I anticipate things a lot. Whenever I have something new coming up, I start to ruminate and imagine every possible circumstance that could happen (mostly the negative ones).
I’ve basically trained my mind to go down this path every time there’s change in my routine. I used to blame this on my “bad genetics” or the external circumstance. But now I’ve come to the understanding that these thought patterns are completely my fault.
There are also some specific things I get stressed from – when my partner leaves for extended periods of time, when I’m going to be tested or judged on something, and when I have to drive to really busy cities by myself.
In order to stop being stressed and anticipating upcoming events, I have to retrain my thought patterns. Most thought patterns are in your control. It might feel automatic – but that’s because these thought patterns have now become habits. So, you have to break your habits.
The first step to breaking these habits is to become more self aware. When I feel myself starting to go down a “stress path”, I try and stop and force myself to answer some questions. Why do I feel this way? Is my perspective off? Should I feel this way? I like to write everything down.
You have to be a bit mean to yourself sometimes. Stop blaming other people for your stress. Stop blaming your life or the world for your stress. Stress is sometimes necessary, but when it’s interrupting your daily routine, it’s you that needs to make changes. Until you start realizing it’s your fault, you won’t make progress. Until you realize that your stress is actually a problem, you won’t make progress. So I’m sorry – you’ll have to be a bit mean to yourself while you self-reflect.
Try doing this self-check for a few weeks until you start to see some patterns. The hardest step is breaking these patterns. I find it interesting how people put so much effort and money into dieting and fitness to make their bodies feel and look great – but what about your brain? Do you ever check in with your mind or give it a break by doing nothing (and I don’t mean watching TV). Start being a little kinder to yourself! Love yourself 🙂