I used to get stressed out that I worried too much. Then I worried about being under too much stress. Then I worried I might pop an internal organ and was stressed that it might happen at a stupid time like on the can rather than at a cool time like while wrestling a big horn sheep.
Experiencing stress throughout the day can lead to muscular tension in your shoulders and neck, headaches, ulcers, and sleep difficulties. Add to that it can take you forever to fall asleep, you’ll toss and turn, and then wake up early. Now you’re stressed because you’re so exhausted and have a busy day ahead at the office or doing necessary evils to chickens.
“Attention Zippy Mart shopper. This life is not a practice. There will be no do over.”
Let’s start with worry. Your loved one is late coming home and they haven’t called so they must have been in an accident and they’re lying in a ditch bleeding. Where does that disaster scenario come from? Probably from your mother who was a whack job and could have done with a few years of psychotherapy. But you can’t change the past or anyone else so work on you and the now.
A lot of the time negative thoughts are the result of bad habitual thinking. You get into a habit of thinking the worse and your brain has been wired to think that way. Like a flowing river, you’re thoughts are following a predetermined path
The same is true of your thought patterns. You have to pay attention to the way you are thinking and the kind of thoughts you have having. So rather than your loved one bleeding in a ditch, think a more positive outlook like they’re safe in a motel room with a much younger lover, sipping champagne and laughing about you. There. Now don’t you feel better? O.k., so they’re hung up in traffic and will be home in a few minutes.
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Stress can be a natural response from being attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger, to the flashing red light in your rear view mirror and the trooper walking up along side. Like worry, a lot of stress is the result of stress response habitual thinking. Most events are neutral in nature, it’s your response to them that determines whether they’re stressful or not.
You’re working on an important report that has to be on your manager’s desk in less than an hour, you’re in the middle of some important calculations and the tip of pencil breaks off. (A pencil, often yellow and made of wood, with a graphite core used to make marks on smashed pressed and bleached wood fibres known as paper).
You could put that pencil aside, grab another one and continue on, or you could stab the broken pencil through the report into your desk and let out a scream of expletives that would make a sailor blush; same event, two very different responses.
To make it easier to get to sleep you can manage and reduce stress in your life through exercise, meditation, yoga, taking a time management course, talking with a mental health professional or your clergy. More drastic, but maybe necessary options include avoiding people that push your buttons (often friends and family) or even changing jobs or careers.