What is bewilderment?
When we feel bewildered, we often feel a bit lost and confused. It’s difficult to know where to turn or what to do. Something may have happened to send our minds and thoughts spinning and we feel perplexed. It can be easy to ‘over worry’ and this can lead to catastrophic thinking, which can get out of control and start panic. Often we do nothing, finding it simpler and less stressful to ignore it all and hope the feeling will go away. Bewilderment often happens when we don’t entirely understand something that’s happened to us or that we’ve experienced. It could be illness, bereavement, loss of employment, a sudden change in our lives, or simply feeling overwhelmed.
What helps me cope with bewilderment?
One thing I find really useful when I feel bewildered is writing down exactly what’s on my mind. The action of doing this makes me take time out and forces me to stop my out of control thinking. I break my feelings and thoughts down in bite sized pieces to try to understand what’s going on – sometimes drawing a mind map helps. Once I have got how I feel on paper, I take each part and write against it what I can do (if anything) to deal with it.
For example, coping with an illness is bewildering, it doesn’t matter if it’s a long or short term condition, in the present moment bewilderment can engulf and submerge us. Try my mind map strategy and when you write down how you feel, think about what you can change. What can you do to help this change and what steps do you need to take? On the things you can’t change – they are there and need to be accepted (read my A for acceptance blog for more on this). If what you are experiencing is a major life change, take things slowly, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself any more – build your list or mind map up in stages. You might want to do this over a few days or weeks and by doing this, your mind may be able to make sense of how you are feeling and help the bewilderment to lift.
Recognise your patterns
When you write down how you are feeling and what you are thinking, look at the words and try to recognise if there are any patterns in this – do you often feel or think this way and in what other circumstances? I always find I learn a lot about myself when I carry out this exercise and I’ve realised that by employing avoidance strategies I think I’m coping – not true! By making a mind map, the situation becomes real and yes, I can tear it up and walk away, but it will still be there in my head. Recognising my patterns helped me to challenge myself to think and act differently towards situations where I get easily bewildered, leading to overwhelm.
What else helps?
Often, we try to cope alone with bewilderment, but sometimes multiple minds can come up with different solutions and make things easier – talk to family or friends if you can, sharing is often a way to take the pressure off and talking aloud to someone else makes us articulate our bewilderment and is often useful in thinking things through at a more rational pace. If you don’t feel you can talk to someone who is close to you, and depending on the issue you are experiencing, there may be a group that you can join either in person or online where you can connect with people in the same situation.
Are you dealing with bewilderment?
If bewilderment is a new or an old feeling for you, you may find it useful to talk through how you feel. Is this feeling familiar and you have pushed it to the back of your mind for too long? If you want to talk through your bewilderment with me and work out a strategy to cope and deal with it, contact me to book a free 30 minute coaching taster session and we can discuss the way forward.
C is for Confident. Would you like to feel more self assured, together and confident? Read my blog next month and I will tell you what tips and tricks I use to feel this way and boost my confidence when I need it – out on 1st October!