... great.
Not because I'm refreshed and ready to face the day, but because I've figured everything out. No situation is hopeless, and it seems like my sleeping brain can figure out the simplest solutions to the toughest problems.
Last night, I woke up around 15 times between midnight and 5am, and each time I seemed to have another piece of the absolute worst case senario worked out. If she is pregnant and if does does decide to keep it (which is completely her decision), I have a battle plan.
If I'm a father in 9 months, I know I will be prepared for the challenge. I know my parents, grandparents, and friends will help me in every way they can (because I asked them, in my head), and I know my kid will grow up right.
Of course, there are 1,000s of variables I can't even begin to identify, but if we keep the kid and raise it ourselves, I will know what to do. At least my brain thinks I do. I'll always be thankful that my brain can make quick decisions without me even knowing it.
Incidentally, sometimes my brain figures out plans of action to problems I didn't even know I had. One night, I jumped out of bed at 3am with a strategic plan with one end goal: buy gas. The gas station closest to my house was closed but the Holiday just a few more blocks away would be open. I threw on some clothes and was opening my car door before I realized it was 3am and I could literally buy gas at any other time of the day.
I can only hope that this pregnancy scare is exactly like my gasoline situation. Just a made-up problem my brain decided to fix on its own.