According to Medical News Today, neuroticism is the tendency to be in a negative or anxious emotional state. It is not a medical condition, but a personality trait. Individuals with this personality trait tend to experience more guilt, envy, anger, and anxiety more frequently and more intense than those who do not carry the trait. Environmental stress can greatly trigger a person whose tendencies lean towards neuroticism, and the person may be self-conscious and shy.
Neuroticism can be scored and identified by personality tests. Although our personality is embedded into the nature of our being, there is one thing we can do to combat our negativity and anxiety: mindfulness. A 2017 study conducted by researchers from Charles Darwin University in Australia found that mindfulness, or thinking more intensely about one’s experiences, could help highly neurotic people. As stated on Psychology Today, you can take a mindful approach in the following ways:
- Concentrate and accept your thoughts and feelings
- Decide on how to view the experience you’re having
- Look at your experiences with acceptance and curiosity
- Redefine the situation as one that you can conquer
By practicing these defining mindfulness exercises, you can be on your way towards living with a more positive and accepting attitude. Neuroticism can take a toll on us because it causes us to fall down the rabbit hole – a never ending stream of harms and criticisms that we do not forgive ourselves for and never forget. When this happens, we become victim to our own emotional turmoil; choosing mindfulness gives us the freedom to live a happy life because we refuse to accept otherwise.
As stated by James Baraz, an author and mindfulness teacher,
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what’s happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t)”.
Begin taking control over your thoughts today. You have the power to turn your life around for the better.
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