When a stressful situation becomes too difficult for a person to handle, feeling overwhelmed is inevitable. This will cripple a person’s ability to function. The scenario leading to such a negative result can vary, from juggling with multiple tasks at the same time, meet impossible deadlines at work, to dealing with due bills at home or tidying up space.
Often times, feeling overwhelmed is manifested by a maladaptive thought process, like helplessness, irritability, or anxiety, or a panic attack. However, identifying and understanding the root cause of this crippling feeling is essential, because facing it head-on is the only way to get desensitized and overcome this kind of situation.
It is true that even a simple task like organizing a desk that’s cluttered differently than how it used to can prove to be quite overwhelming. The reason behind it is simple: even though the conscious mind is more than capable of solving a new task, the process to make that happen is still unfamiliar to the subconscious.
The subconscious is where all of your default thought process and responses are stored. When an information is still unknown or deciphered, the subconscious will not know how to respond, thus it leads to emotional and mental struggles manifesting as panicking.
The default reaction of the subconscious is to either fight, flight, or freeze. This means that the response is either to solve a problem as fast as possible, ignore it, or do nothing. When the subconscious is still clueless of a situation, it’s only left with either flight or freeze response as it can’t fight without knowing how to.
To overcome such a situation, you should take a deep breath, analyze the situation to let your conscious mind work its wonders, and break down the task at hand into more specific tasks. In other words, introspect – analyze a situation from a bigger picture perspective, down to its smallest details. This will give you a clearer picture of the steps that you need to take.
Once your conscious mind deciphered the code to get a task done, this will wire your subconscious positively. So, the next time you encounter the same overwhelming situation or scenario, your subconscious will less likely choose the flights or free response. Conditioning your mind to adapt to this will take time, but with constant practice or engagement in a similar situation, the subconscious will adapt over time.
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What to do when you feel overwhelmed.
Posted by Psychology Hacker on Monday, 16 July 2018