Have you ever tried making a critical life decision in the middle of a full-blown panic attack? It’s remarkably similar to trying to sail a ship in a hurricane.
When we’re freaking out, we can’t think rationally, constructively, or even clearly. Our bodies go into fight or flight mode where the only goal is survival. And while that is wildly useful when we’re being attacked by a grizzly, it doesn’t usually lead to the most positive or productive outcome in our everyday lives.
Making hard decisions when you’re freaking out is difficult, but not impossible. Let’s discuss some healthy ways you can calm the storm and feel confident you are making the best decision for you.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? Breathing is automatic – we don’t have to think about it. But in high stress situations, forcing your mind to focus on your breathing can be a great way to calm things down. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique and see how your mental focus improves.
When your mind is occupied by the simple act of breathing, you will see how your body reacts by releasing tension and making it easier for you to tackle the stressful topic at hand with greater focus and clarity.
Shift your focus
Instead of overthinking all the things that can go wrong, try thinking instead about what could go right. If you receive troubling or unexpected news, that doesn’t automatically lead to a negative outcome. Sometimes our greatest hardships come right before our greatest adventures. When troubling news rocks the boat, shift your focus to all the good in your life. Practicing gratitude instead of giving in to fear is a great way to keep things in perspective.
Move your body
Exercise is a healthy and effective way to clear your mind and release pent-up tension and frustration. When life feels overwhelming, get outside and take a walk or go on a bike ride.
If you’re more athletically inclined, kick it up a notch with a run or hike. Maybe try a new exercise class. Anything that gets your blood pumping and increases your heart rate will help calm your nerves.
Write it down
After you’ve taken the necessary steps to simmer and clear your head, it’s time to put pen to paper. Some people prefer writing in their journal while others find clarity in pro/con lists. The simple act of writing out your feelings, facts about the situation, hopes and dreams, expectations, etc. can aid in the decision-making process.
Sometimes things sound good when they’re just thoughts swimming around in our head but lose their luster when they’re spelled out on a page. Write it out in whatever way you prefer and then read it back to yourself. Afterward, assess how you feel and go from there.
You’ve taken all the necessary steps to get your head right in order to make a decision you can feel good about. The only thing left to do is jump. When you face life’s challenges with courage, confidence, and grace, you win. You can do it! Now jump!
When life feels chaotic it’s important to focus on the things we can control. Making hard decisions when you’re freaking out is difficult, but your friends at LifeSpring are here to help. Schedule your no cost appointment today and let us help you navigate these troubled waters. You are not alone.