(Read time: 2 minutes)
Ever get caught in a stressful spiral of thoughts?
Maybe something bad has happened to you or you are worried about something bad happening.
Whatever it is, your mind is going a million miles per hour, you’re a jumping down the rabbit hole, playing out all these different scenarios in your head and instead of taking action, you are stuck. You feel overwhelmed, anxious, full of self doubt, and exhausted. In other words, you are caught in a “stressful thought spiral”.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you run away from the eye of the storm:
- Awareness – You are human being so you are allowed to be upset or feel emotions about whatever it is that happened you. Give yourself some time for this. But honey, DO NOT DWELL. The first step is to acknowledge that you are in a spiral, and to realize that these thoughts are NOT serving you! The longer you are in your head, the more time you spend dwelling about the situation, beating yourself up, or wallowing in self pity, the more time you will have wasted.
- Find your calm – I know it is easier said than done, but after a stressful event we need to quiet our mind and find our “calm”. You will always experience problems, some bigger than others however it is important to find ways to remain calm under pressure. This is what authorities are trained to do in the event of an emergency. The reason for this is that it is only when we remain calm, that we are able to effectively strategize and help ourselves. It is more difficult to solve or come up with different strategies in a state of extreme hysteria. Instead of going down the rabbit hole for an hour, opt to work out to decrease stress levels, or go for walk or meditate. (Sometimes you may feel like you don’t have the time to do this but this is always more effective than stewing in your thoughts for too long.)
- Make a list – When you are in a state of overwhelm, it helps to make a list of all that is on your mind. This will take away the stress from “forgetting something” on your to-do list. Sometimes it’s helpful to visualize your thoughts and this leaves room in your head to think through solutions.
- Start small – Focus on one task at a time. If there are things that are deadline related move those to the top of your list. Give yourself a realistic time limit for each of the tasks you are working on so you don’t spend too much time on any one task. This will help you to realize that you will eventually get everything done so that you can give each individual task all of your attention.
- Repeat – Believe it or not the more items you tick off on your list, the better you will feel. You will slowly feel yourself gaining control over the situation, which in turn will affect your thoughts and reverse the spiral. The secret is in remaining calm, staying organized, and chipping away at your work slowly but surely.
What are your thoughts? Was this helpful? Is there anything that you try that is not listed? Let me know in the comments!