It is quite common for people to feel lost but the key is how to find your way again when feeling lost.

This article is about what to do when you don’t know what to do any longer. The starting point.

It’s at times like these when we’re feeling lost that we have a range of emotions and feelings such as:

Tearfulness.

Confused and anxious.

Feeling as if you have no control and feeling as if you’re never going to get the control back.

Maybe feeling agitated and angry.

And sometimes we might be unbearable to live with.

These feelings are all temporary because they can be changed.

You Will Have Been In This Position Before.

It’s important to consider that we often misplace things at home or at work, where we’ve stored something on our computer systems, perhaps get lost in a new city or out in our car.  What do you do in these situations?  Yes, you might frantically look around for a while.  You might get annoyed with yourself and search around for clues.

Backtracking your train of thought perhaps but then, at some point, you will stop you may even sit down and put your head in your hands and get your thoughts in order. Gradually you will be able to focus better.  You will remember when you had that item last. If out in a city or the car you may check Google Maps or your Sat Nav if in the car, and you may even stop a helpful-looking person and ask for help.  You will then make a new plan and put it into action.  Perhaps even checking a little more regularly to make sure you’re still going in the right direction.

This is a very similar situation.

There are many ways to manage this state of mind and one of the ways I like to use and encourage my clients to use is the STOP process.

How To Use The STOP Process and Find Your Way Again.

When you don't know which way to turn stop and think.

S = Stop.  

Just stop what you’re doing as long as it is safe to do so.  If you’re in the car pull over. Take a break as soon as you can if you're at work.  Put on a film that the kids love if you're with them, so you can have some peace and quiet for a little bit.

T = Take a break and take a breather. 

When we’re in a state of anxiety and stress our whole body tenses up which means we’re not breathing properly.  Instead, we’re breathing very shallowly which means we’re not oxygenating our body as well as we could. If you can get outside into the fresh air but if not somewhere quiet is perfect as well.  Take some long deep breaths, hold and out.  I find repeating this at least 3 times will start to re-oxygenate your body.

When you’re breathing in and holding, imagine the oxygen going into your lungs, seeping into your bloodstream and reaching every part of your body.  Notice how your body is starting to relax which will help you to open your mind to finding solutions.

O = Observe and opportunities. 

Acknowledge how you’re thinking and feeling by asking yourself:

How am I feeling and what am I thinking?  If you are feeling desperate then acknowledge that and accept them for what they are.  It’s OK.  Being honest about your feelings and stating exactly how you’re feeling will help.  If you need to cry or use a punch bag, then do that because it will release the emotions you're holding onto. Acknowledging, accepting and releasing those feelings will open up your mind to new opportunities for you.

What do I want to be different about the way I am feeling and what I’m thinking?

Have I had these thoughts and feelings I want before?  When were they and what gave me these thoughts and feelings?

Lady taking a breath

P = Progress and Pace. 

Finding your new way forward is now a major step for you to progress but it’s about pacing yourself.  Have a plan in mind but take it steady with small steps.  A big goal can pressure you into big steps.  These big steps may be too far out of your reach which could result in you backing off to your old habits as soon as the going gets tough.  Have your goal in mind but plan out small, achievable steps.  This also means that you can access easily as you go and if you notice you’re not going in the direction you had hoped it is easier to resolve.  Then start taking action. 

No action = no change.

Staying the same = no action.

It’s important to remember that at times like these, when you need to find your way again after feeling lost, the longer you hold back the longer and harder it will be to change and put it right for yourself and the important people in your life.  Using the STOP process is a brief version of my 4 Steps to Emotional Freedom methodology in my most recent book, 4 Steps to Emotional Freedom – How to be Happy Again After Painful Life Changes.

Let's talk about how I can support you and help you end the sadness to restore happiness back into you life.

About the Author

Cath Lloyd

British TEDx Speaker, life coach and author of “When Dad Became Joan” with her second booking coming out at the end of 2023, Cath Lloyd was a shy and unconfident student at school. Learning from her life experiences has developed her confidence, enabling her to share her voice, ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Cath has spoken on local radio, Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as well as many podcast shows. Cath is promoting the importance of self-honesty to learn and understand yourself. The other is, communication is one of the keys to keeping your emotional, mental, and physical balance and keeping family life running more smoothly.

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