Overwhelm is that sense of real anxiety in the pit of your stomach when you just can't cope. When everything is getting to be too much.
The 3 Signs Of Overwhelm
The best time to tackle Overwhelm is before it starts. Here are three signs that overwhelm may be about to kick in. If you sense them, begin to deploy the strategies at the end of this Blog.
We've all had that sense of panic when you look at your calendar and you've got something big in your diary this morning that you've completely forgotten. A lot of panic that we sense with overwhelm is actually driven by our own activity and we forget all the different things that we've signed up for, that we've engaged with, that we've said we will do. The commitments add up and then we're faced with diaries which are crammed full.
When you see that diary full of stuff and your mind goes into panic mode, "Where do i start?", "What am I supposed to do first?"
"Hmmm, I think I'll just find out about that book I was interested in on Amazon. Ah, and I've got my my daily tasks to do on Elevate (a brilliant app by the way for giving your brain a workout.) Ummm, and I must catch up on my Whatsapp messages."
All of a sudden you don't feel so overwhelmed. But you know you're procrastinating. You know you've got some things to do urgently, but you're still on your phone doing another thing and then you catch yourself.
"I don't know where to start? I don't know who to talk to. I don't know how I got myself in this mess."
All of these really debilitating thoughts can start to make you feel terrible.
So What Is Overwhelm?
Quite simply Overwhelm is having too much to do. It's piling yourself up with too many things to think about, too many people that you're supporting, too many people that you're trying to help, too many commitments that you've made.
Or, it can be just the thought that you've got a lot to do that can be overwhelming. It can be the anticipation of a big task ahead of you. Sometimes, even if your logical mind it knows it's not a major thing it can feel overwhelming if we haven't thought it through in advance and broken it down. So ,if you're feeling a sense of overwhelm, simply recognise, it's just your thoughts. You can overcome them.
4 Strategies To Overcome Overwhelm
1 - The Power of Now
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle will help you to get rooted in the now. If we do this, our sense of focus goes through the roof and we're only ever concerned about the next task. Having the ability to focus here and now means we're not distracted everything else that's happening around us.
We do one task and then we look at the next one and the next one.
2 - Block Out Time
Grab your phone. Open up the calendar and look for an hour or a two hour slot. Put in a blank event and start writing a mini list of two, maximum three, things you're going to do in that specific amount of time. Blocking time in this way, helps us focus. Taps into the power of now and gives us real energy because we know it's only two-hour task.
It's amazing how much of a dent you can make in your big projects when you block time out in this way.
3 - Breathe
This strategy is more than breathing. It's about getting out in the fresh air. It's about breathing in the fresh air (which, in the UK, means you get really wet!!)
Seek to extract pure joy through being in nature, even if that's just walking down your local streets. You're getting your body moving. When we get the body moving the brain works in different ways, we remember things. We put things into perspective. We start to recognise where things might be out of balance in our lives. So breathing in life is what the third strategy is all about. It's about making time to think.
4 - Get Yourself a Coach
I don't care who it is. I don't care if they're fully qualified. I just want you to get yourself in front of someone who cares about you and the results that you're achieving. They need to be willing to question the way you're doing it.
A coach will help you structure your thinking. They will help you reflect on the way that you're doing things right now and they'll help you create strategies so that you can, one step at a time, overcome your sense of overwhelm.
Let me know how you get on and which Strategy works best for you. Life is meant to feel energised, vibrant and not panic stricken!