STRESS AND ALL OR NOTHING THINKING
STRESS AND THE POWER OF ALL OR NOTHING NEGATIVE THINKING
Stress and your mind have always been a powerful combination. Your mind is extremely important in developing your own unique stress management and stress relief strategies. The mental component in stress can add to your feelings of tension, strain, anxiety and fearfulness. Your mind often defines your stressful experience as being a pressure-filled burden and hardship for you.
THE POWER OF YOUR THOUGHTS IN STRESS MANAGEMENT
So powerful is your mind that it shapes your attitudes, psyche, reasoning and beliefs about yourself and your stress. Therefore, in dealing with any stress in your life and developing effective stress management strategies you also need to understand and work with your own mind.
A POWERFUL TYPE OF THINKING
There is one type of thinking that is surely guaranteed to increase your levels of stress, tension and worry. Yet, when you remove this type of thinking and self-talk from your mind, it will help you reduce and manage the stress in your life.
ALL OR NOTHING THINKING
Your self-talk is what you tell yourself in your own head about a situation you are experiencing. If you listen to your own self-talk for long enough it becomes your belief system and part of your psyche. One of the most negative forms of self-talk is called ‘all or nothing thinking’. When you use all or nothing thinking, you consider everything in black and white terms and there is no in-between positions in your mind.
VERY STRESSFUL THOUGHTS FOR YOU
This very stressful all or nothing thinking can become all encompassing. It makes things much worse and more negative than they really are. To explain further, let’s take a quick look at three scenarios of all or nothing thinking. Can you relate to these scenarios and this type of thinking?
SCENARIO ONE – THE WORST WIFE IN THE WORLD
In this scenario, it is your tenth wedding anniversary. You get upset and yell at your husband because he has forgotten your wedding anniversary. You then feel guilty and decide that you are certainly the worst wife in the world.
SCENARIO TWO – THE TERRIBLE PARENT
Your teenage son and daughter have been arguing for awhile about who will wash the dog. Having had enough you tell both teenagers they are lazy, inconsiderate and don’t deserve to be living under your roof. Afterwards you feel terrible as these were the same words your own mother would say to you and you promised yourself that you would never use these words with your own children. You now decide that you are a terrible parent and have failed miserably in your parental role.
SCENARIO THREE – THE BAD MANAGER
As the manager in your workplace you are constantly being interrupted by employees asking for advice on what to do. You find it difficult to concentrate with this constant mental pressure and cannot get any of your own work done. At the end of another interruption filled day, one final employee comes in with a question. You snap and within earshot of all other employees, tell them to get out and to never come back and bother you again. You later regret your outburst and decide that you are a bad manager and none of your employees will ever respect you again.
JUST MORE STRESS AND NERVOUS TENSION
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? All are examples of all or nothing thinking. Now this all or nothing thinking just puts you under more stress, pressure and strain. Yet all of us sometimes make a mistake, sometimes we have a bad day and sometimes we lose our temper. But this one action does not make you the worst wife in the world, a terrible parent or a bad manager. What it does make you is HUMAN. But with your self-talk and all or nothing thinking, you are interpreting your actions and your world in a very stressful way.
STRESS MANAGEMENT AND STRESS RELIEF IDEAS
It is now time to change this pattern of all or nothing thinking. It is time to develop some stress management and stress relief strategies to deal with this negative self-talk. Here are seven steps to begin to change these negative thought patterns and actions:
Step 1 – Understand that you are human.
Step 2 – Understand that we all make mistakes, even you.
Step 3 – Forgive yourself if this behavioral response is an uncommon occurrence for you.
Step 4 – Do not focus on your actions that have gone and are now past.
Step 5 – Focus on how you will alter and change your behavior from now on.
Step 6 – Concentrate on responding differently, next time in a similar stressful situation.
Step 7 – Decide to let go of that pressure-filled and stressful all or nothing thinking.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE USING STRESSED OUT THINKING
Life is far too short to spend your time and your energy in negative self-talk and this destructive all or nothing thinking pattern. Follow the seven steps above and you will begin to let go of that thinking and dramatically reduce your level of worry and stress.
FROM THE GLOBAL ORGANIZATION FOR STRESS
These stress related articles and information are brought to you by the Association of The Global Organization for Stress. Sign up as a member and you’ll have free membership and a copy our complimentary ‘101 Ways to Less Stress’ Guide.
Please Note: Stress can result in severe health related issues. This stress related information is provided as guidance only and should not be considered as a form of therapy or professional advice. If expert assistance is needed, then a suitably competent health professional should be consulted in relation to your stress.
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