Sometimes stress is good for us. That kind of stress is called positive stress or Eustress, and it occurs when we experience stress that promotes a positive reaction, such as excitement, increased mental energy, and motivation to help us reach our goals. A new job, a marriage, a baby, and a new home are all things that can cause good stress.
But, negative stress impacts our lives in a very negative way. A death, divorce, health diagnosis or job loss can all lead to negative stress. They can cause a response in the body that promotes anxiety or worry and can lead to decreased mental and physical performance and even a complete shutdown. Therefore, when you are feeling negative effects from stress, it is important to find relief before your life is affected negatively.
One of the best ways to find relief from negative stress is to reduce overthinking. Whether it is your imagination telling you what could happen or stress of what did happen, your thoughts can have a very negative impact on you and cause a lot of negative stress.
Thinking too much about something negative is psychologically harmful because it can cause a loop of negative emotions that leads to consistent negative stress. In order to break the loop, you either need to take action and fix the issue, develop more positive thoughts, or focus on something else completely.
Taking action towards the situation can often help remove the stress completely. For instance, if you have lost your job and you are overthinking the negative aspects of what happened or could happen, then you are going to stress yourself out to the point where it will be hard to think about anything else. But, if you immediately start building a plan to find a new job, and take action on that plan, then your mind will refocus towards what you can do instead of what could happen.
Positive thinking can help you reframe the situation and relieve the negative stress from your current perception. For instance, losing a job can be a good thing for you. It can help you find another job that fits your passions or interests better. It can give you a break from the day-to-day stress that you couldn’t otherwise get a break from. And, it can help you re-evaluate what is really important to you and get you on a path that is much more rewarding.
Distracting yourself from the negative thoughts by focusing on something else can help you find enough negative stress relief to approach the situation from a new perspective. For instance, after losing a job you may be unable to take any action or think positively. It may just feel too overwhelming to do so. But, sitting down and watching a marathon of your favorite show can help you pull your attention away from your worries and zone out for a while. This shift of focus will help you relax and feel more grounded, and when you finish your marathon, you will be more likely to have the clarity to take action or think more positively about the situation.
In the end, finding negative stress relief is important. The chances are good that you are overthinking negative issues and scenarios, which is contributing in a big way to your stress level. If you can tackle your overthinking, you can get unstuck from your negative state and start to move forward.