Last week my family and I moved house. I’ve spoken to lots of people during the whole process and most have told me that moving house is in the top 5 most stressful events that can happen in your life.
There were definitely some stressful moments over the last couple of months. There was finding the property in the first place, waiting to see if our offer would be accepted. There were the surveys, mortgage companies, solicitors, juggling work, packing, cleaning and worrying about the vast sums of money involved. Not to mention changes to all of our routines and the feeling that we were leaving behind an important happy place in our lives, the place where our children were born.
However, is it really one of the most stressful events people can go through? There has been plenty of research on this topic and moving appears in some of these lists of stressful events but not in others. Of course, there can be lots of different factors involved in why people move in the first place.
Overall we all coped really well with our own move. I knew that listening to those people telling me how stressful it all is would not help me. This type of idea can have a powerful effect upon our outlook. If we believe an idea or story is true then it becomes really easy for that idea to then be true for us.
There are plenty of these stories told to me in initial consultations. Smokers that believe that cigarettes are the most addictive thing in the world, pregnant women who’ve heard many horror stories and whose bodies are so tense that they’d have their own horrifying birth story soon enough.
It’s important to remember that it is not necessarily the events in our lives that cause anxiety. The part of our mind that is responsible for saving us from danger, the primitive mind, can become involved in so many other situations in our lives where it is not needed. This primitive part of us enjoys these stories and ideas and loves to ruminate over how we can or did suffer with a particular situation. It does this to protect us from what it perceives to be harm.
Change is also something that the primitive mind does not enjoy. If how we lived our life yesterday was successful, if we are still alive today, why would it want to change?
In clinic I spend time with people helping them to understand that they do not have to attach themselves to the ideas and stories they have about themselves nor do they have to avoid the things they want or have to do. We look at the neuroscience around how the primitive mind works in order to start identifying those unhelpful patterns of thought.
If you’d like some help to get through difficult times or the stressful events of your own life then please get in touch.