A number of times we face a situation where we feel unsure about what has to be done, or what is going to happen next, i.e. in times of unpredictability; when we’re stuck in between some kind of choice or dilemma, and believe that there is absolutely no way out. This is usually when we’re either confused or unsure about certain people or even our sense of purpose. Such confusion can cause immense amount of stress to a point where it can affect our mental health in a negative way.
We at times, don’t even realize the intensity to which it can affect our mental health as we believe that it doesn’t matter or that it’s not required to be given much importance. This mindset however, is incorrect. It is okay to be confused and stressed but it’s also important to know that there is a solution to cope with the multiple confusions in our lives which cause us to experience stress and anxiety at such a high intensity.
What is confusion?
Confusion is a symptom that makes one feel as if they can’t think clearly. One might feel disoriented and have a hard time while focusing or taking decisions. It interferes with one’s problem-solving skills and the ability to take decisions. It could even cause disturbance in our sleep pattern due to preoccupation with confusing thoughts, and it could also lead to immense feelings of frustration, anxiety and stress. Confusion is also referred to as a disorientation; in its extreme state, it’s referred to as delirium.
When we don’t know what to do, we tend to get frustrated and stressed – this is the simplest way to understand how our confusing thoughts play a major role in our mental health and well-being.
What are the signs of confusion?
There are several signs of confusion which can help one identify their state of mind:
- Slurred speech or having long pauses during speech
- Abnormal or incoherent speech
- Lacking awareness of location or time
- Forgetting what a task is while it is being performed
- Sudden changes in emotion, such as sudden agitation
These signs usually occur when we’re disrupted with multiple thoughts all at once which causes a sense of confusion as well as when we’re incapable to make a decision and feel completely lost.
What are the underlying causes of confusion?
- Low blood sugar
- Not getting enough sleep
- Lack of oxygen
- A rapid drop in body temperature/dehydration
- Depression or other forms of mood disorders
- Illegal drug use
- Alcohol abuse
There are different types of confusion and each one can differentiate from the other:
- General Forgetfulness: One type of confusion involves a general kind of forgetfulness and trouble paying attention to things to keep track of what is going on.
- Depersonalization/Derealization: Derealization refers to when one suddenly feels like they’re in a dream-like state, or when reality doesn’t seem real. Although the mind tends to have no idea about what’s going on, this can cause significant confusion. Depersonalization is a coping mechanism when our brain becomes too overwhelmed by stress. While nearly everyone snaps out of it after a while, it can get stressful when it occurs and can disrupt our everyday life to a great extent.
- Confusion over Stress: The most common type of confusion is the confusion caused by the stress of being confused. Often, there is a lack of understanding as to why we’re feeling so stressed and even if we’re aware about the cause of our stress, we are confused about how to deal with it.
Ways to Overcome Confusing Thoughts:
1. Practice Mindfulness: Most of us tend to focus more either on the future or the past but we never really pay attention to the present moment. By constantly thinking about what is going to happen in the future, we tend to experience a confused state of mind leading to stress and anxiety which is why it is extremely imperative to practice the art of mindfulness, i.e. to focus on what is in our control, what we can do in the present moment and start from there. It’s a process which takes some time to develop.
2. Connect with your Loved Ones: When we are disrupted by being in an absolutely confused state of mind, it can get extremely overwhelming. Therefore, in times like these talking to someone we trust about how we’re feeling and what is making us feel like that way can lift a weight off of our shoulders. One experiences a genuine sense of relief and the close ones can provide us with some perspective which we never would’ve considered unless we were able to openly express our exact state of mind to them.
3. Reality Exercises: Some experts recommend various types of reality exercises to keep us “in the moment.” For example, some believe that running water over our hands and focusing on what that feels like can ensure that we are placed back in reality and overcome any severe confusion issues. One can also try closing their eyes and repeating affirmations to themselves. This can help one feel more in control as well.
4. Exercise: Exercise itself is more of a general anxiety and stress reduction technique than a confusion technique, but it has the additional benefit of actually stimulating the memory creation mechanism. People who exercise tend to have a greater ability to focus and are able to keep their mind on what’s going on in a better manner as compared to those who do not exercise regularly.
To conclude, it is important to remember that it is perfectly fine to be unsure about certain aspects of life, and to feel stuck but it’s also important to remember that that feeling or the feeling of being stuck in one single thought pattern won’t last forever. There are ways to gain more clarity which can help in making each day better. The key, however, is to be kind to ourselves without blaming and not avoiding how we feel, instead welcoming all such feelings and dealing with them one at a time. In this way, we will slowly move towards a path of clarity and positive energy.
BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.