How many times a week do you come face-to-face with the feeling of being overwhelmed? In part 1 of this 3-part series on overcoming overwhelm, I wrote about recognizing overwhelm for what it is and taking your power back. In part 2, I shared multiple ways to notice and reprogram your reaction to overwhelm. Part 3 of this series offers you strategies to Overcome Overwhelm.
Overwhelm is a relative concept. What can be overwhelming to you might not be for another. Even for you, what at one time might feel overwhelming, may be no big deal at another time. When you’re having an experience that is overwhelming, a part of you will feel the stress. However, there is another part of you, a higher consciousness, that is centered and calm. That part of you knows how to navigate your present circumstances and events with peace of mind. Your higher consciousness is always accessible to you.
Recall from Part 1 of this series on Overcoming overwhelm that breathing was the first tool you learned to rewire your panic button. Once you start breathing, you automatically calm the nervous system. The circumstances haven’t changed but you are more present and available for navigating. Then what? What do you do from there?
The answer lies within you.
Strategy #1: Tune In to Your Inner Guidance
Your own consciousness is a trusted source, it has information about the situation or circumstance that feels overwhelming. To begin…Listen to this 15-minute guided meditation. Then, take some time to journal about what you received and what the experience was like for you.
Find the journal questions here (OvercomingOverwhelm.InnerGuide)
Strategy #2: Take Inspired Action
You’ve got the tools to rewire your panic button from part 1, reprogram from part 2, and now you know how to access your inner guide. Next, it’s time to take inspired action.
Begin by thinking about the end you have in mind. As you move through your day, as you work on that project, when you’re done with your day, how do you want to feel?
You can use a map as a metaphor for the notion of navigating from panic to peace or chaos to calm in order to achieve the end you have in mind. You use a map or GPS by beginning with your ending destination. Your focus is on arriving safely at your destination. Try this mind map exercise to help you focus on the end you have in mind as you move from overwhelm to calm. This will give you a strategic and tactical view of your current landscape so you can chunk things down and still maintain the big picture.
Mind Map exercise: Mindmap Exercise.pdf
Voila’, you now have a creative visual of the actions that are required for you to move toward the way you want to feel with your end in mind. Take a few moments to answer the following questions to keep you out of overwhelm on your journey.
- How do you want to feel when you are complete with the circumstance/scenario that is creating overwhelm? i.e. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I want to feel_____!
- What are some of the self-care activities you can do to feel that way? Here are a few suggestions
- What are some of the qualities and characteristics, habits, rituals you want to create and cultivate to feel that way?
Overwhelm doesn’t have to be your way of being. It will creep in from time to time. Use it to remind you to slow down and reconnect with the truth of yourself, the creative, and resourceful being that you are. And when you do notice your thoughts are coming from an overwhelmed mind, remember you’ve now got plenty of tools to help you overcome overwhelm.