BLOCKING BEHAVIORS KEEPING YOUR STRESS ALIVE
There are three obsessive behaviors that you are likely to be engaging in that impeded your healing process and stop you from enjoying a stress-free life. Recognizing these barriers can be a great first step toward getting rid of the problems that go with being too stressed. The first is obsessive negativity. When you are obsessively negative, it means that you have a tendency toward being “negative” about people, places, situations, and things in your life. Perhaps you find yourself saying things like “I can’t do this!” or “No one understands!” or “Nothing ever works!”, for example. You may be doing this unconsciously, but essentially you have what’s known as a “sour grapes” attitude, and it holds you back from knowing what it’s like to view life from a positive lens and enjoy the beauty in yourself and people around you! There’s a whole world out there for you…with happiness and positive thinking.
Then you have obsessive perfectionism. When you engage in obsessive perfectionism, you are centered on trying to do everything “just so” to the point of driving yourself into an anxious state of being. You may find yourself making statements such as, “I have to do this right, or I’ll be a failure!” or “If I am not precise, people will be mad at me!” Again, this behavior may be totally under the threshold of your awareness, but it interferes greatly with your ability to enjoy things without feeling “uptight” and “stressed.”
Finally there is obsessive analysis. When you are obsessed about analyzing things, you find yourself wanting to re-hash a task or an issue over and over again. For instance, you might find yourself making statements such as, “I need to look this over, study it, and know it inside and out…or else I can’t relax!” or “If I relax and let things go without looking them over repeatedly, things go wrong!”
While analytical thinking is an excellent trait, if it’s done in excess you never get to stop and smell the roses because you’re too busy trying to analyze everything and everyone around you. Gaining insight into this type of behavior is one of the most important keys to letting go of stress, and getting complete power over your anxiety.
If you find yourself engaging in any of the above “Blocking Behaviors”, there are two things you can do to help yourself. First, ask the people you know, love, and trust, “Am I negative about things?”, “Do I complain a lot?”, and “Am I difficult to be around?”
This may be hard for you to listen to, as the truth sometimes hurts a great deal. But the insight you will get from others’ assessment of you is invaluable, and you’ll know precisely how others see you. Accept their comments as helpful info, and know that you will gain amazing insights from what you hear. Second, keep a journal to write down and establish patterns of when you are using “blocking behaviors.” Even if you are not thrilled with the idea of writing, you can make little entries into a note book or journal each day. The great part is that you’ll begin to see patterns in your behavior that reveal exactly what you’re doing to prevent yourself from curing your anxiety.
We’ll give you some great stress busting techniques later in the book, but you need to recognize these blockages first so you can move into the “healing” stage and conquer your stress and anxiety. Many people think that stress and anxiety are the same thing. This couldn’t be further from the truth!