The power of a changed mind
Before I went on holiday I admit I was stressed. Weighed down under the weight of business, chores, errands, finances, family, and work. I think I’d lie awake most nights stressing about everything and wondering how I’d gotten to this point with all I know about psychology and self -care etc. Luckily, my holiday was like the intervention I needed. The distance from my life situation helped me to see and decide that I didn’t want to continue living this way and then I realised that I had a choice about that.
So I made a choice not to engage in the negative thoughts and worries that were causing me the stress simply because I don’t want to feel that way all the time. These things can be like a bad habit and we can slip back into them in times of stress. Yes they will rear their ugly heads- we all have them- wondering what we have really achieved in our lives, is it all worth it etc.
The other thing contributing to my stress was my tendency to pull lots of new things into my life and then to realise it is too much a bit too late in the piece – making me stressed and tired. This is where pacing oneself is important and to recognise how much we can take on before stress and burnout arrive. If we can recognise our stress signals – and they can be different for everyone, we can rein things in earlier.
We are also very forgetful beings and need to remind ourselves regularly when we are trying to create a new mental habit. I try to read something inspirational every morning before I get up and about and start going about my day. It is generally a piece reminding me about the type of person I want to be in the world, because I forget that, from moment to moment.
So can it really be as simple as changing our minds? The answer is yes and no. If the negative thoughts are simply a bad habit then yes. But we do need to keep reminding ourselves. If the thoughts are stemming from a place we do not yet understand or are a result of some trauma we have not yet processed then it may be harder to do so. These things may need to be worked through in therapy in more detail.