Tuesday, 28 April 2009

How to Lose Relaxation - The Stress and Tension List

I asked friends to tell me of some of the behaviours and attitudes that made them feel stressed, tense or unhappy in the past. Things they could laugh about now and be happy to share. I did this to find common themes that we all successfully reversed, removed or replaced. This is a respectful, simplified and humorous list of the collated material.

People Have Unique Experiences - Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad
It's an unhappy, contemplative fact that many people in our world suffer. You can find statistics on numbers of people, countries, years and types of conditions including physical, social, political, psychological, economical and environmental. You may have experienced harsh conditions yourself or met with people who have. Maybe you are amazed by or respect your own and others tenacity for recovery or optimistic approach to life. I'm sure you can understand reasons for people's despair and depression due to their traumatic personal history.

Happily, there are many of us who have had few traumatic experiences in life. I believe we enjoy fruitful, healthy lives due to one or many of the following: stable society, education, adopted belief systems and lifestyles, parental upbringing, flexible approach to life, availability of work, respect and care for ourselves and others.

Anybody Can Experience Stress and Tension
However, there are people who have an uncanny ability to make themselves feel bad and worse. This can easily be done by thinking negative outcomes, events or repeating bad memories. Some people actively reduce their perception of themselves to 'bad and ruin'. In a quick period of time they can construct a 'bad' strategy to reduce their mental, emotional and physical health to the point of sickness.

I learnt for my own well being, that bad memories have no purpose beyond being a reminder of an earlier experience and 'guides' or compass points for future experiences. For example, if you've experienced any abusive relationship, you'll be aware of what others do to make you feel bad. There will probably be strong indicators of what you did to make yourself feel bad too. They are very useful examples of what to be aware of and even avoid in the future, for your own health and well being.

The Changeable, Removable Stress, Tension and Unhappiness List
  • Find all those statements that make you feel discomfort and stress. Repeat them to yourself whenever you want to be tense and ill at ease.
  • Go to places that you dislike, where you can do things you dislike but which other people say should be good for you.
  • Talk often upon subjects that make you feel uninspired, uncreative and even miserable .
  • Listen to music that makes you feel tense but others recommend because it's hip or required listening for your lifestyle.
  • On a daily basis, read articles that depress you and cause you to reflect on the sadness and despair in the world.
  • Regularly watch programs depicting violence, despair, depression just to make sure you are feeding your bleakest outlook on the world around you.
  • Constantly compare yourself to others you regard as more successful, intelligent, attractive or generally superior to you.
  • Think of memories where you suffered great emotional upset, like the break up of a long term relationship or collapse of a business. Do this repeatedly until you feel bad and consider visiting the doctor because you think you are depressed.
  • Adopt a lifestyle in which you are in constant competition to achieve an idealised self or state of success. Key themes you may find great difficulty in: competition to be more attractive and accepted; improve yourself or conform to an others standard; persist in trying to drag yourself to the unrealistic goals you've set.
  • Spend money. Spend lots of it to camouflage your unhappiness. Throw it away on items that convince you you're achieving happiness or the same status as your idol. Alternatively, convince yourself that lavish consumption is commensurate with 'successful' behaviour and buy, buy, buy. Also remember: shopping is retail therapy.
  • Be dishonest with yourself. Set yourself goals that are in contradiction to your real and heartfelt wants and needs. Don't sit down to notice what you really feel and think about your needs in life. Never write it down. Ignore it for best ill effects.
  • Set yourself a target to think about all the bad things that can happen in you life. Connect them in any bizarre way to any remote experience in your memory. Repeat frequently for disastrous effects on a daily basis.

A heartfelt thank you to those who shared their personal past as a contribution to this post.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day!
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than no Action