Living unchecked, chronic stress can lead to poor health and contribute to heart disease, asthma, obesity, gastrointestinal problems, and other physical and psychological health problems. In addition, stress increases your chance of experiencing depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s disease – not to mention premature death.
Okay, enough of the scary stuff already!
Oddly, training yourself to care less and stop seeking constant approval can help reduce stress significantly while improving your health.
Suppose you often feel stressed or worried about what others think or believe about you. In that case, it may be down to having low self-esteem or simply not developing the confidence to speak with authority about your goals and objectives without second-guessing yourself or hiding from those who disagree with you.
Stress Is a Biological Response
Stress is not “just a feeling.” That “feeling” is a symptom of a more significant response your body produces through hormone releases like cortisol and adrenaline. When your body releases these chemicals, your entire body responds physically, not just mentally.
Your blood pressure rises, your heart beats harder and faster, and even your breath may come in more minor, more rapid gasps. Unfortunately, these physiological changes can lead to, over time, many serious health problems. For this reason, learning to care less to the point that your body also tends less will improve your health. This wellness hack takes time to master, but you can do it with some practice. Your future self will thank you.
3 Simple Ways to Get Clear on Why You Care So Much
One way to learn to stop caring so much about irrelevant issues and thoughts of others is to dig in deep and study yourself in a new way to get to the bottom of the reasons you care so much.
Here are three ways to help you get clear on why you care so much:
You can use your computer, a particular journal, or a simple notebook for this process. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog.
The critical thing to remember is to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and prayers about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.
If possible, write in your journal daily when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may discover your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day that you had not realized before. Journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery.
Meditation is a great tool to help clear your mind and calm your body. It has been scientifically proven to down-regulate the stress response. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings, even as they still happen during the meditation.
Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery or a goal to clear your mind and relax. To practice this meditation, find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Then concentrate on your plans for the reflection, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.
Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. It would be best mustn’t allow outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.
These days you’re so fortunate because you can get psychological therapy from the comfort of your home using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service at varying prices, but you can expect to pay about $60 or more per hour for therapy. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits package.
If you seek therapy, find someone experienced in working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last. Remember, your desires and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process to finally know what you want and feel good about it regardless of the reactions from other people.
Any or all three of these methods can help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and need to feel successful and, more importantly, satisfied and content in your life.
Manage Stress with The Right Tools
Now that you realize that stress is more than a feeling and understand why you care so much, you can manage your stress with the right tools.
Some useful tools for stress management:
- Practice deep breathing
- Prioritize self-care
- Encourage laughter
- Practice meditation
- Practice yoga, pilates, or any other mind-body movement
- Forest bathing
- Arts and crafts
- Quality sleep and rest
- Hot baths or sauna
- Good time management
- Setting boundaries
- Intentional quieting of your environment
- Improving your diet
- Relaxing music
- And the list goes on
I made this list long to illustrate how many stress management strategies there are.
Tools can help you focus on what matters most while putting your thoughts and feelings in perspective instead of just someone else’s judgment. When you learn to mind your own business while desensitizing yourself from the triggers that make you feel stressed, you’ll amazingly stop overthinking and make better choices based on your life goals, principles, morals, and values.
Suppose decision-making causes stress due to your anxiety about what others think, believing that others are upset with you all the time, or generally not considering what you think about a situation. In that case, the added stress can make you physically sick. Is it worth it? NO!
Identify the cause of your stress and mitigate it by educating yourself enough to give you confidence about your ideas and opinions, so much so that you’ll stop second-guessing yourself and start respecting your opinion. Learn to focus on the moment more so that you’re mindful of what you think and how you feel instead of what others think and feel. After all, you cannot read anyone else’s mind, so most of what you think about how others feel is likely wrong anyway — worry about yourself and mind your business, as they say, and you’ll be much less stressed. When you are less stressed, the world is a better place.
Be well + prosper,
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