Mar 012012
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Most people are overwhelmed by the amount of distractions in their lives. When you’re trying to work, you’re interrupted by phone calls, texts, or a problem suddenly needing an immediate solution or decision. All of this diverts your attention and keeps you from focusing on one thing at a time.

You’re trying to multi-task to be more efficient and you’re accomplishing exactly the opposite. Your attention is split between all of the distractions, and nothing gets your best effort. So everything suffers from a lack of your full capabilities.

Unfortunately, your fast-paced lifestyle promotes stress and anxiety. This engages the Fight or Flight mechanism that causes you to be in survival mode. Everything that happens is then considered to be a threat. You can’t keep things in their proper perspective.

For instance, let’s say you’re expecting a busy day at work. In the morning, you take the trash bag out of the trashcan and the bag breaks. Now you have to clean it up before you can leave. On the freeway, you’re caught in an unexpected traffic jam and get to work late.

You’d planned to have plenty of time to print out a report for a meeting. But because of the morning’s delays, you’re hurrying to get it done. The printer jams and you’re ready to throw it through the window. Due to the accumulated frustrations, an insignificant problem (the printer) has been blown up out of proportion. It takes on monumental importance, when it actually may simply take a couple of minutes to fix.

When your mental reserves are completely used up and you’re in survival mode, stress monopolizes resources in the brain. It’s like a huge program that consumes all the available memory in a computer. There’s nothing left over to make rational decisions.

Being stressed and in overwhelm means that you can’t think straight, be creative, resourceful, or plan effectively. You’re reacting from your past experience and conditioning and can’t choose a different response.

Copyright 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

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