• Stop, for, against

    Something happens where you need to make a decision you are unclear on – because life happens. It is then brain worms enter the picture and cascade a whole range of spiral thoughts and complications. You can feel panic, lost in the moment. This isn’t a good place to make any decisions.

    Perhaps one of the biggest things I started to do a while ago was whenever there is a moment like this, as soon as I can pause. I catch myself, and those around me caught too. Often it’s a household situation, so it’s about catching myself and my partner. We then can be in the moment, and that’s when we get to observe, thinking about the reasons for and against that decision.

    The stop doesn’t have to be a long pause. Quite honestly, if it was too long, I wouldn’t benefit from it. I am not the type of person who can forget about a problem. The stop is about getting out of the mind loop you are in, stopping the spiral so you can begin to process with some degree of rationality instead of moving from a place of panic.

    Now, the order is also kind of important in this. You likely, before getting to any stop moment, have been spiralling singularly or as a couple in all the reasons against. It’s been a parade of problems, hitches and negativity. So shifting out into the reasons for making that decision, that changes gear instantly.

    Then after you’ve done that, you can allow yourself to from a neutral state to consider the problems without emotional charge or the weight of panic fear driving them. Often many of the problems aren’t paraded this time because of that shift change.

    You have to practice doing this process, and it sounds a little weird and even feels odd to go through to start. However, once you actually start doing it, working through it can help in all aspects of life whenever there is a critical decision. It’s stopped me so many times ruminating for days or spiralling in isolation. When you learn to do it with others, it can be a source of bonding, both in family and workspace. So the next time you have a critical decision to make and find yourself about to spiral – stop, for, against.