Stress 3: trying to change you thought patterns
For many of the different ways that you might find yourself affected by stress current psychological theory would suggest that tackling your thoughts is another pretty effective strategy. One idea might be to begin by list all the individual worries or stresses that you have, Writing them down physically can often help to offer some clarity about the causes and can allow you to prioritise the order in which to tackle the issues and identify who could help you with each.
A cognitive behavioural therapy approach to managing stress would also suggest that our bodies respond physically to thoughts as though they are facts. For example, if you’re hungry and start to think of your favourite food you’ll salivate. In the same way if you have any “worst case scenario” thoughts your body will respond with a higher level of physical reaction than might be needed. Try to notice if your thoughts are balanced, or as is often common when feeling stressed, if some of the automatic thoughts that pop into your head are overly negative. Try thinking of a moment when you were especially stressed and then record all the negative thoughts that pop into your mind. Once you’ve written them down the evidence suggests that if you can evaluate them from a non-biased perspective, or get someone to help you to do this, then you might be able to reduce some of the emotional distress. There are lots of books or online resources that can help you with this or other CBT techniques if this seems like it might be helpful for you.