3 Ways to Manage Confusion & Overwhelm

Confused, anxious and overwhelmedThere are days when everything seems perfect. When life seems to be flowing smoothly.. you get a new client, make a big sale, your boss loves you, people rave about you, your partner is happy and loving, the kids are being angels, and progress is effortless.

And then there are the days mired in confusion, when nothing makes sense, when your wonderful new idea seems unattainable, your dreams seem distant and you can’t seem to get anything right.

What then? You know it’s a phase, but how do you get out of it? Here are a few tricks I use.

1) Find the nearest book on personal development, spirituality etc around you and ask “what do I need to know or hear most right now”.

Then open the book randomly. Nine times out of ten the answer will be in your face. I’ve done this without fail many times and always feel peaceful and calm with the result even if I don’t understand it at the time.

2) Allow the moments of confusion.  There will be moments of real clarity and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, confusion may set in.

Be OKAY with it for confusion could be your inner critic (known as saboteur) creating fear to stop you from moving ahead, or something else could be in the process of happening that will add to or be even better than you could have imagined.

Whatever the reason, by accepting the state that’s present, you will relax and let go of needing to know right away. And by doing that you’re back in flow again and leaving the door open for change.

3) Distract your mind by physically moving around, going for a walk, listening to music, reading a book – anything that will get you up and moving.

When you are being active, more oxygen goes into the body (esp. the brain which consumes around 20% of the body’s oxygen intake!) and that increases mental abilities, reduces stress and fatigue and boosts the immune system – all of which helps bring in more focus and clarity.

Just try these 3 things the next time you feel overwhelmed and you’ll find it really makes a difference.

Do you have other ways that work well for you and can share with us? I’m looking forward to hearing them!

Ps: the book I use is “The Little Book of Peace” by Susan Jeffers

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  1. says

    Hi, Tia!
    The thing about confusion is that confusion always leads to greater clarity. Confusion is the natural state the brain must enter before real learning can take place.

    Confusion is the feeling that we get as a result of internal mental shifts, because the brain is a dissipative structure. Like the bouncy ball pits at a kids playplace.

    The brain starts out like a pit with all the balls perfectly arranged. Learning is like what happens when a kid jumps in to the pit, and the balls must rearrange themselves in order to make room for (represent/learning) the new thing added to the system.

    Learning lies on the far side of confusion!

  2. says

    Well said Bill! Thanks for sharing your insight!

    And that’s why it’s helpful to just say “I’m confused as heck right now and that’s ok because I know it won’t last”.

    I know the more I try to fight it or work at making things clearer, the more mired I get. Like quicksand!

    When things are changing, life can get confusing so it makes sense that confusion and clarity are 2 sides of the same coin. Fine balancing act there 😉

    Another way I deal with being overwhelmed is by using an NLP technique – I close my eyes and imagine all these thoughts, tasks and things rushing at me that confuse and overwhelm me.

    As these nasty little speeding thought bullets get nearer I imagine a BIG RED STOP sign about an arm’s length from my body (put my hand up too!) and watch them smash against it like bugs on a windshield.

    Boy does that make me laugh and lighten up as I realise nothing can past that invisible barrier to me unless I let it!!

    Then I pick one thing off the Stop sign at a time and look at ways to approach it. SO much simpler, easier and more manageable.


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