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How to Regain Balance When You Are Overwhelmed, Underperforming or Stuck!

What’s the Problem?

As I was thinking about the clients I’ve worked with over the last two years, it occurred to me that there is one way to sum up a great deal of the issues people have and problems they face. 

OVER – UNDER – STUCK

Of course, it’s more complex and nuanced than this, but sometimes it’s helpful to keep it simple, especially in a blog! 

OVER

Overwhelm is a common thing. We can become overwhelmed by almost anything; the trouble is in our inability to prioritise, to focus on one thing and to take one step at a time. We think about our whole life troubles, or of a future that does not exist. The chaotic noise in our head can create havoc with our physical and mental health – it becomes a vicious cycle, a sort of tornado that takes us over. 

Over anxiousness is a result of this type of thinking and, as I have spoken of in another blog (LINK) this triggers our ‘fight or flight’ response, and this diminishes our ability to think clearly. Our physical health suffers through too much cortisol and adrenalin, again a vicious cycle is set up – it’s stress. 

Over thinking is part of the conditions above. Everyone has experienced the ‘washing machine mind’ or the ‘chattering monkey mind’ and it can immobilise us causing anxiety and fatigue which can lead to worse problems. 

Over busy.  When we can’t relax or stop whether it is working or whether it is the inability to sit still, or both! Busy, busy, busy… all the time. Wearing ourselves out, possibly being a martyr. This is a really common problem and one I suffered from for years. Overly concerned – this can be about caring too much for others or caring about what others think – all tied in with the above.

Overcoming 

Well that was an exhausting list! And there is a solution to all these states. 

We can learn to slow down, to pause, to take control of our state. This can start with our thinking or start with a physical change such as changing our breathing or posture or a habit to become calmer, to gain some stillness and clarity that enables us to take control of our lives. LINK TO OTHER BLOGS.

What helps:

  • Meditation and mindfulness. 
  • Get out in nature
  • Connecting with others and being honest and speaking about your feelings and what’s going on.

UNDER

Underachieving. Do you feel as if you are not reaching your full potential? Are you stuck in an unsatisfying job that dos not challenge or stimulate you? Are you underperforming at work? Not motivated?

Low moods, low energy – linked with both of the above and can lead to long term health problems, physical and mental. It has all got on top of you!

Being under the weather, and in a cycle of ill health often accompanies these states and issues.

Understanding and raising above 

Because these issues possess a low energy they can sometimes be overlooked – they are quiet states! This does not mean they are less important and less debilitating and damaging. Change can come as we develop new and fresh perspectives, and we learn how to use our bodies and physiology to change our moods and help us focus and become energised.  As we change our behaviour step by step, we can discover a renewed energy. 

What helps:

  • Exercise – anything from walk, some yoga, tai chi or a triathlon
  • Get out in nature 
  • Connecting with others and being honest and speaking about your feelings and what’s going on.

STUCK

Stuck – not knowing what to do, what direction to take, how to take the first step. Where to go, what to do? Trapped.

Being stuck can cause all the above feelings and states linked to the OVER states and the UNDER states. Not knowing what to do or how to take the next step is a phase that is inevitable at certain junctures in our lives. and even though we might be uncomfortable and want to move on, sometimes it is can be a time to pause and take stock. This could be a time of transformation. 

We can however, become stuck in a state that traps us. WE can become immobilised, fatigued, and inaction can lead to despair and denial. Finding the motivation and momentum to move and change can be difficult on our own. 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

— Mark Twain

Moving, growing, learning, transforming

Sometimes being stuck is a fallow phase – a period where we are regrouping, gathering ourselves for a change. Sometimes the best things is to accept this and to use it well to reflect, to learn, to possibly research the next step. 

What helps 

All of the above and

  • Surrendering to the situation – relax (LINK)
  • Writing things down
  • Getting some coaching

A little video 

Here are some links to great articles on feeling stuck – with many different perspectives on it – all helpful and offering solutions: 

https://psychcentral.com/blog/feeling-stuck-how-to-help-yourself/

https://www.lifehack.org/630925/feeling-stuck-is-not-fun-this-is-how-i-never-feel-stuck-in-life-again

https://medium.com/the-mission/feeling-stuck-in-life-this-is-how-to-take-powerful-action-to-live-a-rewarding-life-101703ff6865