For years I complained about the “overwhelm” in my life. “I am so overwhelmed”, “there are only so many hours in the day”, “there’s only so much one can possibly do”, etc are some of the phrases I have oftentimes used. While there is nothing intrinsically “wrong” with these phrases themselves, it is how they leave one “feeling”. In my case it made me feel disempowered, helpless and experience a loss of power and control over my own life.
Energy always gets directed to where you choose to place your attention. Even with overwhelm, when you focus on it, it just gets even more intense. When I’ve said that I was overwhelmed, instead of being able to focus on the tasks at hand, I would get stuck mulling over the workload. Total paralysis. No movement whatsoever. In this state, the overwhelm just compounded and built up even more.
Over time and building on the practice of meditation and the “pause”, I have been able to recognize the pattern of overhwelm in my life. Overhwlem is just another self-limiting belief that one has to let go of in order to live fully and powerfully in all areas of one’s life. When unaddressed, overwhelm leaves you feeling stuck, blocked and unable to create the “life of your dreams” as Thoreau called it.
Here are a few simple ways to recognize, release and re-energize your day when the feeling of overwhelm strikes…
Pause to recognize that this overwhelm is outside of you – it can be controlled. Although it might feel like it’s taken over your life in the moment. So first, pause, breathe and notice what it is about the present (or task at hand) that is overwhelming you. Is it physical, mental or emotional? If it’s just a LOT of work, then it can be broken down into smaller steps (divide and conquer). Maybe you can ask for, or find the help you need to help you move forward. If it’s emotional or mental, identify what it is, who it relates to and deal with the root cause. Maybe there is a powerful conversation that needs to be had. Maybe there is an opportunity for growth and healing in a relationship in your life. It’s fairly normal and common to discover that the overwhelm is just the symptom of something deeper.
Once you’ve pinned down the root cause, resolve and release the stress associated with it. For example if it’s how many days you have to finish a project and you are running out of time – pause, either find help, extend the deadline, right-size the project itself for the time you do have on hand. Be ready to re-commit and re-engage with yourself without feeling guilty or like you are a failure. That’s just more pressure and stress you don’t need. I am not saying don’t take your commitments seriously. But don’t take it to an extreme where you are hyper-ventilating, getting sick with stress at the thought of facing your client because you couldn’t get it done. That just causes bigger problems for you down the road.
Once you have re-established your ground rules for re-engagement with your life (personal, professional), pause to re-energize yourself. Reward yourself for what you did accomplish, even if it was 80% of the job. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate, pause, acknowledge yourself, thank your team, take a few minutes or hours to just assimilate your mind-body. Give yourself a break. Even machines in the factory need recovery time. You and I are much more complex as beings.
Does the voice in your head ask you to do more, accomplish more, climb the highest mountain, win the biggest award? Well, with the practice of the “pause” you can begin to recognize the tidal wave of overwhelm from miles away. You can learn how to brace yourself, be pro-active, prepared and powerful in the face of stress. Build your inner awareness to recognize if you are managing your stress or if your stress is managing you?
Always remember that “your words are the vessel of your day”. If you start out a day, a trip, a project with the sense of overwhelm then that is what you will create. Over and over again you will find, almost producing the evidence to prove you were right at the beginning! This kind of self-fulfilling prophecy simply sabotages you from living your empowered life.
In a world where stillness is highly under-rated, I encourage you to pause. Daily if you can, weekly for certain. Without pausing, practicing stillness and slowing down, you don’t get the chance to consciously create and celebrate your life.
I choose freedom from the self-limiting belief of overwhelm
I receive the help and support I need, when I need it from the Universe
There is Divine Grace and intervention in my life
I AM pro-active, prepared and powerful in my life
My words are the vessel of my day, I choose them wisely
Take a few moments to reflect on these thoughts, share and discuss this blog. Your insights could help another reader, so don’t hold back, share the love. Tell me what you think. What were you present to when you read this article? I am so honored that you spent time in this sacred space with me. You make a difference in the Universe, always remember that! Now don’t hold back, speak your truth! The Universe is listening…..!