When I worry about things that don’t actually matter, it takes me time to stop caring. Basically, if I put a lot of energy into worrying about something, and time passes without this worrying getting me anywhere, my brain gets tired and basically says, “Ugh, this is a waste of energy. I’m going to stop worrying about this”.
The strange thing is, when I’m worrying about a useless thing, my conscious seems to know that it doesn’t really matter, but I still continue to worry. But after a few months or even years of worrying about the same situation, it vanishes. And then I don’t even remember how much energy and time I put into worrying about that thing.
Here’s an example: I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years, and this being my first relationship, I found it difficult to adjust to my new “love emotions”. I was what you would call a “clingy” girlfriend (and I am still a bit – I’m working on it), so when my boyfriend wanted to hang out with friends or go ride his motorcycle, I took it as a personal attack that he just didn’t want to hang out with me. Looking back now, I know how silly and hurtful this sounds towards my boyfriend. However, at the time, I had convinced myself that he was choosingto be with his friends over me, and that meant he didn’t like me (pretty stupid, right?). As time passed, these feelings of worry and jealousy really tired me out and took their toll on my body and mind.
When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline, which gets our blood pumping and our muscles ready for the fight or flight response. This obviously uses a lot of energy. After a short period of being stressed, our body can recover pretty normally. But when we have long bouts of stress, our bodies suffer, muscles become sore, and we become tired. And after worrying about something for so long that doesn’t actually matter, my brain just becomes so tired of these stress hormones that it gives up.
“Riding it out” and waiting for your brain to adjust is one way of doing it – but sometimes you need a faster method of getting past caring about something. One thing that really helped me was having my own hobbies and projects on the go that would keep my mind occupied while my boyfriend was out with his friends or working on his cars. Something as simple as exercising, reading a book, going on a walk, or calling up a friend worked wonders for me.
Hopefully whatever your mind is ruminating over right now will vanish for you some day. It takes time and conscious effort, but try being thankful for what you have, love yourself, and really push yourself to direct your energy to a healthier habit.