Issue: Everyone experiences overwhelm… that experience when you have way more to do than there is time in the day.
The dictionary defines overwhelm as ‘to overcome completely in mind or feeling’. I define overwhelm as the energy that is created when there is a gap between reality and expectation.
What causes Overwhelm?
- Too much
- Saying yes to others over and over when you should have said no
- Overcommitting, usually to others instead of yourself
- The pursuit of perfection
- Expecting yourself to be able to do everything – how many of us are doing the job required of more than one mortal human and yet insisting to yourself that you can…if only you just put in a little more effort?
- Putting others first
- Going, going, going…without a break or eating lunch at your desk (if you even eat lunch)
- Lack of healthy boundaries
- Lack of clarity and clear direction in life
What are the prices you pay for living in the Overwhelm?
- First of all, that’s not really living, is it?
- You stay busy and do not have to be responsible or accountable for living in the flow.
- Stress and poor health (dis-ease is the result of being out of ease, or out of alignment with your authentic self). And the kicker is, you created the stress
- Being a victim to your circumstances, relinquishing ownership for happiness
- Loss of peace of mind
- You bring the energy of overwhelm into the lives of those around you
And yet there are benefits to Overwhelm. Say what??!!
Of course not you might say. However, the truth is, if there were not benefits then you would create solutions to getting out of the overwhelm. So the answer is:
Yep – there are absolutely benefits to being overwhelmed!
- The biggest benefit to being in the overwhelm, or more so, declaring “I’m overwhelmed!” is you don’t have to be responsible or accountable for living in the flow (look familiar?)
- If you work it right, other people will make decisions for you. Of course then you get resentful and pissed off
- You can avoid the underlying truth of whatever may be going on underneath – ie “I hate my job” or “I hate my relationship” or “ I’m not happy”(and again, then I don’t have to be responsible and do anything about it. Are you seeing a trend?) You can avoid being present in your life
Kick Overwhelm to the Curb!
(Here’s what works for me and my clients):
1. Breathe! And Breathe again!
- There is SOOO much emotional and physiological benefits to a good deep breath or 2!!
- First – breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as if through a straw. This actually lets your parasympathetic nervous system know you are safe. Repeat until you feel calm
- Breathing also helps you to breathe into the present moment – where there is no worry or angst about the future and no resentment, anger or regret about the past. We make better decisions and choices when we are in the calm present.
2. Re-evaluate and redirect your Energy
- Take an objective look at reality. What are the facts – ie. I have 12 hours of work to do and 8 hours to do it in, I am overcommitted. The bottom line with overwhelm is the reality, you either physically or mentally have too much scheduled.
- Take a look at your expectations. Expectations are not agreements (we’ve been here before). Who’s expectations are they? Most likely they are all yours – do more, more, more, so you can be loved, loved, loved, or valued. So change your expectations – Helloo!! Since they are yours anyway. What will it take for you to love you just the way you are? What if you are already enough?
- Focus on the solution. Where our attention goes, energy flows. So redirect your energy from the overwhelm (impossible situation) to a solution. This also helps you to shift your perspective which is required! If you have 12 hours of work to do and only 8 hours to do it in – then you will need to figure out which 4 hours of work you will NOT do! Say what?!
- Set realistic priorities: What’s really important…to you??!! Setting priorities means crossing things off your To Do list without doing them! It can also mean that you complete some tasks without making it a ‘have to do it perfectly’ project. Not everything in life has to be done at 100%!!!
3. Start over in this moment. Start where you are with what you have
- The truth is you really only have this moment!
- Start with reality – what are the next 1 or 2 steps you can take right now from where you are with what you have.
- How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Same thing with all projects in life.
- Ask for support – who can you delegate to, get ideas from, talk it through. One of the best decisions I ever made was to hire a Virtual Assistant! She does what she loves and it allows me to do what I love!
- What if it could be simple? Ask that question of the Universe and see what answers come to you. Instead of being in the ‘this is hard’ box.
4. Give yourself Grace
- That’s right. Give yourself the same grace you give everyone else. Love and accept yourself right where you are. You deserve it, you know!
- Keep the Super Hero’s in the movies and comic books. Unless you have a really cool cape!
5. Set healthy boundaries. Say no
- When was the last time you actually said ‘No!’ to someone else? Or ‘No Thank You’ if you must be polite!
- Or maybe a better question is when was the last time you said Yes to yourself?What would you love to do? Take actions in alignment with your values and your Truth.
- Setting boundaries also requires that we enforce those boundaries. After all, you teach people how to treat you.
- It takes practice. So practice!
6. Stay focused on your Vision
- This is so crucial! First of all, do you even have an up to date vision of what you would love for your life? If not, get to it! (PS – I can show you how!)
- Stay focused on what you want – not on what you don’t want or the overwhelm. (Remember where your attention goes, your energy flows)
- By staying focused on your vision, the ideas and solutions that come to you will be in alignment with your vision, not your current situation.
- Your vision vibrates at a high frequency. That’s where you want to be – connect with that!