Layer upon layer, upon layer of challenges one on top of the other, creating a seemingly unhandlable unsolvable puzzle, an intricate network you have no map to navigate through to get back to the clearing, when the avalanche crashes… it’s all right. Contrary to the dread and anxiety that follows imagining this scenario or living through it, it’s is very good. It is fully engaging to your whole person and an opportunity to get better. Did you know that the profile of stress response in the body is the same as exercising? Your hearts starts pounding to deliver more oxygen rich blood to the cells, you start sweating to cool of the systems, you are alert, ready to face things, your reflexes are enhanced and you’re in the warrior mode. The body doesn’t differentiate between emotional and physical stress. We regard this preparation to handle things well as “stress” or “anxiety” and the way we perceive them is actually more dangerous than the stress itself. You’ll think yourself into a whole here. But you can think yourself out of it as well.
The next time you feel like you cannot breathe start breading mindfully, deep inhales and exhales. You really do need more oxygen as if you would while exercising and fast shallow breaths and clinched jaw are not helping. Follow a few simple rules to accommodate your body and brain chemistry. First – control yourself. Default panic response is just the brain opening a folder of previous stresses and merging emotional responses from way back then to this situation now. Sit still, breathe deeply and decide how much of this stress is really applicable to this situation. If it helps go into the best/worst case scenario and don’t blow things out of proportion, be realistic. Now, when you’ve regained control over your brain and reason grab a pen and paper, open a notepad on your PC or phone and write down all that needs to be done in order of priority, including the steps to the multilayered tasks. This will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something while giving you a clear course of action and releasing the brain from having to remember the list itself. The proactive facing of problems, willingly accepting the “battle” is psychologically far less detrimental than being in “victim” or “pray” mode. Clean up the list, you’ve put things on it that are not your monkeys, neither your circus. Third – Shrink the timeframe if it feels overwhelming still. If you can’t handle all of the responsibilities as a whole construct choose the shortest operable timeframe and just focus on handling that one thing. Force yourself to not worry about the others until you get to them. The more difficult or pressing the task or experience – the shorter the time frame. You can only handle the next hour without going insane? Great! Handle the next hour, there is no shame in it.
At the end of this you might not get everythig done for the day, but sorting yourself out first and making a “battle plan” will make you accomplish a hell of a lot more than sitting around wallowing in the paralysis of choice on where to begin. + BONUS ADVICE: No excessive stimuli! Eat something wholesome that will not spike and crash your blood sugar levels – No coffee, no candy, no energy drinks, no fried carbs, no refined sugars.
There are very few unhandlable things, you’ve got this.