Do you find yourself engaging in Neurotic-Type thinking patterns?
Do you get easily upset, anxious, and do a good deal of worrying?
Neurotic-type thinking is not too far from what I would consider obsessive and compulsive thinking. You know, when your morning routine is interrupted and you start to heat up. When you forget to take your vitamins and fret over it. When you eat a meal that wasn’t on your diet plan and stress over it. When you can’t sit in “your” spot on the bus because its taken.
These are all example of neurotic-type thinking. As you can see, they can range from small triggers to larger triggers but wherever they start, they usually grow.
Learning to prevent these stressors from entering your life is a tough task. Obviously, we have no volitional control over our bus seat being occupied.
What we can do however, is to not let them grow into monsters.
Before we dive into the craftomg a plan for haulting this neurotic type of thinking, let’s look at the pathology in which it comes about.
Neurotic-type thinking usually starts in the subconsious mind as a natural response to when something doesn’t go as planned. From there you become aware of it through your conscious mind, but slowly allow your subconsious mind to take over. On a biological level, your amygdala (one of the four key players of your brain) senses that you’re worrying over something due to the thoughts created by your mind. It activates the “fight or flight” of the sympathetic-dominated nervous system state creating a stress response. The stress response activates more adrenaline, cortisol and parathyroid hormone than normal… Essentially, your brain is perceiving being faced by a saber-tooth tiger.
Just over a thought – your mind has created it into a monster! The thought of not getting to sit in your regular seat on the bus turned into an encounter with a fierce, saber-tooth tiger.
I’d call it more neurotic than anything.
“Thinking is almost a disease.” -Eckhart Tolle
Understanding how a stress response is triggered just from a thought triggered in the mind can be powerful. Being fully aware of it is a foundational tool you need to prevent its frequency from happening. So go ahead and the read the abover paragraph.
Once you have read the section on how a thought can be created into a monster, we can get into some of the steps you can take to avoid neurotic-type thinking and put the flame out when you notice you’re heating up.
Three Ways To Avoid & Cure Neurotic-Type Thinking
1. Acknowledge The Obsessive Thought
Become aware of it. In Nethaniel Branden’s book, Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem, he talks about how not becoming aware of the thought is similar to avoiding and procrastinating it.
Become aware of the thought, acknowledge its there. Become entirely present to it, feel the emotions its making you feel and accept it.
This is an easy step to skip despite the fact that it takes such a short time to do. Take the 5 to 10 seconds necessary and allow it to sink in.
Become aware of this thought and notice how it makes you feel.
2. Take Three Deep Breaths
Once again, something your mom tells you, right?
As cliche as it sounds, its powerful and highly necessary in the stressors we let hold us down in today’s life.
Taking three deep breaths is what I advise when starting to learn to meditate. In fact, I always start with three long and deep breaths. The subtle intensity of the consciousnessit brings into the the breaths will allow you to become entirely present, put aside the endless thinking and be okay with what’s going on.
Learning to accept what the moment provides will allow you to forget that your [bus] seat is taken.
Once you’ve done this, ask yourself – “how do I feel now?”.
The act of asking yourself a question will bring consciousness to what you’re feeling and in turn ease your mind.
3. Write It Down
This goes hand-in-hand with drawing awareness to it. Sentence-completion can be a powerful tool when stressed out.
Get in the habit of carrying around a small ledger with you. This will allow you to write to-do lists, contact info, and any stressors on your mind.
It will also allow you to write down your epiphanies when you think of the next Tesla.;)
With that said, journaling your anxieties and worries is a potent sleeping aid (something to add to your nighttime routine) and can be your go-to when in need.
Write down the following, “Not getting _____ done is making me feel _____”.
Then read it internally or out loud and ask, “how do I feel now?”.
4. Consider Your Lifestyle And Diet
Are you eating a stress-reducing diet. Do you have a healthy hormonal profile? What about sleep, are you getting 8-10 hours of restorative rest in a cool room?
These are all things that can be learned on this site, the YouTube channel, and many other health resources. Currently, my favorites are a lot of Ray Peat’s work, anabolicmen.com, and Mark’s Daily Apple. These are all good places to start.
Some questions to ask yourself when you feel your mind is taking over and you’re stressed out.
- Am I eating enough salt, sugar (fruit), saturated fats, and easily digestible proteins?To keep the parasympathetic “chilled-out state” of the nervous system rocking. (study)
- Am I sleeping 8-10 hours every night? Better yet, is it restorative (dark and cool room)? For more help, check out this tutorial on how to get great sleep.
- Am I growing my “presence power“, meditating regularly, and going on long-walks daily?
- What about life, are you doing something you enjoy everyday – and laughing? This is often overlooked but doing so can really change your whole perspective on such obsessive and compulsive thoughts.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
As a young kid, I always worried about smaller, less-important stuff. Not too long ago, I stressed over eating the right foods, I would find myself being deteriorated by my mind.
As an athlete, I didn’t want to eat anyhting that would mess up my performance – I would avoid ice cream with my friends and family – not something you want to get into the habit of.
Be aware of the thought, acknowledge and perhaps write it down, take three deep breaths, and consider your lifestyle and diet.Simple as that.
With that, there are a number of resources here to get your lifestyle and diet in check.
P.S. Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate you stopping by, if you’re interested in learning more about various ways to lower your stress and improve your health – subscribe to the newsletter and visist the YouTube channel where I upload videos similar to these articles regularly. Also, please share this with three friends who expereince any of these signs of thinking.