A “mental storm” can hit us when many different negative ideas arise at the same time. It’s so strong that it seems to completely disable and freeze us. It’s as if we suddenly can’t see anything in front of us. We feel completely surrounded by pessimistic, discouraging, irritating, and depressing thoughts at the same time.
A mental storm sometimes takes place after a very difficult experience, like losing our job, a breakup, or any other type of disappointment. On other occasions, it occurs after we’ve been trying to put up with adverse situations for a long time. We don’t feel comfortable with how our lives are going, and there comes a moment when we can’t cope anymore and all hell breaks loose.
It’s a state in which pessimism takes hold of us. We feel we don’t have the strength to go on. We just give up on everything and feel rooted to the spot. It’s a normal thing that we’ll succumb to a mental storm at some point in our lives. When it arrives, there are three steps you can take to help you escape from it. Let’s delve deeper into them.
1. Observe the mental storm and keep calm
Think of an actual meteorological storm. When it comes, the first thing we do is look for refuge. There’s no other way of facing such a phenomenon. Once we find a safe place, we can often observe the storm safely. We’re surrounded by the storm, but we can observe it from the outside.
The same must be done with a mental storm. The first thing we must do is find a safe place in ourselves: a state of serenity. To achieve this, the best advice is to breathe deeply for about 15 minutes. If possible, take a short walk, making sure you’re breathing slowly as you walk.
The next step is to take note of everything that is happening. What are all those ideas and thoughts that are invading your mind during the mental storm? Write them down. Make a list, but don’t think about them. Simply jot them down. For now, there’s nothing else you need to do.
2. Examine the options you have
Once you’ve calmed down, what you need to do is start looking for the light shining from behind the clouds. You have the list in front of you, but don’t think about getting out of the mental storm just yet. Just observe and see if there is any way you can get out of your current state.
In other words, you have to look for a way to improve your current situation. The question you must ask yourself is: What can I do to make all of this better? Concentrate on that alone. The here and now. Don’t try to find medium and long-term solutions.
What you need at this time is not to solve all your problems, but find a way out of the mental storm. What do you need? What does your heart yearn for? A hug? A song to motivate you? Some exercise? Eat something you love? Whatever you really desire at that moment is valid!
3. Get to work
When you’ve detected what will really comfort you at that precise moment, don’t wait any longer. Just go for it. Do what you have to do, and do it quickly. If you hesitate, you’ll just feel worse and worse. If you let time go by, it’ll be harder to escape from the storm. Just act on your instincts!
What happens during a mental storm is a small breakdown in our thoughts and emotions. We stop seeing things as they really are, and see a distorted picture instead. Everything looks much more serious and difficult when we’re in the storm. But the world isn’t really like that. We perceive it that way because we’re living under a storm which has deprived us of our hope and flooded us with fears.
That’s why it’s important to escape from the mental storm as soon as possible. You must recover our calm and take control again. In moments like this, don’t think about anything else, just focus on yourself. Leave the rest aside. Your mind and your heart are telling you to stop and analyze what’s happening. Listen to what your inner voice is telling you. Every storm has an ending, and you’ll be able to see things completely differently after.