You probably can identify if you are the type of person that worries a lot about things you can’t control. You may find yourself spending time thinking about past stressful events. You may be the type of person that is constantly worrying about future events. These might be events you have no control over or events that you have some control over, but they are still events that are not happening currently. The issue with worrying and ruminating over past events or anticipating future stressful events comes down to the idea that you are prolonging the stress caused by the events. Instead of allowing the stressful event to be isolated to one point in time, the stress continues to propagate and result in a chronic state of stress which we know is not beneficial. (2)
In addition to prolonging the stress of an event, the stress can also be over things we have little to no control over. The extra energy and resources your body needs to spend on maintaining balance doesn’t benefit you and because our energy and resources are limited, we take away from other body processes that might need that extra support.
Ending the habit of prolonging stress
So now we just need to figure out how to end this act of prolonging stress. In most cases, this is a habit that has formed over years and years and as such we may not be able to correct this behavior quickly even with the knowledge that it’s doing us no good. Here is what I recommend as a start to correcting these habits. This comes with the caveat that you should always seek help from a professional if you are struggling or feel unable to implement any of these strategies on your own.
Create a mindfulness practice.
Imagine the worst case scenario.
These behaviors can be difficult to change, but over time as you practice these techniques, you should find that you are less prone to ruminating over the past and future. If some of these techniques are helpful or could be helpful with more guidance, I recommended looking for a professional specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Comment below with what works best for you to relieve stress.
Dr. Cheatum and Dr. Doize are Naturopathic doctors writing about health topics from a holistic viewpoint.