We’ve all been there: You’re stressed or anxious and you realize you should calm down, but the harder you try, the more stressed or anxious you become.
Most of the time when something in life comes up, or you’re faced with a worry, fear, or regret, it’s easy to work through it and move on. With most things of this nature, you naturally get through it, with little to no effort on your part.
But every now and then, you’ll face an issue that isn’t so simple to get over. You’ll notice that this is more than the usual issue. At these times, it’s easy to become very upset with worry or fear about the initial subject.
Once you’ve become unusually stressed or worried, it’s possible to get caught in a “loop” of sorts where it begins to feed itself…at that point it’s no longer about just the original thought…..you can become upset that you’re so upset.
This can cause you to begin to question why you can’t get over the issue and wonder if something might even be wrong with you. All this just feeds the loop even more.
It’s only natural for you to REALLY TRY to get over the issue at this point. Ironically, that push usually just deepens the despair…..
This is the point where it may help to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. Instead of applying increased pressure towards the act of “getting over it”, use logic & different mental techniques to change your thought process regarding the issue.
Does this issue REALLY stack up?
Think back over your life. You’ve probably been just as upset as you are now in the past, or even more, and things worked out.
Is this time really that bad? Have you been in a similar state of worry or stress before, only to quickly move on to much better days?
If you’ve been here before and thrived shortly thereafter, there is every chance this will go the same way. Compare it to previous situations.
Even if this is the biggest deal you’ve ever faced, if you’ve always gone on to eventually master every other situation so far, you probably will this time also…. Put it in perspective.
Think it through, face the facts
If you are super stressed, it is almost certainly because of one of two “somethings”…. either something that happened in the past (regret) or something that may or may not happen in the future (worry).
If you stop and think about these, you can reason the problem away somewhat. They both have unique features that warrant mental dismissal. Let’s look at them one by one.
The past is GONE FOREVER. You absolutely cannot change it. Thus rethinking the past once you’ve learned any lesson from it is a pointless endeavor.
Rethinking the past over and over can only wind you up and upset you with no recourse available. Better to stop doing it as much as possible. It will not help you in any way.
The future is TOTALLY UNKNOWN. You can reasonably plan for the future, but in reality it’s completely unknown. What you worry about happening may or may never come to pass.
What you constantly wish for may or may not occur. You can never know!
Beyond reasonable planning, our mental anguish and worrying now will not sway the future. You can worry none or a ton and it’s all the same. With these odds, choose as little as possible.
But it’s so easy to worry about it!
The past and future are both TOTALLY out of your control. So further thought on either is pointless.
Ironically, it feels so natural and easy to devote lots of effort to thinking about them that you can get lost in thought right away if you don’t apply some discipline.
It is so natural to most to get caught up in these thoughts that it almost feels wrong to NOT think of them. This is a trick! You need to use reason and discipline and stop ASAP.
Move your point of view
There are countless ways to look at any situation. You can choose to view it from the worst perspective and feel terrible or the best perspective and minimize the upset and there are an infinite number of viewpoints in between.
Maybe you’re looking at this from the “point of worst perspective”. How else can it be perceived?
Think of other people you know, how might they see it? Chances are you can find another perspective to view the issue from that will allow you to see the situation as not so bad.
What do you do about right now?
Where your thoughts reside most of the time has a great effect on how you feel. If they are in the past or future most of the time, you’ll find there is a great tendency for being upset.
By purposely bringing your mind out of past regret or future worry into the present, you can begin to break the feedback loop and start to the process of feeling better.
Really pay attention to what is going on, what you’re seeing, doing, smelling, tasting, hearing, saying and touching RIGHT NOW. Try to keep your attention there. If your mind wanders back to the past or future, …where all the trouble is, bring it back. Back to right now, away from the upsetting thought .
Bringing your mind to the present for a bit isn’t tough, but keeping it there won’t be easy, especially at first. You’ll need to do this over and over, but it will eventually become easier to stay “present”. Master being present most of the time and worry and anxiety will effortlessly fade away.
You’re (almost certainly) normal
It’s very normal to have worry and regret enter your mind from time to time. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience these emotions.
If you occasionally have a problem spiral out of control a bit for a time, that’s normal also. These things come and go over a lifetime. Different phases in life are a factor.
Sometimes you string together many years without upheaval and it’s easy to deal with everything. Other times it’s one upsetting thing after another and nearly anyone would have a tough time dealing with it all.
For issues that begin to become a problem, take a step back and examine the situation. Don’t just “try harder to get over it”. Find a technique to help you through.
The above tips and many more are available to help you overcome most any situation that has you feeling overwhelmed.