So, what I’d like to know is how does one become less neurotic?
I’m asking for a friend. No, of course not. I’m asking for myself.
I am very neurotic and I know it. Not just from the Big 5 personality test, but any test in general, plus it’s obvious based on how much I’m suffering all the time.
Plus, I feel intense shame about it because everything I read about it is bad, bad, bad. Shame, shame, shame!
Plus, people don’t like neurotics. They really don’t. I try to keep it hidden and most times I can. Not here, of course, where I’m letting my thoughts run free, but In Real Life. No one knows my constant internal struggle.
Just take a look at all the negatives of neuroticsm:
- More depressed moods
- Suffer from feelings of guilt, anger and anxiety more frequently and severe than other individuals
- Particularly sensitive to environment stress
- Events others see as trivial may become problematic and lead to despair
- Negative reaction and feelings
- Develop irrational beliefs, wishful thinking to cope
- More likely to have ADHD
- Less successful relationships
- Problems keeping jobs
- Less satisfied with life
- Social anxiety
- Low self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth
- Avoidance behavior
- Panic more easily
- Lower career attainment
Fortunately, I was able to find some positives though to me they don’t quite make up for the negatives.
- More conscientious
- Quirky and/or dark sense of humor
- Linked to creativity
- Linked to intelligence
- Divergent thinking (come up with out-of-the box ideas)
- May live longer
- Intellectual Humility (open to new thoughts/that one might be wrong)
- Work harder without promised external reward
- Notice details to anticipate problems
According to a study by Mark Moriarty Drake and colleagues (2017) at
Australia’s Charles Darwin University (dude, is this a real person’s name and a real university? LOL) the answer is mindfulness.
MINDFULNESS is “becoming more aware of where you are and what you’re doing, without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.”
So how the heck do I do that? Well, there are certainly mindfulness practices. What I notice they all have in common is being quiet, focusing on the very moment you are in and nothing else, focus specific on one thing, assess what’s going on in your body, and fully accepting the reality of the moment.
I am so, so, so, so, so very poor at this. It feels like such a chore. It’s very difficult. I’m very resistant to it. It’s because it’s so unnatural to me. If I could only be disciplined enough to make it a priority I know it’ll help me out.