Experiencing big emotions is like having your camera on zoom
If you zoom into something - it gets bigger! When your camera is zoomed in you can only see a portion of the picture, you can’t see the whole thing. It’s the same when you are feeling controlled by an emotion, you are zoomed in to the emotion you are feeling.
It’s a bit like having tunnel vision.
Imagine how that can affect how you think and act.
When you are consumed by an emotion, or are stressed, it can be hard to zoom out, because you are caught up in those minute details that appear in the lens. When you are focussing in on those small details, it is all you can see, and so it is all seems very real. But when we do this, then we can become stuck in the detail, in the problem and in the emotion.
So, learning how to zoom out is not only a skill, but also a necessity, if we don’t want to be running around in the hamster wheel of detail, we have created for ourselves! If you could learn to zoom out so you could see the whole picture, you would be able to see and feel and hear things differently. The thing you were focussing on, moves further away and you ae able to notice other things in the bigger picture. Being able to do this is just a way of altering your perspective on the way you see a problem.
So, the first step is to zoom out from the problem or emotion you’re facing and look at the bigger picture. To help you to do this, take a few deep breaths, allow them to slowly fill your lungs. Close your eyes if it helps. Take a step back in your mind’s eye. Take a fresh look. How does this fit into the bigger picture? Is it something you can control, or is it out of your control?
Ask yourself some questions. How this has happened? What can you do about it? Ask yourself, and answer truthfully, is this something I will still be thinking about next week, or next month. I would guess the answer is ‘probably not’ because things always seem less significant when we have moved on, don’t they? Perhaps look back over problems you have had in the past, how you overcame them and how you moved on and put them behind you too. They will seem very small now, because you have zoomed out and away from them.
But try not to ask yourself ‘why’ or focus on ‘why’ it happened, as this is often out of your circle of control. How many times do we ask ourselves that question “Why?” And how often do we ever manage to come up with the answer? Almost never!
We all want to have control over things in our lives, but the truth is, control fits into one of three zones.
- There are some things you can control,
- Some things you have some influence or control over,
- and there are sadly some things you cannot control.
Dwelling on the latter, the ‘no control zone’, is where many of us get stuck in zoom mode. If you can do something about the problem, then do. But, if it is not something you can influence or control, then don’t waste your time and energy thinking about it. Your time would be better spent thinking about the solution. Zoom out. Focus on something else in the bigger picture. And your problem or emotion will seem much smaller and easier to deal with.
This will give you the ability to make better decisions.
And although being able to zoom in on things can bring them into sharper focus and give you a clearer picture of the detail, you have to be able to zoom out to put things in perspective to create a better picture of the whole, in order to problem solve effectively. Have you ever heard the saying 2 steps forward, one step back? Well, often you have to take the step back, before you can take the 2 steps forward.
I read a quote once, that said;
“Sometimes in life you just need to take a step back and see where all the pieces fall… in that time you will see what is important and what never really was.”
Belinda Wells, Ollie Coach
Belinda is an Ollie Coach and Foster Carer. Previously a Primary School Teacher, she now has over 20 years’ experience working with children. Her interests are psychology, how we think and why we behave as we do, and she loves learning and writing. Belinda enjoys seeing the difference her work as an Ollie Coach can make to the children and families she works with.
To get in contact with Belinda email Belinda.firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Ollie and his Super Powers and how to become an Ollie Coach email email@example.com