Well, it’s been a while! I have started working full-time again and would like to thank the person who invented full-time jobs for his consideration… NOT! For me, it is hard to get settled into the full-time and strict hours routine, especially because I do not like my new job very much. But that’s a different story and not the one for today!
A while ago, I posted about magical thinking and the joys of self-inflicted stress and had a lot of insights. And as insights do, they disappeared from my brain as soon as I felt new stress! I cut down a lot on the magical thinking, but self-inflicted stress is still something I am pretty good at. So I got back to my new bible, “Full catastrophe living” by Jon Kabbat-Zinn. The title is a bit misleading if you don’t know the book. The whole thing is about the method of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), which is a recognised method for psychologists.
While I was working with the book – and working it was, having the book in my left and my journal in my right hand – I finally found (again) the root of all evil when it comes to stress. Most of my stress at least. And the evil root is: JUDGING! As soon as I feel uncomfortable about something, I judge. It’s a normal human reaction. Something happens and you judge the situation based on past experience. That triggers physical stress reactions and the mind follows immediately. A vicious circle! The solution is, obviously to be aware of your feelings without doing all the judgement. Sounds easy, but it takes a lot of practice!
Let me give you an example. A while ago I announced on a social network that Mr. Betterhalf and I were looking for a place to live together. A friend of mine sent me a message with an, in my perception, really mean overtone. A neutral observer might just have read a normal question out of it. I was angry in an instant, and that was obviously based on past experience with her and a bunch of girls around her. And voilà, I felt stressed.
The funny thing is, now that I am practising to be more aware of my awareness, I start seeing the connections between my physical and mental reactions. And I am still working through them. And I notice that I almost always judge, but rarely value. And I am certainly very rarely neutral!
And here is something interesting. I don’t even know if it is in any way important, but in German, “to value” and “to judge” derive from the same root word. It is only little prefixes or suffixes that change the entire meaning. Could that be the reason for me to drift into judgment so easily? I mean, of course not because of the root word, but maybe in my little German brain these two things are so connected that I mix them up? I shall take further looks at this issue and do it with the due neutral awareness 🙂
So, dear readers, what is your method of stress management? How do you get it under control before it comes through? Or don’t you at all?
Yours truly, madly, deeply!