Stressed? Focus on what’s right not what’s wrong

When people are down and blue, they have a tendency to focus on what’s happening in their lives that they consider negative. The result can be that their self-esteem dips and their anxiety grows. The longer you pay attention to what makes you unhappy, the more it intensifies in your estimation, adding weight to the experience of unhappiness. Enough of all this negativity though, let’s remember what can be helpful during times of stress.

When you are under pressure, the last thing you may want to hear is someone more cheerful extoling the virtues of looking on the bright side; their experience is so different from yours that their attempt at helping you makes you feel isolated. Nonetheless, people who tout being positive have a point; paying attention to what is right in your life relieves stress and can get you out of an anxiety-rut.

Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill when it comes to stress? This happens as pressure occurs and you think about the situation to the point that doing so takes up an unbalanced amount of your time. Generally, when people have a healthy mind-set, they experience both negative and positive thoughts. But, when people are down, they rarely think in constructive ways. This may seem obvious. However, it’s so commonplace that it’s accepted. Perhaps it’s time to switch your way of thinking when you are stressed purposely instead of allowing your thoughts to tumble-forth without direction.

Look at what’s good

You probably aren’t going to rustle-up a cheery mood easily when you are stressed. Nonetheless, you can turn your thoughts to aspects of your daily life that are good. Maybe you have a roof over your head, warm clothing, and food in the kitchen. Alternatively, perhaps you have a good friend, there’s a beautiful sunset outside, or your bed is comfortable. Concentrating on anything that’s right will slowly change your mind-set, pushing you a little closer to feeling okay.

Consider yourself lucky

Putting an end to thinking negatively will be difficult if that’s where you begin; you’re supposed to be looking for things that are right, remember? Rather than struggling to stop negative thoughts, concentrate on forming happier ones. You might begin by taking small, potentially negative incidences in everyday life, instead of a huge issue, and thinking of them positively. For instance, dropped your grocery bag on the floor? Think about how lucky it was that your eggs didn’t break as the bag hit the ground. Normally, you might have sighed and felt frustrated and annoyed, but when you focus on being grateful, your mood doesn’t take a downturn.

Put things in perspective

Stress causes most people to exaggerate what’s not to their liking. Every little incident is a sign the world’s against them. Whatever doesn’t go to plan adds weight to how dreadful they imagine things are. Once again, trying not to think this way isn’t necessary. Instead, when something untoward happens and you feel a blanket of gloom beginning to spread over you, pause, and ask yourself if it’s really as important as you think. The truth is that forgetting to mow the lawn isn’t the catastrophe you imagine; the grass can only grow a teeny amount longer by tomorrow.

Adopt the middle way

Not trying to feel anything, and accepting each moment as it comes without judgment, will aid a peaceful mind. Stay present in the moment, not thinking of the past or future, or imagine you are in a theater production simply playing your part. Doing so can help you mentally step back from the situation and not see it from a personal point of view. Of course, you don’t want to do this all the time, but when you feel especially anxious, the exercise can help you cope until the intensity of the occurrence has gone.
Everyone meets difficult times on occasion, but it’s how you think about it that will make the difference between managing badly and easily coping. Remember to pause and select your thoughts before letting your mood slide.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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