Photo courtesy of Bram Cymet (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Bram Cymet (Creative Commons)

My thoughts are zooming like a high-speed chase.

Flying and looping through my mind are all the things I need to do, ideas, chores, regrets, dreams.

The physical clutter just perpetuates the mental clutter, with thoughts like “how did you let it get so messy again?” and “oh I need to take care of that.”

Coming off a crazy week at work, where I didn’t accomplish half of what I needed to because I was stomping out fires instead (a non-functioning register trumps any other planned work), super cold weather, and lingering frustrations over unfinished stuff in all parts of my life combine to create a whirlwind in my mind.

None of the usual remedies seems to relieve the pressure. Lists are started and abandoned. Piles are moved around. Thoughts of working are quickly replaced with worry about how to get all the errands and chores done.

And I seem frozen and unable to actually GET anything done.

At the heart of all of this is fear. Lower case fear, not uppercase Fear, which is reserved for things like failure or speaking in front of people.

Lower case fear is more insidious, and tends to disguise himself. He’s sneaky, and works by making me feel unsettled and uncomfortable. It’s that nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten to do something. Or the nervousness at looking at my inbox and hoping there isn’t an unpaid, overdue bill in there. Even the memory of that conversation with a co-worker I had recently and the hope that I didn’t say the wrong thing and sound callous or rude.

Lower case fear even makes me feel like I’m wasting my time on whatever I choose to do. If I’m working, he’s whispering that I should be relaxing. If I’m resting, he’s nudging me to get busy and quit goofing off.

Instead of being productive, I’m just spinning my wheels, letting fear get the best of me.

This is when I have to get back to basics to shut fear up. Stop the cycle and get back on the right track with the voice of reason in my head.

Whatever it is for you that stops that cycle – remember it. Write it down and keep it handy. For me, it’s exercise. Somehow moving my body helps quiet that voice of fear. Whether I run, workout at the gym, or simply walk away from my desk down the hall, moving helps me refocus and get back to what I need/want to be doing.

How do you slow down the zoom and shut up fear?

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