Call it Overwhelm
Ten years ago, I can remember laying in bed for hours prior to “Waking”.
I would tell myself awful things, ruminate on my failings, insecurities, and what, at the time, I perceived to be my poorest qualities.
I would lay there for hours, going to war with myself.
I got bored. I could see how this battle was one only I was fighting, and it was making everything even more difficult.
I slowly chipped away at this mental battle, fought in the wee hours of every morning.
Initially all I could do was turn it off.
“STOP” I would scream at the repetitive hate and insults bouncing around my consciousness.
However, as this commitment to an easier time grew, and so did my techniques.
Meditation, yoga, exercise, were the best strategies.
Its been years since I fought that loosing battle.
I knew I needed to stop but I didn’t know-how. I finally just started screaming STOP.
Guess what, it worked. That small, simple action worked.
I learned to capture my thoughts – and silently scream STOP. And they did.
Suddenly I was aware of every negative thought and feeling and this gave me power.
With that awareness, I discovered positive affirmations, supportive exercise, slow but sure steps forward.
Resistance is literally strength training.
Nothing gets stronger without resistance, right? Like your muscles, learning any new skill, even trying new things, it’s HARD! But it’s a practice.
You practice with a weight, slowly raising the heaviness to create more distance to get stronger.
You repeat and focus to learn a new skill.
You get scared but push through when you try something new. And you get better at each iteration. You actually prepare for and welcome the resistance!
Overwhelm is putting the cart before the horse.
The simplest way to address to fear is action.
Being paralyzed is a practice, and one can get just as accustomed to not taking action as they can to taking one small step.
Fear feels a lot like excitement.
The pressure feels a lot like strength.
When you can capture this thought – perhaps you labeled it as something restrictive like fear and pressure – and understand it is just a word for a feeling, you can relabel it to something expansive like excitement and strength.
Here are a few actions you can take when things get a bit overwhelming. These can be mental exercises, but writing is a very relaxing process for your brain. :
Why Why am I feeling “…”
How true is this “…”
What is another label for “…”
What do I need right now?
The Have’s vs The Want
… List out everything you have achieved thus far, everything you have, and everything you appreciate at this moment
…. Then consider the object of desire Or, just accept the Right Now.
The shit and angst and disappointment comes from the gap between the What Could Be.
But if Right Now is enough (which is a very filling meal), then What Would Be is just a bonus, no pressure necessary.
The Next Best Thing
… Note how you’re feeling right NOW.
… Label it.
… Pick an emotion (often times when we’re in our heads and we’ll find actions or thoughts, verbs or adjectives … try and discover the actual emotion).
ex. suffocatingly overwhelmed (suffocating being the feeling overwhelmed being the thought)
… If you could feel ever-so-slightly better, what would that feeling be? What thought would accompany that emotion? What’s 1 degree better?
ex. I’m afraid no one will show up. Well, then no one will know, and then it’s like if a forest falls in the woods and no one is around to hear …