When life is overwhelming.
t some poi
nt in our lives we feel as though there are too many th
ughts, lists, jobs, and general stuff that we need to attend to all at once. It feels as though the thoughts are yelling at the highest level, we can not control the thoughts and they seem almost dizzying with the chaos inside our head. Let me introduce you to the feeling of being overwhelmed. As humans in today's age everything we consume is instant. We do not have time to think, process and breakdown what we see, hear or think. We are bombarded with content at every angle from radios, magazines, television, Facebook and every other piece of social media. News is updated second by second and the refresh button can not keep up with the sheer amount of 'new' news coming in from everywhere. In the age where we have the ability to really open up and connect with each other, we share what's safe, smart, funny or what we feel others want to hear. Our message has to have a greater meaning or it needs to be so outrageous that it won't get lost or passed over in the sea of content around us.
Trying to be perfect, or even just an adequate, mum, dad, wife, husband, cook, cleaner, child, friend, or human we strive for greatness and burn ourselves out. We can not keep up with it all and expect to have no consequences as a result. The constant stream of to do lists is exhausting and in only focusing on that it does more harm than good. Stopping for a moment when we feel it piling up and allowing ourselves to sift through the stream can help to ease the congestion of thoughts. Aiming for no thoughts is impossible and counter-intuitive to healing.
One of the hardest things to do when we are overwhelmed is stop. There are too many things that need to be attended to and the thought of stopping bring
s more chaos and stress. But the first step in in the battle with being overwhelmed is to stop and look
. Use all your senses and recognise what is happening not just internally but externally. At first it is so uncomfortable to sit in the chaos and we may feel fidgety, uneasy or worse, we could feel the real us beginning to scream out to be seen. Most often we try to stifle this feeling and these thoughts for fear of judgment and rejection but we are denying ourselves true connection and acceptance wen we refuse to let that out or others in. I recently attended a 2 day seminar and one of the greatest tools i got from it was to recognise when we are so caught up in the stories we tell ourselves that are so frantic, yet so familiar. Take a look at the situation, and try and see just a moment before it all got to be too much? What were you feeling or thinking in that moment? Most times it is a story of not enough. Not a good enough wife, lover, friend, mum, colleague, (insert your own here..). Once we
can recognise that we have two options. Either we continue in a spiral downwards taking us on a path that leads to more stress and temporary relief in the familiar. This usually offers some pay off to us that keeps us from healing and moving on from the situation, be it physical, mental or emotional. Does it keep you from owning a hard truth? Does it prevent you from seeing someone? Does it enable you to continue to feel like crap so you can fulfill the long held belief that you are not worth anything and no one would or could possible find valu
e in you? If you are happy and not ready to change then this is the path that you will continue to follow because it is comfortable and predictable. We as humans dont like change and our fear of rejection is so ingrained in our survival that we will do just about anything to feel like we fit in even if it harms us.
The other way that you could look at the situation once you have figured out what the incident before the behaviour is (antecedent), the behaviour itself and the pay off for continuing, is to ask yourself whether or not this action, short term or long term, gets you to where you want to be long term and also if it aligns with your values? S
ome assessments are easier to look at eg. I felt stressed and lonely with my husband working away and the kids being a handful (antecedent) so I went to the bakery and ate 2 donuts, had a coffee and sabotaged my workout (behaviour). The payoff is that temporarily i get a sugar high and feel great, I get to have a lazy day and not have to think about nutritious food. Does this align with my long term goals and values? No. I want to continue to be fit and healthy to allow my body to thrive while also being a good role model for my children. So do I continue with this behaviour and never eat another donut? Also no. Confused? Haha There is always a time and place for indulging in food you know is a sometimes food. It's delicious. But i can not go to the bakery every time i get stressed and ignore the problem. Me exercising helps me to reduce stress and cope better. I could call my husband or a fri
end and let them know how im feeling and have a chat for a while. There are many things that could be done. The decision is up to you. You can always decide to make small movements towards the life you want and values you hold dear, but you also need to know that actions in the other direction are aso your choice. What do you choose?