Our psychological patterns influence what stress we take into our lives, and how we view that stress.
They are one of the biggest perpetuators of our stress load, often trapping us in a cycle that we aren’t aware of.
Let’s say you’re always at the beck and call of a friend. You spend more and more energy trying to help them, answering messages at all times of day, but they’re never satisfied and nothing you do is ever enough.
This is a clear cause of stress and a big part of your stress load. It’s also a symptom of how you approach the world.
The question for you is: why do you keep putting yourself in this situation?
Perhaps you put other people’s needs above your own. Or maybe you think of yourself as responsible for someone else’s behaviour, or that they couldn’t cope without you.
These are all understandable thought patterns, and in many cases may be true.
Whatever the explanation given, the reason you have this stress load - dealing with your energy draining friend - is that your thought patterns cause you to put yourself in that situation repeatedly.
Someone who didn’t have those though patterns wouldn’t do what you are doing, and so wouldn’t have that stress load.
This isn’t to judge your behaviour, it’s just to understand yourself more fully.
It’s very difficult to take a look at ourselves and acknowledge that we are contributing to our own stress. It feels like a personal attack.
We’re really standing on the edge of a breakthrough. By seeing how our psychological patterns lead us to perpetuate stress loads, we start to see that we aren’t being helplessly swept away by other people’s actions, that instead we have options. We can’t stop the stream of life, but we can choose where we swim.
By recognising our own agency, we give ourselves choice and control over our own life, perhaps for the first time ever.
Real life is often a lot more complicated than the example above. We can’t just get rid of dependents or our boss. Removing all of our stress loads isn’t possible or even desirable.
We don’t need to abandon others to recognise that our own needs are equally important. No one gains from us being run into the ground, and to be able to help others, we first need to take care of ourselves.
If we set healthy boundaries with our friend, we could significantly decrease our stress without cutting them out. That might look like answering their messages at a time that worked for us, instead of immediately, or visiting them fortnightly instead of weekly.
By recognising and understanding how our psychological patterns perpetuate our stress loads, we take a massive step towards being able to change our situation and move towards a healing state.