Some years ago I had a severe reaction to poison oak. I was covered from my shoulders to my ankles. I went to the doctor immediately and requested a shot. All that got me was another reaction and I swelled up like a blimp. I thought I might pop!
In bed at night, I would find myself scratching away in frenzy at my skin. It didn’t help; it just made me itch more, and I was bruised from all the scratching. I felt like I was going insane.
My mind told me not to scratch; the itching will just get worse. But my reaction was to scratch myself to misery. Doesn’t make sense, right?!
This is how it feels when you’re in a state of stress or anxiety.
There is a part of you that knows the logical truth. But you ignore your insights and head straight into reactions and thoughts that cause misery. It feels like a state of temporary insanity. It’s easy to observe in yourself once you return to your natural state of being.
A process begins in the mind that paints a picture of disaster and pain that has not yet occurred. Your body and emotions react as if the picture is real. Soon you feel alone in the situation, not able to get a handle on yourself. The negative thoughts won’t stop. Argh!
If you can talk to someone who’s not attached to the situation and who can think logically, do it as soon as you notice your state of temporary insanity.
You might feel that sharing your situation with someone is too embarrassing. Trust me, I understand the courage it takes. But I know that I’ve never regretted asking for support.
It helps to get out of your head and focus on a solution. And someone else can offer a different perspective that may ease you back into your normal state of mind.
The fastest way out of temporary insanity is to realize that you’re not in your right state of mind that minute. Acknowledge that your thoughts are not real. They are being produced by fear.
Fear comes when you feel that you don’t have control over something and the results aren’t going to be to your liking. Usually when a fear-based thought comes up, it is a worst-case scenario… focusing on the past or the future.
It helps to breathe and ask yourself to become present. Suspend all thinking of the situation for a moment. This will give you time to come back into your body.
Then ask yourself, “What are the true facts about this event?”
Not your interpretations, just the facts. Then deal with just the facts. I know when you’re in the middle of something it may be difficult to set emotions aside. It helps if you don’t talk about the “story” or your fears in length. The more you talk about it in detail, the more you’ll react to it.
If you are a person who wants a lot out of life, you will tend to get more passionate about everything. Many of my coaches and mentors over the years have reminded me to not be hard on myself when I realize I’ve been in deep fear… so I’m reminding you to do the same.
All that matters is that you find your center again. Remember who you are. You can create any darn thing you please. But you can’t get there if you stay a prisoner to your fear.
Get assistance if you can’t coach yourself out of your fear. Support abounds!
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