Our habits of mind can play incredible tricks on us. One of the first things I learned to do as a nurse was to accurately name things… once we have the accurate assessment, then the right remedy can follow. This simple principle can help us self-regulate, get unstuck and acknowledge and remedy unspecified stress or overwhelm. It often requires us to look at ourselves more deeply, especially at the things we may not want to look at. Recently I gave up the word “stressed” to describe myself. The term is so overused, it no longer means anything. Simply put, by more accurately naming what is troubling us we can drastically improve our wellbeing. Some examples:
Once you can more accurately name what is really gnawing at you, far better questions will emerge to match the real issue with concrete solutions. How can I learn to say yes only to the things I care about? How can I acknowledge the huge transition to parenting adults? How do I make myself relevant? How do I know I’m competent? Do I need autonomy as a professional?
Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.
― Audre Lorde, American Poet (1934-1992)