Feeling stuck and anxious can be a difficult place to be and there can be many reasons for this. We can find ourselves feeling unhappy and distressed and not quite able to explain why this might be. It can almost seem as though other people are absolutely fine and getting on with their lives. If we feel stuck we may notice that we are anxious, angry, sad or fearful and think that we are dis-empowered and helpless. There are bound to be underlying reasons for this – some may be obvious, others perhaps are out of consciousness. Maybe we are just overwhelmed and can’t think what to do next. Perhaps there are difficulties with work or personal relationships. It is really important to acknowledge and process our feelings and not bottle them up.
The way that we feel comes from the way that we think. Our beliefs about a situation will influence our feelings and our response. If we experience a number of stressors all at the same time we may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. This can lead us to feel paralyzed, fearful and stuck.
Whatever situation we may be facing we are not helpless. We have a choice about how we will respond. For example if we are facing changes at work and feel that we are going to lose our job it would be reasonable to feel anxious. However if the anxiety consumes us and we envisage our complete world collapsing around us this is not helpful. It is true that we are facing changes but if we pause for a moment we will be able to think more clearly about what steps we can realistically take. If you find yourself either thinking or saying ‘what if….’ stop for a moment and consider the reality of what actually is.
Anxiety comes when we face either a real or perceived threat. We may notice our breathing has become more shallow and perhaps our hearts are racing and our palms are sweaty. To help alleviate this when we feel stuck we can ground ourselves by taking a couple of deep breaths and focusing on either something that we can see, touch, taste, smell or hear. This will tell our brain that we are in the present and are safe. Once we are a little more calm we will be able to consider what small step we can take to help us move through our difficulty. Often people are afraid of their futures particularly when they are facing change – perhaps through a job loss, bereavement, relationship breakdown, loss of health or something else. It is not possible to predict our futures. However if we consider other times we have faced difficulties and remind ourselves how we coped then we will find that we have inner reserves that perhaps we had forgottten about or not realised we had. It is in being self-compassionate and taking the steps that we can that we will gradually find that we are not stuck and not helpless or powerless. This can help strengthen us and encourage us to go forward at the pace that is right for us.
Sometimes it can be helpful to have professional support as we work through our struggles. If you would like to talk to me do get in touch so that we can discuss how best I may potentially help you.