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Need advice on how to stop minor things playing on my mind

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by weaselwithin, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,
    So today, a member of staff tried to find me this morning. I was in my timetabled room, but she had forgotten this and thought I was elsewhere, and when she got to the wrong classroom, the staff member told me that everyone had said that I was not in (I believe this is because there is a pupil who shares my name who happened to be off sick). So, I explained later that I am never in this room, but didn't overplay this as I didn't want to be rude.
    Anyway, my point is that this tiny thing, and other tiny things, really play on my mind at home. I wonder tonight whether this staff member believed me, or whether the incident made the staff member wonder how reliable I am for the entire day until she saw me later, or whether she assumed I was really late - that kind of thing. My question is - what advice does everyone have for getting over these tiny commens? I would really love to be more easy going, and to forget about the things that really don't matter, and just generally to stop these things getting to me, any help??
    Thanks everyone
  2. Do you, by any chance, live alone? I do and have found it difficult to sometimes get over incidents or remarks that worry me. Even if you live with family or flatmates they often don't want to be dumped on with all your insecurities.
    The trick is to replace the worry with activities that don't give you time to dwell....anything from watching a dvd to going out somewhere. Pretty soon you'll have things in perspective and maybe even be able to find some amusement in what happened.
    I think it's really about retraining yourself.
    Of course, when you reach a more venerable age you will also cease worrying about what people think of you!!! You'll realise you are better than them after all!!!
  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Pretend that you are being told this story. How would you respond? Does it really matter what they thought? If it was the other way round would you really think that they were lying?
    Write it down and then rip it up.
    Look up mindfulness exercises.
    If you don't have anyone to offload to then ring teacher support line. Sometimes just talking to someone helps. You could also ask them about their life coaching.
  4. Thank you both. It's definitey good advice to do something to take my mind off things, I don't live alone but I do spend most of my evening doing absolutely nothing - and not in a good way!! And Torey - I love the idea of writing it down, I used to keep a diary and found this so useful for stopping these things getting to me - I need to get back into this habit
    Thank you so much for the advice
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Using a help line - and using this forum of course, is a good idea. I used to suffer from this sort of generalised anxiety - little incidents would plague me, even over a holiday. Basically I just became more confident as life went on, I just learnt to believe in myself. Have you ever tried repeating affirmations about how strong and confident you are - do it as you fall asleep, it's a sort of self hypnosis. Real hypnosis would help too but you have to pay for that. It's all in your head and as such is well within your ability to control in time. Cheer up, lots of people do this.
  6. Beer works.
  7. Haha, noted!
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

  9. Wow, this was so me years ago! I can totally identify with this nightmare. I agree with Dr Jackson - immerse yourself in activities to take you mind off of things.

    If you still can't seem to get things off of your mind, perhaps try meditation? I did a course and this worked absolute wonders for me (changed my life!). Meditation = mind training. It allows me to be in the moment to let little things (and sometimes big things) go whilst really appreciating what I'm doing now. You learn to acknowledge these niggling thoughts and let them go without getting wrapped up in them.

    Best of luck.
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I could have written this OP. I dwell on stupid comments. I'm overly self-critical, going over things in my head and wondering if something came out right or sounded how I intended it. I wish I could be more easy-going and not care what others think. It's so hard.
  11. I too can relate to your dilemma as I have been told that I'm sensitive/oversensitive but due to recent health issues have finally learned how to stop ruminating (going over and over things I've said/done during the day afterwards) in the following ways:

    1. Mindfulness meditation as others have suggested (when I cannot switch off, I use a free ipod app called headspace which talks me through a 10 min meditation).

    2. I firmly say to myself. Hang on! I'm not going down this route as this thought (e.g. the situation you described) is not helping me! In fact, it will make me ill if I let it continue, so I'm now going to stop worrying about it. It is past, so I will now think about something else.

    3. I then replace anxiety with a realistic thought of 'I doubt that I was rude (or stupid or whatever it is that bothers me at the time) but if I was, what's done is done and I can apologise when I next see the person if I need to'. Nine times out of 10, I'm told that I haven't been rude (or stupid or whatever) and my apology is dismissed.

    4. If all else fails, I go for a walk for at least 20 mins to decrease my anxiety then I follow points 2 and 3.

    As I said, this doesn't always work but I do a lot less ruminating these days as a result of the above!

    One final thing, I'm also teaching myself not to get angry/frustrated with myself when I have these moments as I feel even more stressed! Beating myself up for doing what you describe makes it harder for me to stop it! If I didn't care about what people thought I wouldn't be who am I as a person and a teacher-unique, so I don't want to change it! Instead I want to accept it and live with it in a way which allows me to lead my life as best I can!

    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
  12. leftieM

    leftieM New commenter

    After many years I've realised that, recently, I've stopped beating myself up for minor things, or saying things that aren't great, or not behaving in a 'perfect' manner. I attribute this to 2 books. 1. "F*** It. The Ultimate Spiritual Way" by John C. Parkin and 2. "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown.

    The former is funny and is so simple that you have a strategy to use when you care about what others think. The latter is a deeper treatment. I've read many, many self help books but the John C Parkin one really resonated with me.

    So someone thinks you were rude/ not at work/ less fabulous than them? **** it. Not your problem.

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