Are You Feeling Stressed. Here’s One Thing NOT To Do.

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.

Not fun.

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,

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Kate July 10, 2013, 12:27 pm

    YES! This has been the hardest factor for me in my fertility process. I think it’s like “New Age guilt” – that thought that if we create our realities with our thoughts, positive and negative, then our attitudes and thoughts are to blame for our fertility struggles. It’s a version of “It’s all my fault” or “There’s something wrong with me.”

    I know it really messes with my head, and it gets much worse when someone says, in a well-meaning way, “Maybe you’re too stressed!”

    I’m seeing a counselor who specializes in fertility issues, and she directs me to just do good things for myself so that I can survive this experience, and to focus only on that. It helps. I’m doing yoga in the morning (shoutout to yogatoday.com, the best website ever) and trying to tell myself that I’m doing everything I possibly can to have a child.

    Never easy, though.

  • Victory July 11, 2013, 3:52 am

    Yes, I agree that it is difficult to manage stress when it comes to fertility problems. But having a sense of humor can also help reduce the pain and problems we are facing. It is effective in changing moods and relieves tensions and stresses and also improves blood circulation.

  • Joanne July 22, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Kate: “New Age guilt” is a great way to describe it! And I love the idea of focusing on doing good things for yourself to survive this experience, and to focus only on that. Thanks for sharing!

    Victory: I couldn’t agree more, humor can be such a powerful remedy for dealing with pain and stress! That’s why we are always on the lookout for great infertility blogs that tackle the issue with humor and laughs.

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