Every human has them. No matter how much work you have done on yourself. No matter how many skills you have. Overwhelming times descend upon us all.
It could feel like anger, like panic, like fear. Any kind of intensity.
Here’s the ONE question you can ask yourself that can get you closer to resolving the overwhelm:
What wise decision can I make for myself right now?
In those moments, we want to fix. We want to take action. Of course. Because we want resolution for what is freaking us out.
Ultimately, in any moment of intensity, you are not operating with all your faculties. You are in the “amygdala is the boss” mode and the amygdala is a brute. The amygdala wants to fast forward everything right now.
I joke with my clients: trying to make a decision when you are this upset is like trying to make big life decisions when you are intoxicated. Would you advise that? Of course not!
So, the first thing you want to do is not solve the issue.
The first thing to do is get into a wiser state of mind. Or find someone to guide you into a wiser state of mind and be a willing participant.
It doesn’t have to be anything big. In fact, you probably can’t do anything big. It might just be making a choice like:
I’m willing to not make big decisions right now.
I’m willing to care for myself right now.
I’m willing to choose supporting myself instead of spiraling downward.
I’m willing to take some breaths.
I’m willing to walk instead of scream.
I’m willing to listen to someone in a better head space.
Being willing goes a long way. In fact, it is one of the best predictors of successfully working through any challenge. Read more about that here.
Once you get yourself into a more balanced mental and physical space (nervous system is calmed down and not in fight or flight), you will get to your answer much faster.
And, your action will not lead to further chaos.
Emergency actions can lead to more issues kind of like when you rush and spill your coffee, forget your phone and accidentally kick your dog.