Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Pearls of Wisdom - Number 7 Overwhelm - 3 ways to smash it

 

My guess is that you are reading this because you, or someone you know is struggling with overwhelm right?


Well I do too, and at times it's absolutely crippling. I can't think straight, rationalize or even breath properly, it's like this tight sensation in my chest and I end up spiralling down, down, down...


Other times I bounce back almost straight away, it's short lived and everyone around me breaths a big sigh of relief that it has passed quickly and quietly!

Either way there are some really important things that I have learnt to put in place that really helps me to feel more in control and move forward from the feeling of being overwhelmed and most of the time I move on sooner rather than later and it seems for now the days of being stuck in overwhelm, anxiety and then depression for weeks and months on end are behind me, hopefully!

So now I want to share here what has helped me with feeling overwhelmed in the hope that it may help you too, read on...

 

Mindfulness

Now I'm pretty sure that you've heard about mindfulness already, it's not a new revolutionary idea I'm putting out here but it seems from talking to others around me a lot of people are reluctant to try it or don't really know what it's about at all.

If you do a quick Google search on Mindfulness this is what pops up:

 mindfulness
ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/
noun
noun: mindfulness
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

It's actually the second definition that I'm talking about and in simple terms it means to be aware and accepting of what you are thinking and how you are feeling - mentally or physically - in any given moment and mindfulness is achieving this - gosh I hope I've explained that well?!

So how do you achieve this?

Does sounds quite hard or intense maybe?

Well actually, it's unique for everyone and you can go about it in many different ways but if truth be told in my experience it's not something that always come instantly but actually something you need to practice and try out in varies ways or methods, so here I'm detailing the mindfulness practices that help me.

1. Meditation
If you think this is me levitating off the floor with my legs crossed chanting you couldn't be more wrong! I use relaxation tracks that I've downloaded on to my iPhone which were specifically crafted for me by a lovely hypnotherapist who I saw when I had fertility problems but there are all sorts of free relaxation/mindfulness apps out there plus ones you can listen to on You Tube, just search mindfulness meditation or more specifically sleep relaxation or anxiety relaxation - you get the picture right?!


 

2. Crystal Healing

Recently I've really enjoyed using crystals to deal with anxiety, overwhelm and problem solving (and I've been teaching my eldest daughter to use them for anxiety too!) Yes, my husband also thinks I'm crazy but stick with me here! I've been learning that crystals like Amethyst and Citrine can really help to ease a number of issues and I've been taking time out to use them or have them place close by. I've been researching online, in books and on good old You Tube about how to use them, so if you fancy trying it out too give it go, what have you got to loose? Just some words of wisdom though, make sure your crystals are genuine though!

If you don't fancy Mindfulness and want something a bit more practical you'll like this next one..

 

Mind Mapping/Dumping 

This is really quite simple and I think, can give you some instant release. It can be as quick and easy to do as you like or you can set aside a big chunk of time and really dive deep into what is causing the overwhelm...


Start by taking a sheet or paper, big or small, or a note book if that's all you have to hand and a pen.

In the middle write overwhelmed by and then circle it.

Then, draw some legs (?) and at the end of each one, jot down what it is that is overwhelming you.

This is called a mind map and from each of the various things you write down you can create another "spider" or map that breaks down that issue or details how to solve it. You can also take each issue from your mind map and create a separate plan on another piece of paper on in a note book that helps you to take action to resolve it. Try it, this definitely works for a lot of people.

Or alternatively you can go for a Mind Dump - no it doesn't include a toilet but again a piece of paper, a pen and a timer and this was suggested to me by my sweet pal Lizzie from Lizzie Somerset blog, who had also been recommend by a friend try it too, this is how she explained it..

"Set a timer to 2 minutes and in that time write about how you're feeling/what you ate for breakfast/ everything in your head, the only rule is to keep writing until the 2 minutes is up, even if you just write - I don't know what to write or I love peanut butter" (Which I do!).

Anyway the point of this is to get some of those overwhelming feelings out of your head, down on to paper and in to the open and releasing your mind of the pressure you feel. It also gives you a chance again to see those issues more clearly and by seeing them you can deal with them better.

Lastly if you not one for using tools to help solve problem this next one could be more useful...

 

Talk it out

Time and time again when I talk to people who are overwhelmed by their feelings or an issue going on in their life they say that they are shy, or don't like to burden others, or not really the kind of person who opens up... My reply tends to be, "How's that working out for you then?"

Because keeping quiet isn't really making any break through in the problem, it's not helped resolve the issue so far or allowed them to move on to a happier place! In a nut shell it's not really working out, however I know that it can be hard to open up to others. I find it easy, to the point that if I am suffering the world sure knows about it but this is because I know that I will feel a million times better if I just share how I feel with someone else, because you see, we are all allowed to make mistakes, get things wrong or feel negatively, it's human nature and nothing to feel bad about.


If you do feel extremely vulnerable or flawed about talking to someone else about overwhelm and anxiety then there are some ways you can make it easier...


1. Write a letter/text/Instagram post instead
2. Practice what you are going to say first
3. Test the waters with someone by talking about a everyday problem instead like feeling tired or sick
4. Pretend you're talking about a friend
5. Use an online chat forum for people with anxiety/stress

Also what's really important it to choose someone you trust and who, to the best of your knowledge, won't judge you, so not the work gossip, or the cliquey mums at the school gate or the family member who criticises you, or the best friend who is toxic. Talking to someone who has maybe been through similar or has a kind and supportive nature is the perfect person in this situation and another alternative for you could be medical professional like your GP, a health visitor (if you have under 5's) or a midwife, community nurse or someone like a hypnotherapist.


So what do you think? Anything you'd like to try out?
Or maybe you have tried these out and they worked well or didn't help at all.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with feeling overwhelmed, you can tag me in online or share below, and remember - the greatest things in life happen outside your comfort zone...


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