Thinking straight

Stress can make us think irrationally. If we're worrying about our problems all the time, we might start expecting the worst, and become more pessimistic. Also we might blow things out of proportion.

Stress can twist our thoughts so that we can't think straight, and that makes it more difficult to do something positive to deal with problems. If you think this might be happening to you, think about these questions in light of your own worries:

  • What's the worst that could happen?
  • What if someone else I know was in my shoes. What would they do? How would they react?
  • Are my thoughts based on real facts? Is there another way to think about things?

Being optimistic can be hard when you're in the middle of a difficult situation, but trying to sort out fact from fiction in your head might help you think more clearly and cut worries down to size. It sounds daft, but hoping for the best can often mean that the best will happen. Take action now!

You could also try the 3 Good Things exercise on this website. Research shows that focusing on the good things that happen can make us feel more optimistic.