Have you noticed that when you have something stressful going on, you actually start worrying about the stress itself? It’s a vicious cycle where worrying about the negative effects of stress on your life actually makes you feel worse and compounds the issue.
One way I deal is to focus on a task I can fully control and direct all of my attention on. I painted a piano last week, and it was a chance for me to “zone out” and focus on doing a task perfectly which actually relaxed me.
Doing your own “piano-painting” activity can help break that cycle of worrying about stress by redirecting your thoughts and giving you a chance to refresh your mind.
Here are my two simple steps to stop feeling stressed about being stressed:
1. Notice Your Thoughts
Every time I catch myself worrying about my stress, or when I’m slipping into negative and stress-inducing patterns of thinking, I make a note of it. When I do an activity where I can relax my mind and “zone out”, I find it’s easier to recognize when a negative thought floats by.
Being aware of these thoughts is an important part of challenging and ultimately changing them. If you want you can even keep a journal and start recording what’s going on, and then examine these thoughts through your new ‘lens’.
2. Challenge Your Thoughts
Whenever I start worrying about all the negative effects the stress in my life is going to bring me, I try to stop and ask myself: Are the things I’m telling myself even true? What will happen if what I’m thinking actually happens? Doing this has made me feel more in control.
So here’s the challenge for all of us. Instead of seeing stress in your life and then adding to it by worrying about all the negative consequences it’s going to bring you, challenge every negative thought like this that crosses your mind. See if you can adopt thoughts that fit your situation but reflect a more positive, realistic outlook.
So now it’s time for you to share with me! Let me know in the comments section—do you find yourself worrying about your stress? What do you do to combat this ‘vicious cycle’?
With love and gratitude,