This month I was unsure whether to write about the Ukraine crisis but so many of you have mentioned the impact it is having upon you that I decided I would, because it probably can’t be ignored that in the world there is a huge event happening that is evoking in our minds a feeling of lack of control, or helplessness. 
Among this feeling of overwhelm, what we see a lot of, is people “doing” things to overcome this feeling of helplessness. 
Countless stories of people collecting donations, raising money, offering u their services in a time when they feel helpless, because as humans we are drawn to do, to make good use of this emotions or energy that is in our minds and bodies. 
I am all for this as a coping mechanism. Dealing with practicalities in a stressful situation is almost the easiest place to start because very often the emotion that we feel when we are stressed and overwhelmed. Is well, just that, overwhelming, and the mind loves to distract itself from uncomfortable emotions. Better than this, it actually does work to relieve the pressure. It lets us release and when we are looking to tackle overwhelm then release is the key objective. 
Using the current situation in Ukraine still as an example, lets go through the process. 
1. We see and hear some shocking and upsetting news and we feel some strong emotions. 
2. We feel the need to channel that emotion somewhere by doing something. Signing a petition, donating money, clearing out our unwanted clothes and taking them to a donation point, just as some examples. 
3. Some of the overwhelm in our minds that this news has brought us is released. 
4. Then what ? 
Lets consider two possible outcomes. 
1.Perhaps we can feel resolve. We have done what we can and the rest is out of our control so we will detach ourselves from the situation. This option does not mean that we lack empathy or care for the news we are hearing. The stress and overwhelm in our minds reduces. 
2.We could also choose to stay fully attached to the situation perhaps by watching all of the news stories and reading all of the articles and getting involved in all of the conversations that people are having about the situation. The stress and overwhelm in our mind stays present. 
Of course it is not as clear cut as this but looking at it in this way, which option has the most positive impact upon the Ukraine crisis do you think ? The answer is neither. Neither option will impact the actual outcome of whatever is happening between Russia and Ukraine at this time. 
Now I am sure you see where I am going with this one, but humour me and ask yourself…which option will have the most positive impact upon you and your wellbeing ? 
I am not suggesting that we have to shut our eyes and ears to the world in order to maintain good mental health but we do have the individual responsibility to manage the things that we expose ourselves to. 
Taking time to stop and assess what we are doing or not doing is a great way to start gaining back control when it all feels too much. Check out the wellbeing challenge this month for more on this one, but also remember this. 
A lot of our life is out of our control. The actions, feelings and values of every other person in the world is out of your control. That’s huge when you think abut it in that way but it has always been the truth. The elements of the world, also out of your control. What is shown on the tv and played on the radio…out of your control. The range of biscuits stocked at your local paper shop. That too is out of your control, but your mind has, on the whole accepted this. It only really objects when it metaphorically hits us in the face ! “ My boss is so unfair to me !” “raining and I’ve just had my hair done!” “I am so tired of hearing Ed Sheeran on the radio !” “ No chocolate digestives ! What an outrage” 
It brings us back time and time again to how you react and manage these situations and this is where the real control is found. So when it all feels out of control, perhaps it actually is, but what you do next is all yours. 
Questions, or comments? I'm here to help. You can leave a comment or query below, or contact us if you want a confidential conversation. 
Tagged as: Stress
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