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Overwhelmed by a zillion issues? Stow-’em! A cool visualization…

Where, and how, do you store things around the house? In your garage? A closet? How ’bout under your bed? Do you use that fine plastic container you bought at Walmart five years ago, garbage bags, or maybe just paper bags?

Why do you “store,” as opposed to toss? Well, I’m thinking it’s because you still plan on using, or somehow working with, the item(s); however, not just now.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Times when your existing mood and/or anxiety issues were ramped-up; and a nice layer of financial, relationship, school, or work woes was suddenly applied?

Lord knows I’ve been there and it’s about the worst feeling in the world. Yes, feeling emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically worn-out, burned to a crisp, and inadequate – overwhelmed.

In the world of psychology the word compartmentalize isn’t such a good thing. But I want to offer a different twist on the concept that I believe can really help us out.

To qualify for compartmentalization in psychobabble, one would be “sorting-out,” if you will, portions of themselves and placing them in mental – well – compartments. This is done to simplify and justify one’s life – the only issue being it’s typically reserved for the icky stuff one doesn’t really want to see – or have others eyeball.

And the intention, often unconscious, is to leave it all right there in the compartment.

But here’s how our twist on compartmentalization can work for us. Okay, so we’re overwhelmed beyond belief. If we continue to attempt to process everything, we’re going to flat-out im/explode. Well, hold the phone – here’s what we’re going to do…

  1. Sit down, and calmly and deliberately draft a list of the issues
  2. Highlight the ones that need to be handled right away
  3. If the highlighted items still leave you feeling overwhelmed, select the three you believe merit top billing
  4. Next to the issues you aren’t going to handle immediately, jot-down a date by which you’ll approach them
  5. Now take these issues – and stow-’em!

Let’s go back to the questions I posed at the beginning of the article…

Where and how do you store things around the house? In your garage? A closet? How ’bout under your bed? Do you use that fine plastic container you bought at Walmart five years ago, garbage bags, or maybe just paper bags?

Wherever it is you store things, and whatever you store things in, use them for a visualization. That’s right, you’re going to visualize yourself placing the items you aren’t going to deal with just now in your container of choice, stowin’-em!

But for this technique to really work, you have to take the time to actually visualize in detail the transfer of the issues from the list into the container. Heck, you could even grab one of your storage containers and walk yourself through the stowing. Act it out! That’d be very cool, wouldn’t it?

By the way, here’s the first in a series of three articles I wrote on visualization. You’ll find them all helpful.

Oh – two final very important details. You cannot ignore your stored goods! Remember, you placed a date next to each of them by which you promised yourself you’d again address them. If you don’t follow-up you’ll qualify for the psychobabble definition of compartmentalization – and you don’t want to go there.

And don’t forget to get to work on the issues you decided you’d deal with now.

So how ’bout it, chipur readers? Feelings? Thoughts? Will it work for you? Has it? Why not comment???

  • karen

    Interesting timing, as usual, as I was going to (if the day allows) sit down and list goals and a time frame- next in the anxiety management. (hand written of course,  for privacy reasons(

    • Nice move, chief. And we’ll talk more about that later today – right?