How To Stop Indulging In Overwhelm, Confusion, and Worry
As much as we try to balance our schedules, commitments, and responsibilities, times will arise when life’s pressures and demands get to be a bit too much.
Instead of pausing to notice or check-in when we do feel the pressure, we’ll often spiral into one or more of the three most common, stressful, and indulging emotions:
Unconscious of the connection between our thinking, feeling, and behaving, we’ll confide in these emotions as if they’ll somehow magically solve our problems.
Well, they won’t.
Overwhelm, confusion, and worry do not solve problems.
But they do activate the flight-flight-freeze hormones that over time can influence our health, wellness, and quality of life in negative ways.
Because our thoughts cause our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, and our actions create our results, feeling overwhelmed, confused, and worried will not inform our actions in positive ways.
In most cases, they do the opposite.
Say you woke up this morning and your first stream of thoughts were, “Oh my God, it’s Monday, I have too much to do. I won’t be able to get it all done. How will I manage? What if I screw it all up? I just can’t do it all!”
Of course, this thread of thoughts will send you into a whirlwind of overwhelm and worry, and even confusion.
You’ll rush around, spill your coffee, snap at your family or your dog, forget your lunch, speed through traffic, and race through your day without even noticing if you’re breathing.
This is crazy-making! It’s no way to live and it’s definitely not good for your body.
The best way to solve this type of indulging emotional stress is by learning how to manage your mind through the daily practice of mental inquiry.
…also known as “thought work” is the practice of observing the negative thoughts in our mind that replay repeatedly and questioning their truth using powerful questions.
The practice of mental inquiry challenges indulgent emotions by uncovering the thoughts causing them.
When practiced consistently, mental inquiry loosens the grip of embedded negative thoughts that cause us to indulge in overwhelm, confusion, and worry, which by the way is the path to feeling a whole lot of anxiety.
Consciously challenging our mind’s negative thought process shifts our emotional state; thus, we feel better and then act in ways that serve us well.
We experience true mental and emotional freedom by discovering that most of the thoughts in our mind are simply not true.
Two Powerful Questions
…to ask when practicing mental inquiry are:
2. “Is it true?”
Asking, “Why?” identifies the reasons why we think thoughts such as, “I just can’t get it all done!”
By asking, “Why?” we uncover more negative thoughts such as, “I don’t have enough time.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “I’m going to screw this all up?”
Next, by taking each negative thought and asking, “Is it true?” we begin to challenge our thoughts directly.
We ask, “Is it true that I don’t have enough time?” “Is it true that I don’t know what I’m doing?” “Is it true that I’ll screw this all up?”
In most cases, the answer will be, “No.”
So then, “Why think the thought?”
And whereas, we might have screwed up in the past, the past does not determine our future. Our mistakes teach us valuable lessons; they do not dictate our future success.
We determine our future success.
And, I can tell you that feeling overwhelmed, confused, and worried is not the way.
So, by contemplating these two questions deeply whenever negative thoughts arise, we begin to question the validity of our thoughts.
We start to notice that we aren’t failures, we have enough time, and we can absolutely do anything we want with our lives.