The Secret to Overcoming Discomfort is Taking Responsibility
By Tanya Perras
Everyone experiences fleeting and often disastrous moments in life that make us uneasy. Unplanned, uncoordinated movements, a person getting sloshed, restless, tense, angry, confused, overly focused—all of these circumstances, and their after-effects, can be unsettling. The human brain is good at assessing, conceptualizing, and organizing information, which means we frequently struggle to respond to unforeseen scenarios. Unfortunately, we tend to be distracted by the emotions these circumstances evoke and dismiss the discomforts we experience as being out of our control.
While some of these occurrences may be beyond our control, some of them are created by us.
“Disaster exposure” is the psychological term for this. Our brains and bodies have evolved to cope with situations that call for exceptional exertion and extreme stimulus, and we evolve to regulate our physical responses with this being in mind. Our physical responses occur to prevent damage to the body, like inflammation or stress, and regulate mental responses to the environment, such as stress response fatigue or confusion. We are constantly under the control of what is happening to us—no matter how unpleasant, overwhelming, or upsetting it might be.
Does it Make Us Unreliable?
In case you are considering hiring a consultant because you have experienced a screw-up that has left you feeling overwhelmed, we may surprise you. The well-known heuristic is that you increase your trustworthiness and return on investment by realizing that your errors are a natural byproduct of being you. This heuristic cannot be validated or corrected by an external source. Additionally, in psychology, a single error can lead to a cluster of errors.
The irony of this heuristic, however, is that it tells us to detach from our mistakes and avoid mental burden, at the same time as telling us to embrace the full gamut of responsibility for our mistakes. Everyone has made a mistake, even the World’s Greatest Mind.
Some of us experience “chaotic brain.” They are the ill-timed entries in our brain’s memory and perception registers that occur when we are stuck and underexplored. Chaos is the equivalent of mismatched stimulus-response. It manifests itself as trouble transitioning from one work to another, and at that time it can appear as if our mind has gone into overdrive.
The following tips are available to enhance your capacity to better deal with chaotic situations.
Address your emotions directly. Deep breathing, muscle tension, or the removal of substances can have a calming effect. For instance, you can use breathing techniques like these to reevaluate your situation or to interact with a client or client.
Reframe your situation. You may be experiencing serious problems because you have serious mental problems, or you may be having problems because your circumstances have changed. If your job title has been lost, for instance, and you are not experiencing confidence problems, it is probably a mental problem. The best approach is to see your loss from a new perspective, putting it in context.
Get some social stimulation. When you are feeling out of balance, not only do you increase your tendency to make mistakes, but you might be projecting your distress onto others. Helping others through social interactions will help you relieve stress, and helping others decrease your stress, as well.
Seek help. Let your family and friends know you need help. They might be sympathetic and are more likely to be able to assist in some way. If you have difficulty meeting your obligations to them, you can utilize their assistance in finding new jobs for you. No one person can cure your mental ills, but when you find help, it is much more likely to be successful.
Keep moving. Doing nothing can be just as bad as doing something inappropriate, like drinking too much and driving. Not only is it rarely helpful, but it can also lead to behavioral problems. Seeking support and contact with people who have similar problems to yourself can make you feel empowered and can increase your capacity to do so. Your best bet is to stop thinking of yourself as an adult and think of yourself as a kid who still knows how to play in the sandbox.
There is nothing new about being overwhelmed. Some humans are born with the ability to adapt and thrive, some will not, and some cannot handle stress or other life circumstances. Each of us is different, and this is why our challenges are as varied as our personalities. You may not find an available consultant, but you can still ensure that you stay on top of your game.