Humans are reactive thinkers, feelers and doers.
Great skills when such traits result in us thinking and feeling good, not so good when they trigger constant negative thoughts, or lead us to behave in a way which we wish we hadn’t.
A prime example of this is Christmas when the aim is to be happy. But because of life pressures such as wanting to get things done; have enough money; buy the right presents; feel appreciated by and please others; be invited to parties; become special to someone; not be alone; mend old relationship wounds; miss a loved one who has died, many find self pressures rise, moods fluctuate, some become depressed and most become stressed.
It’s not pressure itself which is the problem, us humans were made to absorb and cope with enormous amounts of pressure. The problem is when we seek to keep pressure contained thus allowing it to ‘fester’ so that body and mind become stressed.
DON’T LET IT FESTER – LET IT OUT!
Think of your mind like a CD player, switched on by something you see, touch, hear, taste, smell, a thought or an emotion. Ok when these triggers lead to happy thinking but when under rising pressure, negative thoughts speed up, intensifying mood and promoting awfulizing e.g. ‘I can’t stand this’, ‘why am I so pathetic’ thinking. Eventually you manage to switch off this CD, but those distressing/depressing thoughts just rewind waiting to play again. Thus adding greater intensity to any regurgitated thoughts/feelings/emotions and reactive behaviours. For example: most people nowadays when stressed feel they want ‘comfort’ such as something nice to eat or drink or someone to talk too. Talking to someone is always good but if you are a worrier thinking ‘I don’t want to bore them, upset them, let them think I’m pathetic” you tend to try to suppress it, of course it will come out but not as controlled as you would want it to be. So to with thinking I need a drink, first one does indeed act as a relaxant, subsequent drinks just add fuel to the depressive fire you were trying to put out!
SO BIN IT FIRST!
Every time you feel internal pressure rising take a sheet of paper, write down exactly what you are thinking about yourself or others. Be as vitriolic as you like, (no one is going to see it) finishing with a positive statement such as: “that’s my stress out, now I can relax and get my energy back”. Read it only once, finishing with the positive statement. Tear it up into tiny, tiny pieces thinking “that’s where you belong in the bin”.
Worried someone might be able to piece it together or not in a place where you could do this easily. ? Keep a pen with you at all times, go to the loo write down your feelings or express it in just two words!! (loo paper is good, lets out the frustration trying to write on it). Tear it up, flush it down the loo, thinking “that’s where you belong with the crap” and let yourself smile.
With practice you will find you can take the sting out of the intensity of your stress very quickly, reducing it back to normal manageable pressure. Just remember:
NEVER KEEP THE WRITINGS OR TELL ANYONE WHAT YOU WROTE – they’re your thoughts/feelings/beliefs and you’ve just let them out. If it’s not in you, it can’t hurt you.