Many times referred to as trusting your gut, hearing your inner instincts, is an important skill to learn. However, there are times when your mind can and will play tricks on you. When your body and mind are under stress, it may be difficult to see the difference between real thoughts and those of unnecessary fear.
Dealing With Fear
No one enjoys dealing with fear; however, it’s a necessary part of a fulfilled life. I struggled for years with uncontrollable worries and anxiety. Of course, the best line of defense is to practice remaining calm and ask for help when you need it. After all, two minds striving for a rational solution is usually better than one. You can learn not only to manage fears and anxiety but to overcome.
When Not To Trust Your Thoughts
Even challenging circumstances, you probably have an idea about what is morally right or wrong. However, it’s a good idea to try to recognize the situations where you tend to have trouble thinking clearly. That way, when these situations do come up, you can start working on solutions, instead of giving into the racing thoughts and pictures your mind creates.
You probably shouldn’t trust your thoughts in the following situations:
1. When you’re under extreme stress – People often don’t recognize how detrimental stress can be to the mind and body. Stress can cause you to make unwise decisions and think irrationally. Various hormones and chemicals produced by the body to deal with the effects of stress can lead you down a rocky slope.
2. When you’re feeling anxious – There are varying degrees of anxiety that can affect anyone at any time. When it takes over entirely, such as when you’re dealing with crippling fear, it can lead to erratic, irrational thoughts, or even panic.
3. When you’re having negative thoughts – Sometimes you’ll have a bad day or even a bad week. Having a tough time can cause a negative thinking pattern that can cause you to think irrational or even absurd thoughts. You may start to have angry or depressing thoughts that can’t be trusted.
When you’re having thoughts that seem real but are slightly unreasonable, remember that it’s coming from your mind, and you have control of your mind. Perhaps, it’s coming from the build-up and repression of years of self-doubt, negativity, stress, anxiety, or even past circumstances. The way out of this is to remember you are in control of your thinking; it is your mind.
Dealing With Your Feelings
You now know that negative thought patterns can arise from stress, anxiety, fear, or even the past. Crippling fear, unfortunately, hurls many strongly negative feelings your way. But it’s how you deal with them and proceed with your thought patterns that make all the difference. Strive to take time to cool down and relax your mind before making important decisions.
One way to know if something is your real feeling is to wait a few days before making a decision. For example, if after a week of thinking something over, you still feel the same way, then it’s probably true. Of course, you first have to ensure that your mind isn’t under attack from stress, anxiety, negativity, or fear. Sleeping on a decision allows your unconscious mind to sift through various solutions and usually gives you the correct answer.
Healing From Fear
If you find that you’re frequently in fearful situations, you can concentrate on healing those feelings. When your mind begins to race, take in a hefty dose of oxygen. Believe it or not, deep breathing is a signal for your brain to relax and think clearly. So breathe deeply and breathe often!
Also, remember that you’re not alone. You have people who can help you, and you shouldn’t feel shy to ask for that help. If you feel uncomfortable talking with a family member or friend, consider the help of a coach or counselor.
Just remember to avoid taking drastic actions that arise from fear. Take your time when making decisions, breathe deeply, and seek the help you need to overcome the grips of fear.