How many of you know what I mean when I explain a feeling of being lost? How many of you have walked into a room only to forget why you were there in the first place? How many of you have had a long to-do list and not ticked off any of the boxes? If you answered yes to any of these, you are not alone. You are walking the mental tightrope and it is all too easy to sway to one side.
I must admit that even right now, as I write this post, it is one of those days for me. I went to bed thinking about all of the things I need to do this morning and how little time I have to complete them all. Then I woke up ready, but life happened and I was thrown off course. But I didn't stop. I kept going. Well, my mind kept going. The conversation in there went from "right, here are all things you need to do", to "how on Earth are you ever going to get this done", to "you were stupid to even think you could do half of these".... You see where this is going. I was leaning way too far to one side of my thinking. Nowhere in there did I create space for positivity. I did not pause. I did not try to think of alternative solutions. I berated myself. I berated myself. I berated myself.
And you know what? None of this thinking was productive in the slightest. None of these thoughts got my boxes ticked. In fact, I got further behind and even more frazzled, and the cycle looked likely to continue. And it is only 10 AM!
So what can we do to get the balance back? As a life coach, so many of my clients come to me with similar feelings of confusion and overwhelm. The most helpful thing for them, and for me, is to get it out! All of these thoughts are stuck in our minds and create a whirlpool that gets stronger the more we give it sole control. So we need to create an opening to lay all of these thoughts out and see them for what they are. This could mean journalling, writing a list, speaking to a friend, drawing, meditating - you will know what works best for you. Once it is out there, YOU are in control. Look at those thoughts as an observer and decide which of them deserve your energy RIGHT NOW. What are the priorities? Which box really needs to be checked first? And once they're out, even if your conclusion is that you just can't figure it out, you can go and do something else without the mental clutter and come back to it later. You will go about the rest of your day feeling balanced and centred and in control.
The first step is to notice when you start to wobble. Once you are aware that you are leaning over too far and about to fall, that is a huge signal that you need to take control of your mind.
I am a positive psychology life coach, and co-founder of Soul Space. To find out more about my work:
You can get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org