If you think you’re constantly getting barraged with other people’s drama, consider this: most drama in people’s lives is internal. If we had a microphone that could record our thoughts or feelings, we’d be astonished by how much emotional upheaval we’re adding to both the big and little stresses in our lives.
For example, your husband is late for dinner. You start worrying and building possible terrible scenarios in your mind: he was in a car accident…he was mugged…he is two-timing you. Then he arrives home apologetic for being late and that he couldn’t call you because his phone ran out of battery. Whew. Then you have to recover from all that story you created in your head, and the resulting energy drain that left you exhausted.
It’s a habit that’s so common – we learn it from our parents and our friends. Teenagers thrive on inner drama; it’s no wonder so many struggle emotionally to learn in school. Excessive drama causes stress, anxiety, anger and blame, draining our energy and, if chronic, damaging our health and relationships.
Stressful negative emotions put our hearts and brains out of sync. They trigger our sympathetic nervous systems to go into survival mode, increasing cortisol and adrenalin. They shut down our higher cortical functions like reasoning, problem-solving, intuition, creativity, and heart connection so we can’t think clearly or be present for others.
When we’re mentally over-stimulated from drama, it’s easy to take things personally and just react instead of respond. An incident may or may not be real, but left to its own devices, it gains momentum. The mind starts to feed on it, we build a story in our heads and get worked up about it. Our body doesn’t care if it’s justified or not, it still reacts and we pay the price.