Chang­ing your thoughts to say good­bye to stress

SAY­ING GOOD­BYE TO STRESS CAN BE AS SIM­PLE AS CHANG­ING OUR NEG­A­TIVE THOUGHTS. WE SHARE 13 ‘MIND TRAPS’ – AND HOW TO ES­CAPE THEM

Good Health Choices - - Be Content -

In our of­ten stress­ful lives, one sin­gle thought can make the dif­fer­ence. These were the find­ings ob­tained by brain re­searchers in re­cent stud­ies, which showed there are 13 com­mon ‘mind traps’ that can con­stantly trig­ger stress re­ac­tions, even when the ac­tual threat level is low. We might live in a stress-filled world, but ex­perts say recog­nis­ing and chang­ing some com­mon neg­a­tive thought pat­terns can save us a whole lot of ex­haus­tion and un­nec­es­sary anx­i­ety.

“Stress is like a gui­tar string. If it’s strung too loosely, it can only play flat, lower sounds, and if it’s strung too tightly, it pro­duces ex­ces­sively high, sharp tones, or in­deed even snaps,” says stress re­searcher Jonathan S Abramowitz of the Uni­ver­sity of North Carolina. “A gui­tar string must have the right ten­sion in or­der to sound good.

And when it comes to stress, we too need to find the right ten­sion­ing to en­sure this stress plays out within a healthy range.”

It might sound easy, but the re­al­ity isn’t so sim­ple. Af­ter all, stress is de­fined as the sum of all our phys­i­cal and men­tal re­ac­tions to our en­vi­ron­ment and the daily de­mands placed upon us. This is the rea­son stress re­ac­tions are of­ten trig­gered too in­ten­sively and too per­ma­nently, and sus­tained ten­sion can make peo­ple ill. And yet irk­some si­t­u­a­tions only make up a small part of the trig­gers be­hind stress re­ac­tions, with 90 per cent of our stress trac­ing back to how we think about a chal­lenge be­fore­hand.

Brain re­searchers have found 13 mind traps we con­stantly fall into and which im­me­di­ately trig­ger stress.

“If we recog­nise these thoughts and are able to stop feel­ings of lack from aris­ing, stop think­ing in black and white, and stop al­ways want­ing to have con­trol over ev­ery­thing, we can use our abil­ity to give pref­er­ence to one thought over an­other,” says cel­lu­lar bi­ol­o­gist Dr Bruce Lip­ton. “Chang­ing our thoughts can im­pact on how our brain com­mu­ni­cates with the rest of the body. That is the safest way of en­sur­ing more calm­ness, and the great­est weapon against neg­a­tive stress.”

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