Staying Afloat

What to do when feeling emotionally “everything in the sea”

When we are flooded with oppressive emotions or unwanted thoughts, it’s a bit like being taken out to sea using a strong current to the middle of the ocean. If we do not know what to do we can feel tired, scared, exhausted and lonely. Our brain may tell us there is no going back, our breathing can be faster and when we struggle to stay afloat by stepping on water or trying to swim against the current, it can feel exhausting and scary. Sometimes our mind can even tell us that its nature may be a good way to alleviate our distress. One thing is for sure, the more we fight the faster we drown!

Poor swimmer, doing “nothing” in such a situation would be contrary to intuition, in fact they just will not think about it. But for a talented swimmer, lying flat on the water comes naturally and easily. This is how one person describes his experience of staying afloat:

“I swim out and just lie on my back in the ocean, letting the ripples pass beneath me. When ripples or bigger waves surprise me I accept it, knowing that the moment will pass and the discomfort I feel will not last forever. Sometimes, after I float for a while, I look up and can See I’re swept away by the current and I know what to do. I do not swim against it, instead I allow myself to walk with it until it brings me back to shore or I swim aside instead, without tiring myself. While I lie down I can even notice the feeling of sun on my face The seagulls, the smell of the sea, the feeling of buoyancy and the taste of salt on the lips when I allow myself to think about things. I am grateful for. Then, when I am out of the stream, I will swim to the beach and be with the people I care about. But I will not tire myself and I will not drown. “

Sometimes, we can feel overwhelmed by disturbing emotions, physical discomfort or unwanted judgmental thoughts, especially in quieter times or when feeling stressed. These thoughts are just like the ripples in the ocean; They never stop but they always pass us by. Some are small while others are larger waves, which hit us unexpectedly and can knock us down. Sometimes, life can even feel like we are trapped in an overwhelming stream of emotions. It can occur in any area of ​​life including work and career, personal life, relationships or health and general well-being of the individual. The good news is that we can learn and practice ways to deal with life waves and emotional currents so that they do not overwhelm us. Indeed, just as we can learn to stay afloat in the ocean, we can learn to stop struggling, lie back and wait for our unwanted thoughts and feelings to pass. For some people it may involve getting help from a psychologist, coach or therapist, for others it may be helpful to start mindfulness exercises to help them focus on our breathing and connect to their five senses (what they can see, feel, smell), taste or hear), up to That they return safely to shore.

Mental problems can arise for many of us in the workplace. The above metaphor was developed in collaboration with two clients who consented to this publication to help others. Both people are highly successful business executives; One suffered from anxiety and work-related panic attacks and another suffered from chronic depression and could sometimes be engrossed in suicidal thoughts. If you are struggling with your mental health in your career or work life, you may benefit from a quick conversation with a career psychologist. A good starting point might be to look at The Career Psychologist website (https: //

Executive training, non-stuck training

Will you turn it off? … »


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