The attitude a person takes to life can impact their anxiety levels.
Stress and Anxiety
Everyone has stresses in their lives, and anxiety arises if the stresses become too much. It’s as if we have a big bucket that the stress gets put in. The fuller the bucket, the more likely we are to have moments of anxiety.
Our natural mechanism for emptying our stress bucket is sleep. During our sleep, particularly during those periods of REM sleep when we dream, our brain starts sorting out memories. And some of the memories it sorts out are the unresolved stress items stored in our stress bucket.
So each day stress goes into the stress bucket, and each night, stress is removed. Provided that these balance out, we can be happy well-adjusted people. When too much is going in, the stress bucket fills up and that is when we start to have periods of anxiety. (We can also develop other negative emotions such as anger, depression, jealousy and so on.)
Bad Stuff Increase Stress
Bad stuff happens to us in our lives. We cannot avoid it – an unexpected bill, a person who is rude to us, or we can’t find an empty space in the car park. Our attitude to these events is important. We can choose to get annoyed and frustrated – maybe swearing to try and ease the tension. We can go over the injustice of it all in our head. We might pour out our troubles to a friend (and swear a bit more).
Swearing and complaining has a cathartic effect – giving us temporary relief from the frustration – but it also adds to our stress bucket and does not solve the problem.
Letting the Bad Stuff Go
A different attitude is to say, “It is what it is.” Or, “Who cares?”, “I can’t do anything about it, so let’s move on”, and just let the bad stuff wash over you. Then you have the time and energy to deal with whatever has happened. This doesn’t take the bad stuff away, but it does keep your stress bucket clear of additional stress.
It is not easy to learn to let the bad things of life go, especially if you have learnt the habit of getting annoyed at life’s upsets. People who have spent their life getting frustrated and annoyed have this habit well ingrained, and it is not easy to change. But you can.
Changing your attitude to the bad things in life
The first and most important step is to start focusing your attention on the good things in life. How much of your life is spent in thinking about the bad stuff, compared with the time spent thinking about the good. When you can spot the good things as they happen and spend time appreciating them, the stress levels drop … the. The stress bucket is not so full … then those times of anxiety are reduced.
If you have problems dealing with your anxiety on your own, you might consider hypnotherapy. I work as a hypnotherapist in my clinic in Fleet, Hampshire helping people with anxiety regain control of their lives.
Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash