When you feel like you’re drowning, here’s step 2…



The second step, when you feel like you’re drowning, is to question your thoughts. “No one is helping me.” Is that true? Can I be 100% sure that that is true? How is it not true? “Someone IS helping me.” Is that true? Can I be 100% sure it’s NOT true?

We are always learning. That’s what life is about. Sometimes we forget that we’re not supposed to know how to do “it” yet. We’re not supposed to have “it” figured out. We’re in a swimming lesson, and we’ve gotten in the water. The deepest water we go in is only up to our necks, but when we’re on our stomachs trying to swim, it can feel like we’re drowning.

When we give in to our thoughts that the only option is to feel like we’re drowning, flail our arms harder, or to sink to the bottom, we forget that we can just stand up and notice that we’re not drowning. We’re not failing. We’re not alone. We ARE measuring up. It’s not even possible to ruin our kids. We don’t HAVE to do anything. We CAN do something.

Sometimes it can be tricky to see that the water isn’t deep enough for us to drown. It’s helpful to have someone who’s not in the water with you to see what’s going on, and why you feel like you’re drowning.

It really helps to talk to someone else. Someone who has been there and come out, or someone who just sees things from a different perspective. It’s not helpful to talk to someone who will believe all of your thoughts that are causing you to feel like you’re drowning, though. So just watch for that.

So, when you feel like you’re drowning, the first step is to just get out of your brain and the spinning thoughts, and get into your body. Where do you feel drowning?

Then notice your thoughts, and question them. This is where you can put your feet down and notice that you can reach the bottom of the pool and still breathe.

P.S. As a coach, I stay out of the water. I’ve been in the water, and I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning. But I don’t get in the water with you. I stay out so I can clearly see what’s going on for you. If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to talk with a coach sign-up for a free 45-minute Consultation.



When you feel like you’re drowning, here’s step 1…

I think most of us have felt this way, or perhaps are in the thick of it. The thing with feeling like you’re drowning, is that it’s hard to trust that you’re not going to actually drown. You’re not like, “Oh, I know I feel this way now, but I won’t feel this way forever.” You’re like, “I feel like I’m drowning, and I’m either going to feel this way forever, OR I’m actually going to drown.”

What does it mean to drown? It’s important that you know what your brain is telling you. For me, to drown means that I’ll fall into a deep depression and not be able to get out of bed, and become a burden to my family. For some of my clients, to drown means taking their own lives, or hurting their children. For others of my clients, to drown means to fail at their goals, or their purpose in life.

No matter what to drown means to you, it feels very scary when your brain is telling you that your only options are to feel like you’re drowning, or to actually drown.

What I want to offer to you is that drowning is an emotion. It’s a feeling. Feelings are sensations in our bodies created by thoughts in our brains. When we feel like we’re drowning, it’s because we are believing thoughts in our brains, which then sends sensations to parts of our bodies. It’s NOT created by our circumstances.

Don’t think I’m saying, “It’s not real, this feeling of drowning.” It’s for sure real. But the good news is that it’s created by thoughts. The thoughts may feel true, but they’re actually optional.

What are some of these thoughts? I’m failing at everything. I’m ruining my kids. I’ll never measure up. No one is helping me. I’m all alone. I have to do everything. I can’t do this.

The thoughts may be different for each of us, but the first step is to notice where we feel the emotion of drowning. Is it in your chest, arms, stomach, feet? Is it heavy or light? Is it fast or slow? Is it open or closed?

For example, I feel drowning as a heavy weight on my chest. I also feel a constriction in the top of my throat. It’s slow and closed. I also feel it in the top part of my arms as a sensation that’s in between burning and super cold. You know when you touch some metal and for a split second you’re not sure if it’s hot or cold? It also feels like a clenching throughout my whole body.

When I figure out where it is, I relax into it. I relax my shoulders. I take deep breaths. I like to close my eyes. I like to welcome the feeling as if I was just wearing a really tight body suit.

Right about now, my brain wants to freak out and say I’m going to die. I remind myself that it can’t kill me. It’s just an emotion created by sentences in my brain.

When you feel like you’re drowning imagine when you’re trying to teach a toddler to float. You have them lie on their back and you hold their head above the water, and maybe even their back. Some toddlers hate this and they’ll squirm and turn over and flail their arms. But when they really trust you and hold still and relax, they will start to float.

This is what we’re doing with feeling the emotion. Relax into it. Breathe deeply. Shut off your brain that’s telling you you’re going to drown. Trust that this emotion can’t kill you. As long as you are flailing your arms and saying you don’t want to feel it, you will continue to feel it. As the saying goes, “What you resist, persists.”

P.S. If you want help with this exercise, set up a Free 45-minute Consultation. I would be happy to walk you through it. Relax my friend. I’ve got you!