Today, we’ll talk about how we can take control of our lives by getting out of our heads. Did you remember to breathe today?
One of the biggest reasons for stress is overthinking. When we are stressed, we all obsess about what we can do and what we should do. We are constantly worried about things that have already happened or constantly feeling anxious about things that are going to happen.
This is very normal - thinking of taking action but never taking any action directly. We all have days, and even weeks when we are just stuck in our head. In times like these, the best thing to do is to try and escape these thoughts.
Here are a few things you can do to be able to escape these thoughts and focus on something else.
Focus on something else. You can cook, play a game on your phone or solve a puzzle or go for a run. Any form of distraction that requires you to focus on the task at hand rather than analyse what you are feeling will help you come out of the tornado of thoughts.
Whenever you feel that you’re getting overwhelmed by negative thoughts, take a deep breath and pause. Try taking a few deep breaths, concentrating on how you inhale and exhale. It might feel pointless in the beginning but this will help you feel better.
Music is one of the best proven ways of feeling better. You can try playing your favourite songs, sing along or better still, dance. It doesn’t matter if you’re bad at it! As long as you let the music make you feel better, you can sway to your heart’s content.
Make a list of things that you actually have to focus on instead of stressing out. This could be a list of very small things like changing your sheets or doing the laundry to big things like applying for a new job or going to the dentist. Attack this list with gusto and remember to tick things off the list as you go. This will motivate you further and you can keep adding/removing tasks as you go.
As long as you are concentrating on things that require your attention, or divert your attention to things you like, your consciousness will not spend any time and energy on stressful thoughts.
REMEMBER: Concentrating on something other than your stressful thoughts is a great way to cope.
ACTION: Try making a list of things you have to do and see what you can start tackling immediately.
NEXT: In the next lesson, we’ll see how you can create some habits that will help you reduce the stress you feel.