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!

Do you feel overwhelmed after General Conference?

I hope you enjoyed General Conference. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can find out more here.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, instead of energized by conference, may I suggest that you remember that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. (Galatians 5:22-23) Not overwhelm, guilt, defeat.

Sometimes in an effort to keep on improving, we can start to think of all of the places we’re lacking. Our brains see this as useful. If we feel really bad, we’ll start improving right?

Sometimes we do, but it’s not very long-lasting (longsuffering?). More motivating is seeing where we’re doing well and seeking personal revelation on where to improve.

Another thing I like to remind myself is that I’m receiving personal revelation for ME, not for everyone else at church, or in my family.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by conference, try asking Heavenly Father where you personally need to focus, instead of just gathering information from every good thing you heard.

Hope this helps!

P.S. If you enjoy these blog posts, you’ll love coming on an Intro Call and seeing the power of one-on-one coaching. Sign-up here when you’re ready!

How to Stop the Overwhelm

Today I have a free course for you on how to stop feeling so overwhelmed. Sometimes there is something big going on in our lives, so we think it makes sense to feel overwhelmed. Other times, it seems like from the outside looking in, we “shouldn’t” be overwhelmed, so we’re confused or upset about it. Either way, the information I share with you in this video will help you!

After watching the video, sign-up for a FREE Intro Session with me. We can go over any questions you have, if you’re not sure how to apply it to yourself. Or I can just go through the steps with you, if you just don’t want to do it on your own.

Click here to get the video and companion worksheet.

Free House Cleaning Anyone?

Very often, people equate positive thinking with mental wellness. Positive thinking is a very important aspect of mental wellness, but they are not synonymous.

I like to think of a house that has a lot of rooms with closets and furnishings. Positive thinking is like decorating these rooms and straightening them up so they look pretty. It’s making the bed, closing the closet doors, opening the blinds, putting up a nice picture or putting a pretty plant on the table. It really makes the room pleasant to look at and be in.

On the other hand, thought work pulls everything out of the closets, from under the bed, the piles of papers on the desk and the countertop and puts them in the middle of the room. Has anyone seen Marie Kondo? Then it goes through each item and decides if that item needs to go into garbage, recycling, donated, or if you want to keep it and put it back in the closet, or put it on display. It decides whether an item is useful or not useful.

All of the things in our proverbial house are thoughts. Learning to have positive thoughts is really helpful and nice. But it’s not enough if you never go through everything stuffed into closets and under beds. A room can be beautifully decorated, and still not pleasant to be in if there is stuff all over the floor, or spilling out from under the bed or out of the closet.

A coach is like a house cleaner or home organizer who comes in and helps you go through everything. She tells you all of her tips and tricks to getting things cleaned and organized. She doesn’t decide which things you should keep. She just listens and helps you recognize what is useful and what isn’t. You know what you want the environment of your home and mind to be like.

You can do it yourself. But it’s more fun, efficient, and sometimes more effective with a coach. Above all, though, mental wellness isn’t a one-time job. It’s a continuous work. You don’t do the whole house in one day. You work on it little-by-little. Along the way you’ll create some lasting and helpful routines that help you keep up on it.

P.S. If you’re curious what it would be like to work with a coach, be sure to sign-up for a free coaching session with me. It’s like having a house cleaner come to your house for free! It can feel very vulnerable at first, but know that I do this all of the time. There’s nothing in your house I haven’t seen. And I LOVE when it’s a mess.