We tend to think that stress is something that happens to us due to external events and circumstances outside of ourselves that we cannot control. We may be uncomfortable with the idea that we could possibly be the creators of our own stress. Yet, a great deal can be done to relieve stress by taking charge of our inner thoughts and developing a positive mental attitude.
Think of this. If two different people can respond to the same situation in two different ways, does this not suggest that there is a direct correlation between the individual and their response?
So, why is it that one person can feel completely overwhelmed and stressed out by a particularly situation, and another is able to respond calmly and without anxiety?
The answer to this is in our own heads. All of us think differently and perceive situations in different ways. For example, being made redundant may be a disaster to one person. To another, it is an opportunity to make a change. It is the same situation, but two different ways of looking at it.
We all have an inner voice which constantly chats away in our heads telling us what we should do, what we shouldn’t do. It also tells us how to react. Often this voice is self-critical. It may tell us that we look awful when we look in the mirror or that there’s no way we’re going to pass that exam, or the one that says: “he’s never going to look at me!”
Why do we have this voice, where does it come from, and how does it have such an impact on our stress levels?
From the moment of birth, we are absorbing experiences and learning how to think. When we were very young, we did not question what we were told by our parents or teachers, even when they told us we were no good. At that age we could not sift out what would work for us and what wouldn’t, we just believed what we were told to be true, and these ideas, values, beliefs and statements become our world view, whether they are negative or positive.
People who have grown up in an atmosphere of difficulty or negativity can have a more negative way of perceiving things. If you grew up in a family where financial loss meant constant dramatic changes, you may develop a fear around money, so that any difficulties you have later in life may occur to you as greater than they actually are. Or, if you were constantly told that money was hard to come by and that you have to work hard to stay on top, this could also develop a sense of insecurity.
Negative self talk makes things much worse. If you say to yourself that a situation is “stressful” or “impossible”, you will actually create stress and feelings of inadequacy. The good news is that this kind of destructive thinking can be changed. You need to be aware of what you are saying to yourself and change this kind of thinking to more positive self talk, such as describing the same situation as “a challenge”, which suggests that it is solvable.
It has been scientifically proven that practising positive self talk on a regular basis has proven benefits for stress, health and productivity.
Your subconscious mind does not differentiate between positive and negative, or what is the truth. It will believe everything you tell it, and respond accordingly. When you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you subconsciously stop looking for a way to solve it.
If you need to relieve stress, try catching yourself in the act of negative thinking, and then switch it to something more empowering. Next time you find yourself thinking that something is too difficult, try asking yourself how you are going to do it, instead of saying that you can’t. Asking the question, “how?” opens up your mind to solutions, whereas the latter closes it down.
There are many ways to relieve stress, but changing your inner voice and viewing things in a more positive way can make a profound and lasting difference to your stress levels. A positive mental attitude takes practice and time, but you can start to see results immediately, and this will increase as long as you practise every day.
Author Bio: Ros Bott owns the website http://naturalstressreducers.com which offers natural remedies and advice for natural stress reduction. Ros is a life coach and writer by trade, and you can see her coaching website at http://career-life-coach.com
Article Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/self_improvement_and_motivation/article_7037.shtml