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Everything makes me want to cry. What can I do?

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I started doing one of your negative packs. Since I have been doing it for a week, I realized how bad I am and how negativity rules my life (and always has). The more I listen to it, the more I feel fragile and sad. If anything goes wrong or not according to my plan, I feel like crying. I feel like that for over the week.

Yesterday, a client would not stay still during a treatment (I am a masseuse); I wanted to cry because they would not stay still. The random arguments I have with my boyfriend make me weep so much that I started considering a self-harm. I started crying for silly reasons.

I don't know what is wrong with me, but I am seriously considering leaving everything behind to get away from the way I feel. :( Why am I reacting this way?

This question was submitted by 'Ewa'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Ewa and thank you for writing in. It must feel awful to have been feeling like that, but it can get better. Inflexibility can lead to the fragility you describe. Inflexibility leads to brittleness and what is brittle more easily snaps. That is why part of the '10 Steps to Overcome Negativity and Transform Your Life' pack deals with overcoming the all-or-nothing thinking so central to pessimism, narrow perfectionism, and depression.

In a sense, you have responded negatively to the negativity pack. You describe how it's made you assume that negativity has always ruled your life, how 'bad' you are, and how it affects everything. These are classic negative 'attributional' or 'explanatory' styles. The good thing is that when you start to spot when you use this kind of bias, you have a shot at correcting it. Check this out: 'How Depression Causes Negative "Spin"'. Please understand that by asking you to read, think about, learn, and use the contents at the other side of this link, I'm not suggesting you are depressed, but that you have been using depressive thinking.

But an inflexible sense of how things 'must' or 'should' be isn't just to do with thinking, but feeling. When we can be calm and settle into the moment, then we can be creative and see reality as it is rather than trying to insist (even inwardly) that it must match what we have imagined it must be. Because fragile perfectionism and pessimism aren't just about cognitions (thoughts) but have to do with emotionality corrupting perception, we use hypnosis to help calm the mind.

Here I'm reminded of this story:

Once, a beautiful princess sat by an ornate pool in her palace grounds. As she peered down, admiring her beautiful reflection in the surface of the clear pool, her priceless crown suddenly slipped from her head and into the waters with a splash.

She screamed for her attendants to retrieve her precious crown and they leapt into the waters, frantically searching, scrabbling around, a flurry of activity. But all this effort merely brought up mud and debris from the bottom of the pool, making it even harder to find the missing crown...

Eventually, an old storyteller arrived on the scene. He began to tell such a riveting tale of times gone past that, despite themselves, all the princess's aides stopped searching and relaxed. Even the princess momentarily forgot about the missing crown and listened to the man's sweet words. By the time he'd finished telling his tale, not only had everyone calmed down, but the mud from the pool had settled and the waters were again clear.

At that point, the storyteller reached down into the water and retrieved the princess's crown, which could now clearly be seen.

Over-emotionality, worrying, poor sleep, and so on will make anyone feel more prone to feeling emotionally fragile. I suggest you now work on 'calming the water' so that reality feels a lot clearer for you. So, rather than just trying to deal with your thoughts directly, challenging your assumptions and black-or-white thoughts to find shades of healthy grey, I would just take 20 minutes or so each day to listen to a download and rest deeply to it so the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your system can normalize again - which they will do quickly. If you feel overwhelmed by life a bit generally at the moment, check out your primal human needs and see what you can do to meet your needs in ways that help make you feel stronger again.

You are not unusual or weird in any way; just stressed and in need of new ways of thinking, seeing, and feeling. Please don't resort to any self-harm, as the effects of that in the long run will hurt a lot more - like trying to use paraffin to put out a fire just because it's a liquid.

The flip side of negative bias is the feeling that any solution should be easy or quick (a kind of negative over-optimism that allows for premature giving up). But stick with it, because the world needs people who can master their own negativity.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - August 11th, 2014 in

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