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3 stressful thoughts that hijack your day and how to stop them


Do you know that you have more than 6,000 thoughts a day! That is insane if you think about it (oops another thought!).


The true power is within you as Louis Hay used to say. And if we only can control our thoughts and master what they are, we could really rule our lives.


I find that it is easier said than done.


And as with anything, the first step is to recognise that you have thoughts that make you stressed. This may seem obvious, but if you are stressing about something all the time, it becomes your default way of thinking and it is hard to see it or recognise that indeed, it folds into a pattern.


In today’s blog post I want to take things to another level, a mental level if you wish, and help you to identify the three most common thought systems which bring us stress. Once you recognise that you follow a pattern, you would be able to search for tools to help you to rewire the way you think. If you are wondering if you have the time to do it, wonder no more! I created this downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet for you, so you won’t obsess about lack of time!




So, let’s get started.


What is a stressful thought?


We all have a belief system that we use to make decisions in our lives. We may not recognise that we use one, but nevertheless, we do. Psychology uses the term of limiting beliefs. Anthony Robbins divides our thoughts into empowering or limiting thoughts. I rather like the emphasis on the ‘empowering’ thoughts because calling something as it is, can indeed empower us.


As the name suggests, the more limiting beliefs you have the harder it is to make any changes, look for a positive outlook, or move through challenges. Limiting beliefs can keep us stuck in old ways of doing things or prevent us from taking risks. I’m not talking about gambling a lot of money on the stock market when we have no clue how to play. I’m talking about taking risks to try something new and exciting, expand our horizons so we can rewire our fear pathways, and make healthier lifestyle choices.


On the other hand, an empowering thought can help us to achieve more, succeed in our endeavours, and give us meaning and purpose. Empowering thought will push us through the fear and show us that there is always another way of approaching a difficult situation.


Our thoughts can be a deal-breaker for us. If we believe in our abilities to do something, we will. But if we keep telling ourselves that something is impossible to overcome, we most likely stay put.

It can be very liberating to gain an understanding of how our decisions are being made. As they say, you can’t fix something if you don’t see that it is broken.


The first step is to write down all your thoughts about yourself, your abilities, your values, your view on the environment and the world in general. Do you perceive the world as a place full of opportunities, or do you see that the world is out to get you?


Once you look at your list, you can see which thoughts are empowering and which ones are not so much.

Don’t be harsh on yourself. We need guidance in life, and our belief system is that guide. We developed our code when we were children, and most likely we took some of our parents’ and peers’ beliefs as our own. We used them for so long because they served us. But as with anything in life, we need to clean our mental house, so whatever is no longer needed can be removed.



3 common thought patterns


First of all, thought is just a thought, and it can be changed. Our thoughts follow neuropathways and a lot of the time, they occur on autopilot. This means we do not spend a lot of time choosing what to think, we just do.


Because thought is just a thought, each one of us may use different words to describe the stress we experience. But they can be grouped into three categories:


1. Worrying – the biggest mental stress comes from worrying. We literally worry about everything be it family, work, finance, how we look, what to eat for dinner, if we should marry this person or not, and so on. And we can easily switch from worrying about the past, the future, and the now. Worrying is a sign that we care, and some level of worrying is good. Unless it becomes an obsession and turns into serious mental disorders like depression or anxiety.


2. Overthinking – have you ever found yourself thinking about a certain event, or if you should do something or not and start adding more layers of imaginary scenarios? That’s overthinking. We tend to imagine things that are not there until the situation is way too big, too uncomfortable, or too risky to deal with. Unfortunately, most of the time it is fear talking. When we act out of fear, we often catastrophise about the future, but in reality, we have no assurance that what we are predicting will even happen.


3. Rehearsal – this thought pattern usually occurs just before we are about to go to bed. Have you ever lay in bed, rehearsing the day’s event? Going over and over the same scenario and adding worry to it, won’t do us any good. You can’t change the past, so rehearsing the same thing and expecting a different result can cost us a lot of wasted time and mental energy.


There are a lot of tools that can help with changing our thought patterns, such as mindfulness practices, cognitive behavioural therapy, and guidance of a health practitioner such as a health coach or a therapist.


Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to change your default way of thinking. You have been using your existing belief system for so many years, it is natural that changing it will take some time.



Conclusions


We all use belief systems to guide us through life and help us with making decisions. Thoughts that are empowering in nature can lift us, broaden our horizons and create a positive outlook on life. On the other hand, limiting thoughts can keep us stuck and add fear which as a result will prevent us from taking needed risks.


It can be liberating to recognise that there are cognitions that add to our mental stress. Worrying, overthinking and rehearsal are some of the most common thought patterns which can keep us stationary, turn into mental disorders and prevent us from living our lives to the fullest.


But the power truly is within you, and I’m certain that you can tap into that power to turn your limiting beliefs into empowering ones.


No time for things in your life? Grab your free downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet!



Having problems with managing your stress? Go on: www.annadoktor.com.au to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email at anna@annadoktor.com.au or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.



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