I wasn’t always this way, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become quite the “Paranoid Pauline”. I think as life started to slowly burden me with more responsibilities and stress factors, I started to overthink EVERYTHING. From constantly checking if I had certain necessities in my purse, wondering if people whispering from far away were talking about me, to questioning if something was actually happening, there was a period of time in my life where my paranoia started negatively playing a major role in my life. I justified my thought process by pretending it was a normal side effect of growing up. Even though I can still be a fairly paranoid person, I now realize that I need a grasp on reality in order to succeed. Here’s how I started dealing and preventing my paranoia.
Get Outside and Take a Walk
Fresh air is everything! Vitamin D is a lot more powerful than we give it credit for. I had a pretty rough weekend this last weekend while dealing with some personal turmoil. I knew that I needed to healthily distract myself in order to keep my sanity. Even if it’s a non-strenuous hike that only takes up 30 minutes of your day, it can make all the difference in how you see things. My paranoia kicks in when I’m stressed, uncomfortable, or both. Getting outside puts me back in my element (no pun intended).
Lessen Unnecessary Brain-Stimulating Activities
This sounds like an odd tip, but over-stimulating your brain can make you one tightly-wound mess. I love playing brain games such as Sudoku or trivia games. I started getting really into them when I was in community college. Since I took the bus back then and had long breaks in between classes, I started getting addicted to them. While the games were wonderful for my memory and motor skills, they put my mind on overdrive. I was already having a lot of different pressures on me at the time, and those games just started accentuating my mental doubts. Even though I still play those games from time-to-time, I’ve cut back how much quite considerably.
Surround Yourself with People You Feel Comfortable With
When you’re around people you are incredibly comfortable with (friends, family, etc.), you tend to automatically let your guard down. Usually they bring out the softer side of you that isn’t easy to jump to conclusions. For me, I’d either get caught up in conversations or would be doing something so fun that my typical paranoia would take a backseat in my mind. Hanging out with other people can be a constructive distraction from dealing with where your mind wonders when you are by yourself.
Start Putting Things Into Perspective
This is ultimately one of the hardest things to do. It can be almost too easy to lose sight of what should take highest priority in your life. When I’m desperate to succeed, sometimes I ignore the end goal and focus too much on the little aspects that make up the final goal. Even though it sounds by transitive property that this should be a productive thing, it can be quite detrimental if you spend all of your energy on the unimportant details. If you exhaust all your energy there, you may never reach your desired final outcome.
I still can get weirded out by the smallest things, but I’ve gotten considerably better at this then I used to be. Not only am I starting to look at life in more of a “big picture” philosophy, I’m also trying to eliminate as much stress from my life as possible. I hope these tips help you, and remember to relax every once in a while!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What’s something that was hard to get over in your life?