If you’re feeling overwhelmed and out of control right now, you’re not alone. With the craziness of adjusting to remote work, juggling kids and responsibilities at home and a serious virus that may or may not get us, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed out and out of control.

But we can also use this time to change how we’re wired so we don’t respond with stress and overwhelm by default. With effective inner work, we can change our default stress response to that of calm, emotional resilience, and clear-headedness.

What Controls You

Let’s look at how we can begin to transform ourselves:

First, a little lesson on our subconscious. If there’s one thing that controls our lives, it’s our subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is that part of our mind which holds every single experience and emotion we’ve ever had, which in turn make up our values and deepest-seeded opinions and judgements about life. Unfortunately, all of this is mostly hidden from us even though it runs us 100% of the time.

Our conscious mind on the other hand, is the one that holds the thoughts and emotions we are consciously aware of. It’s what allows us to plan for the day ahead, be present during a 1:1, collaborate with our coworkers, solution our problems and make our kids dinner.

With our subconscious running the show, we get a lot of mixed results in life, despite our best conscious efforts. For example, we may want to give our all and feel good about going into work each day, but subconsciously, we hold the memory and past experience of our parents working so much that they didn’t pay attention to us when we were kids. We internalized that work is bad and means we won’t be loved. This results in being resentful about work as an adult. 

We may also have the best intentions to remain calm under pressure as an adult, but the only way of handling stress we were exposed to as kids was our single mom living in survival mode/panic all the time. Even though we may consciously know better ways to deal with stress now, we default to anxiety, panic and survival mode under pressure because that is how we are subconsciously programmed.

So how do we get our life back in our control?

In order to make lasting change in our lives, we must reach our subconscious and change it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious or out of control right now, you can deprogram yourself from these habitual responses by releasing the thoughts and emotions that are creating these patterns in your subconscious.

So how do we do this?

By accessing trapped emotions. Here is the key: all of our memories, experiences and beliefs have one thing in common: they are tied to one or more emotion. Emotions have a powerful influence on our beliefs which in turn determine the way we feel and act. So if we change the emotion, we automatically change the belief and action. Have you ever noticed how you act when you’re stressed versus when you’re happy? Are the decisions you make different? Are the thoughts you think different?

In order to make lasting change, we need to change our belief systems. Our belief systems are formed when we have experiences and most of it is unconscious to us because many of our beliefs were formed as children during experiences we hardly remember. 

But, we can change this. There are many ways to “reprogram” ourselves, including all sorts of therapies and healing techniques.

The Emotion Code

My favorite tool to use with clients is The Emotion Code, because it’s so effective. The Emotion Code works by accessing and identifying trapped emotions and releasing them. These are past emotions that became trapped in us during a past experience and it is these trapped emotions that make up our beliefs and automatic wiring now.

There are two ways to use this tool. You can learn to use it on your own by reading The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson and using a magnet or you can book a session with a Certified Emotion Code Practitioner, who may have extensive experience with this type of work and can help you make transformational change.

I recently helped a client overcome his feelings of overwhelm at work. He was a natural high-performer but also said yes to everything that came his way. He underestimated how much he could get done and felt overwhelmed with prioritizing his tasks. Trying to change this consciously had not worked and new habits had not stuck for long. Using The Emotion Code, we realized he had trapped emotions that were creating his current feelings of overwhelm and lack of focus. They stemmed from an experience he had at school at age 15 when he liked a girl in his class but felt like he wasn’t good enough. He decided to be the best student in his class and take on soccer, track and theater. He felt overwhelmed with everything he had taken on and couldn’t prioritize what he should focus on. The feeling stayed with him throughout his life and he internalized the feeling of “I’m not good enough”. Now whenever he felt like he had to impress someone, this feeling kicked in and he would take on a bunch of projects and lose focus. This is exactly what was happening at work now.

We worked to release his trapped emotions of insecurity and overwhelm from when he was 15, which unlocked his natural confidence. The result was he no longer felt like he had to prove himself at work. He felt confident in his performance and stopped piling on unrealistic expectations on himself. His performance shot up and his stress levels reduced. He just felt good being himself.

Emotions are powerful. They hold the secret to a life that feels out of control versus a life that we enjoy and feel like we have control over because we have control over our thoughts and actions.

So if you want control back, look at what controls you. Then, deprogram yourself and you’ll find that good habits are naturally who you are.