The world can get a little too big for us sometimes. Do you ever feel that way? Aside from the politics of the world stage, the news stories from across the globe that overwhelm us, and the difficult situations facing our own communities, even on a smaller scale the world can feel far too big for us to cope with at times. Or is it just me?
In our own little microcosms of existence, whether they be in the workplace, our families, or friendship / social groups, things can get a little bit tricky to navigate, and it leaves us feeling….well….for want of a better word….’frazzled’.
For in a variety of ways, we face the ‘politics’ of the workplace, the home and our social groups. If we’re not careful, this can almost without our noticing how it happened, leave us feeling stressed, undervalued, unappreciated, anxious and overwhelmed.
Do you ever feel that way? Do you find yourself navigating other people’s moods, emotions, opinions and mini dramas? Do you find yourself silenced or taken for granted or ignored? Do you ever find yourself putting everyone else’s needs before your own, so much so that you feel disconnected, almost as if you’re an observer of your own life, rather than an active participant?
I think this can happen to us all from time to time. If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll know that there are contrasts of happiness and frustration, fruitful communication and unfortunate misunderstandings, recognition for a job well done, and working extra hard only for someone else to get the credit, ending up taking on an extra burden of work because you’re a diligent worker and your co-worker somehow manages to cruise along, off the back of the work you have done. Similar things can happen among family and friends, albeit within slightly different contexts.
I wonder if some such scenario is running through your mind right now. I really should say that I’m not writing this to bring anyone down – quite the opposite in fact. For if you begin to recognise that niggling feeling earlier on, you’re in a better position to do something about it before you become overwhelmed by it or the people you spend time with, and maybe even love. Taking notice earlier on can foster good communication professionally, and contribute to a healthier working environment, while personally it may be an important step to protecting a relationship from failing.
Maybe the thing to start with is to recognise how all the muddle is making you feel. To do this, you need to step back a little from the situation, take some time out to be by yourself, and listen. Our minds and bodies need to process experiences, and we so often don’t give ourselves the time, space, solitude and quiet to do so. And so things fester. They bubble under the surface, and grow into problems like weeds choking the flowers in a garden.
By taking time to think and listen, to acknowledge and validate our feelings and perceptions, even if others don’t, we are able to more securely deal with whatever is in front of us and to have a healthier perspective on things.
Aside from stepping aside, we can remind ourselves that although we can’t change other people we can take responsibility for ourselves. We can be responsible for recognising how we feel, giving ourselves love and self compassion, taking time to care for ourselves and invest our time and focus on things that are good for us, and by doing so find the strength to set appropriate boundaries for how we allow other people to treat us. We don’t need to engage in confrontation. We can speak the truth quietly, wisely and with love. Or we can find growth and maturity in the silence. Sometimes.
The stronger we grow, the less we will come to expect of others. We’ll be gentler and more forgiving of them when they don’t treat us right. We’ll realise that the negativity or neglect of others has less power over our lives, because we take control of our own wellbeing and don’t allow such things to have such power in our lives anymore.
If you are feeling frazzled, don’t worry. It happens to us all, and maybe you need help from someone with expertise, which is also quite normal I assure you, or maybe you need to step back and give yourself time to breathe, to think, to process and take care of your own needs.
It’s a noisy world out there. Don’t let its vastness diminish you as a person. Take time aside and rest for a while. You’ll feel so much better for it. xx