Monthly Archives: August 2015

Take A Break From The Problem

At one point or another we all hit the stage when we become overwhelmed in stressful situations.  it’s like a wave breaks over us and we get sucked under. One new bit of information, one more request from out of nowhere, one more irritating phone call — something happens to add that final push… and we get pulled under.

Mentally,  we can fray or go foggy, which blankets our formerly clear vision. This mental static eats away at our ability to make productive choices, to make thoughtful decisions, and prioritize calmly.  Our plans to use our energy in constructive ways crumble, along with that energy. Poof!

Stress affects everyone differently.  Some may zombie-shuffle through basics tasks. Others may feel like they’re moving in circles, or spinning their wheels. Some people internalize their stress, others externalize it, and the effects either way ripple out.

Under stress, trying to put ‘first things first’ is like walking through a blizzard. When the stress really hits us,  we can’t see straight, or think calmly, or get our bearings.

Being overwhelmed drains our energy and our ability to think clearly, and  hamstrings our momentum. Whether the stress is chronic or acute, it can still overpower your ability to handle  things  well, and leave you feeling shaken and futile.

To  replenish your energy and somehow ‘go back to your regular program’,  you need to get a new perspective on the stress-full situation. To do that, you can walk away, you can do something else, or you can stop and do nothing. (Yes, nothing. Yet.)


One way of getting a new viewpoint is to mentally drop and walk away from the problem.  Done well, this is the mental equivalent of “Stop, drop and roll,” a good thing to do when you feel like your brain is toast.

Why walk away? When we are too close to something we are enmeshed with it. It is all we can think of, and all we see when we close our eyes.

We can’t think clearly and that contributes to the problem. We’re too close. We’re too close, and no wonder we can’t see anything else, or see clearly at all.

Think of it: When you’re standing too close to something, it blocks your way. You can’t see past it.  It dominates your field of vision. When you’re overburdened with tasks to complete, issues to resolve,  running low on energy or running hot from frequent demands for attention — it creates stress.
And stress makes it worse.


When we take a break from the problem and walk away , we can use the space we just made to shake things off and focus on other matters.

We can mentally push away from the pressing issue and allow ourselves some breathing room away from what’s bothering us. It can be as physical as pushing away from our desks and taking a minute to collect ourselves. What other ways can you disengage  from what’s troubling you?
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