What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?
Over thinking leads to..
Inhibited cognitive function & IQ
To try and change we can work at the level of:
- The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
- The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
- Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
- Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.
None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them?
The only problem is that when we don’t understand how the mind works we can end up tangling ourselves in knots, making things worse and layering in more stressed thinking, trying to make people change, or make projects go faster, getting more overwhelmed or frustrated — especially when none of the strategies above seem to be working as well as we’d want.
The good news is that this building up of frustration is all part of the design. It’s continuing to work perfectly. Helping us get to a point of boiling over. Helping us to explode the stress out of our system. Or helping us stop — I give up!!
Perfectly designed to bring everything back into alignment, back to centre, back to clarity.
The more we see stressful thoughts don’t need our energy or attention, the more we see they change and move on by themselves, and all the easier without our involvement, the more it makes sense to leave them alone. They don’t need manual adjustment.
And if it does occur to us to have a conversation, go for a walk, get a good night’s sleep or make a healthier food choice then that will more likely support the settling of thoughts — not because it’s a good thought-management strategy but because the system is telling you it’s the perfect solution for this moment now.
Stressful feelings are just a brilliant alarm system to alert us to stressful thoughts. A small bell ringing to let us know we’re believing something to be fixed and categorically true that could never be that. Letting us know we’re out of connection with reality.
From there, we can more easily stay in clarity, or express a micro-burst of stress or frustration. Because when we know that the stress is coming from our own thinking, we’re more likely to express that frustration healthily, knowing it’s about us, not the other person or situation causing our stress.
The more we do that, the more we have energy and awareness available to notice that stressful thoughts don’t actually have any bearing on our performance. They can play like a backing track. They need not interfere with the life being lived at all.
The instant thoughts change our experience changes. And we don’t need to get involved.
This is worth understanding. This is the root of it all.
With love, Helen