You start tackling several things at the same time in an attempt to expedite matters. Your attention flits from one task to another – scattered and distracted.
Your friend wants to catch up over a juice and you get irritated. You don’t have time for chitty chatter – you need to get THIS done!
Same applies to your daily walk in the sunshine, meditation practice and a healthy lunch.
All swept abruptly to the side.
These are some of my personal warning signals – indicators that I have just crossed into the city of overwhelm.
Are you familiar with yours?
How do you deal with them? What do you do next?
Take three deep breaths and read on.
How to effectively deal with overwhelm
Our brains crave stimulation but are only capable of effectively processing a small amount of information at one time. Start turning down the noise!
Maybe you don’t need the radio on while you drive to work. Maybe you do not need to check your email, Facebook, Pinterest, etc, multiple times a day. When you find yourself resisting downtime, that’s usually when you need it the most.
Five minutes in the sunshine, a spot of yoga (or whatever works for you), some deep breathing – activities such as these help immeasurably, to slowly wean the brain off its need for another dopamine hit.
A monkey mind is a mind that is very hard to manage. Our minds are not designed to be at peace amidst as many distractions and changes they now experience in the average day.
So start simplifying your life. Tackle your heavy thinking projects first thing in the morning. Do the important things you love, the one urgent thing that is vying for you attention (if you must).
But overall, try to do a little less each day.
Practice Radical Acceptance
It is the nature of the seeking mind to subtly reject what is here now and strive towards some imagined future that promises to be better. Then we get there….and discover that we then want something else!
Rather than always judging the present to be lacking (or ourselves to be lacking), practice saying a big “yes” to fully accepting what is here now.
You have enough time. You have enough talent. You have plenty of opportunities. You just have to continue to show up.
Develop your focus. The goal here is to minimize the stress producing and energy consuming activity of multitasking, which creates a lot of noise in the brain.
So if you are writing, write. If you are cooking, cook. Don’t pause every few minutes to go do something else.
Anything you can do to lower your stress is a good thing. When you feel stressed, you are more likely to be a reactive and compulsive.
(If you’re like me, you will notice a pull towards self-focus and a closed off heart). That’s not how I want to live.
One of the best tools I have been exploring this year is EFT, or tapping as it’s more commonly referred to.
Kelly Burch, a master practitioner and passionate advocate of EFT has created a fabulous stress reduction programme.
She includes videos, articles and a 21 day workbook.
I’ve tried it out and found it to be incredibly useful and it’s FREE. You can gain access to the entire programme right here.
If you have found some clarity and useful tips on how to effectively deal with overwhelm – please share the love.
And tell me - What are your personal danger signs for overwhelm and what’s your favourite way of tackling it?