How your hidden beliefs keep you feeling overwhelmed
Feeling overwhelmed with all of the uncertainty surrounding us these days? If so, you’re far from alone. According to the APA, 3 in 5 (60%) of people polled say the number of issues America faces currently is overwhelming, so add to it your own issues, and no wonder you feel stuck.
Stress creates the feeling of general overwhelm that’s difficult to get out from under. It’s one reason resilience is such a trending topic.
We can’t change the state of the world, heck often we can’t necessarily change our personal situations, but that doesn’t mean we have no control of our destiny. Although chronic stress and anxiety can feel tremendously painful, it’s important to note that these feelings were designed with a critical purpose, to help us survive. They help us to avoid repeating our mistakes. But that doesn’t mean we have to let them take over.
Fortunately, there are enormously helpful strategies and processes you can use to understand and manage your stress response.
Knowing how your subconscious brain goes into overdrive during times of stress gives you a unique vantage point. By shining a light on these hidden thought patterns, you can separate yourself from your anxiety-driven beliefs instead of letting them run the show.
Why is so hard to manage stress?
Stress is there to keep you alert and prepared in case of danger. Yet since it stems from a primitive part of the brain, it’s relying on information stored from your earliest bad experiences, which it keeps on file in your deep below the surface of conscious thought.
This is all to say you’re not entirely in control of your stress response – it keeps triggering the stored emotions, even when your rational self wishes it wouldn’t.
So even if you try rationalizing by telling yourself everything is and will be fine, that primitive brain keeps silently sending signals that say otherwise. The result is that feeling of overwhelm or stuckness.
According to a new coaching program I’m offering known as Positive Intelligence, stress is actually generated by these inner voices, known as your Saboteurs. In Positive Intelligence theory, Saboteurs are the negative thought habits and patterns that live deep in your unconscious and derail your performance and happiness.
The tricky part is, these thought patterns sound like they’re giving you great advice. They were developed during childhood as a way to protect you from physical and emotional harm. The fact that you no longer need their help makes no difference.
This is why, unless you come face to face with your Saboteurs, they’ll keep running your life and you’ll call it fate. Or better said; “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
Of course, understanding what’s going on beneath the hood doesn’t instantly fix the problem, but it’s a great first step. The next piece is to keep pulling your focus away from reliving the past or worrying about the future is where the real opportunity for growth.
And you probably know the solution lies in the ability to shift your focus and attention. When you know how to manage your thoughts and emotions, you have everything you need to begin breaking free of saboteur-driven feelings of fear and overwhelm.
The gift is in the present
Breathwork is my favorite exercise for managing thoughts and emotions, but any technique you can easily use to bring your awareness into the present moment gives you the opportunity to stop yourself from falling back into old, saboteur-driven patterns.
I catch my victim in the act every day. She tries her best to derail me from staying the course when things get hard. And I use the tools for downregulating stress to make sure she’s not taking over.
How will meeting your saboteurs help you to deal with the uncertainty so pervasive in the world today?
If you’re interested in learning more about Positive Intelligence coaching, including the daily app-based reminders to leave behind the negative thinking patterns and come back to the present, contact me for a free breakthrough session today!
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