Everyone is seeking some form of anxiety and stress relief. Hopefully you haven’t resorted to self-medication with alcohol. Rather than applying a balm to the sore of stress, why not find a way to stop the stress from getting out of hand in the first place. I’ll take preventative medicine over reactive medicine any day.
One effective approach to getting anxiety and stress relief is to address the thinking in your mind that is causing the stress. The whole field of cognitive psychology is devoted to this approach. So, one type of faulty thinking that can lead to stress, anxiety and depression is all-or-nothing thinking.
What is all-or-nothing thinking? It goes like this: Someone who suffers from this mistaken form of thought always looks at things in black and white, good or bad, right or wrong, etc. If you partake in this kind of analysis of your life then you are setting yourself up for a lot of grief. Now, correcting this thinking may not happen overnight. But if you become mindful of your all-or-nothing thinking then you can correct it little by little and get the anxiety and stress relief you are seeking.
Here is an example of this all-or-nothing thinking. Let’s say that your stress is the result of you not being able to finish all the tasks on your to-do list. I am often guilty of this. I tend to make myself way too busy because there is so much that I want to do. I know I’ve pushed myself too far when I start to get that knot in my throat and my anxiety level increases. This happened just recently. In order to get the anxiety and stress relief I needed, I had to modify my thinking.
Instead of either succeeding or failing at my to-do list for any given day, I had to be ok with not completing everything on the list. But, that didn’t work so well. I didn’t like seeing things left undone. That was the all-or-nothing thinking again. So, then I just made the to-do list smaller and that worked almost immediately. In fact, that night when I decided that I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do and had to settle for less, I could feel the knot in my throat shrivel up and disappear into calm. This is a good example of great anxiety and stress relief by challenging faulty thinking. This is just one example of anxiety and stress relief by challenging all-or-nothing thinking. Another example could involve you demanding that you get an A on a test. Getting a B isn’t good enough. Again, you are setting yourself up for a lot of grief if you think this way. Bring some flexibility into your life and get the stress and anxiety relief you need.