We all get upset from time to time. And sometimes, we let things roll off our backs. Other times, especially when we’re overtired, stressed, or vulnerable – it’s not so easy. Here are three examples.
Maybe you’re feeling a bit stressed and someone says, “Those are interesting shoes.”
Pretty benign comment right, but the shoes you are wearing are sort of weird and you’re feeling a bit off. So whether or not the comment was meant to be positive or neutral, suddenly you’re filled with feelings about your now ugly shoes. You might spend the rest of the day trying to hide your feet from others and you’re distracted with thoughts about what sorts of shoes would be “less interesting.”
Perhaps you are basically doing okay financially (how lucky is that?) but you got your property tax bill which went up but your house value went down; the same day you got your electric bill and your rate has skyrocketed, and the stock market just seems to be spiraling down, out of control. Well, maybe that one day your mind fills with thoughts about eventually running out of money, then losing your house, and possibly affording a studio apartment, or maybe nothing at all and you’ll be sleeping on the street begging to work for food.
Another day could start out just fine until you open the paper and read about the 3 people who have died eating cantaloupes. Just last week you had cantaloupe. You start to search where the cantaloupes came from and realized it was your area. It’s possible that you could have eaten one of those cantaloupes. Symptoms include headache, muscle aches, and diarrhea. You’re starting to feel a bit sick. Could these symptoms be the sign of something horrible? Should you call the doctor or go to the ER?
Okay, three examples of people taking a bit of information that starts out pretty neutral and takes it to the extreme. They begin a negative spiral of thoughts and end up feeling pretty bad-either anxious or depressed. Well, since most people don’t have a therapist following them around to help them rethink negative thoughts here are a few suggestions simply using water to calm yourself down.
Photo by J E Theriot, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
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Last reviewed: 14 Sep 2011