What We Can Learn From Feeling Overwhelmed

Fear and Self Sabotage

What We Can Learn From Feeling Overwhelmed

I’ve been feeling seriously overwhelmed recently! A lot of awesome things have been going on – some big decisions and a lot of great opportunities all coming at once.

I’ve been rushing around thinking that not only can I do it all, but I can do it entirely on my own – after all, I’m superwoman!!

So what can we learn from feeling overwhelmed?

So what’s been going on

Physically, I’ve been rushing around all over the place, trying to do everything so I’m exhausted to the point where I’ve had a pretty nasty cold virus for over a week which has knocked me for six!

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that my go to place for illness definition is my ‘Heal Your Body A-Z’ app by Louise Hay.

The probable cause for colds is ‘too much going on at once. Metal confusion, disorder’ which I would say sums up pretty perfectly where I’ve been for the last few weeks!

Mentally my head’s been a mess. Trying to figure out all the answers for everything from the big decisions through to how I’m going to fit everything in, right down to what we’re going to have for dinner! Have you ever noticed how when we feel overwhelmed, the simplest of decisions like what to wear or have for dinner seem impossible to make?!

Ignoring the warning signs

I made the rookie mistake of ignoring the warning signs because I kept telling myself it was only going to be for another week and then before I knew it another six had passed!

I continued to ignore that I wasn’t eating properly, I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t really engaged when meditating, I’d stopped journaling and I was starting to become impatient. Negative thoughts were coming back in and my focus was distracted by the future rather than being in the present moment.

As a result, I started to feel more overwhelmed and so the snow ball effect began. The thing with overwhelm is that our subconscious kicks into overdrive in an attempt to keep us ‘safe’ and that’s when the problem gets much worse. We start to feel disconnected and unsettled, we go onto auto pilot and stop trusting our instincts.

I could see it happening, but nothing I tried stopped it. Why? Because I was too far gone.

When I’m out with my dog and she sees something much more interesting than me at the other end of the field, I have about a five-meter radius in which once I see her head go down and she starts to run, I still have the ability to call her and she will return to me. But if she’s already started to run and left that radius, she’s gone and it’s much more difficult to get her back.

My mind is the same, if I’d taken notice of the warning signs, I’d have stood a pretty good chance of reigning everything back in by controlling the basics. But I ignored them and my mind ran away with itself.

And that’s why the cold came, because it was the only way my body could make me stop and really take stock of what I was doing to myself.

So what’ve I learnt?

It all comes down to looking out for the warning signs like the ones I’ve mentioned above. They’re different for all of us, but generally relate to feeling anxious, restless, not eating or sleeping well, over active mind worrying, negative thoughts etc.

Once we notice the warning signs, it’s about having the tools to reign things back in. This is what works for me:

Reach out

Tell someone how your feeling, you don’t have to be a superhero! Make sure that person is a big headed person and not someone who will tell you to simply stop worrying and pass you a glass of wine!

Create a safe environment where we can just be

This will allow your mind to slow down, but you have to allow yourself to just be! This for me is always home and is one of the rare occasions when I watch TV! There’s something about ‘crappy American TV’ as my hubby calls it, that stops me thinking (it literally numbs my mind!) when my mind is going 100 mph.

Look after yourself!

Strip back to absolute basics; food, water, sleep, light exercise, mindfulness, connection. Clear your diary for at least the next few days, then plan your time with the basics first ensuring you leave sufficient time between appointments to let yourself breathe and just be!

Believe in the universe/God/whatever you want to call that awesome higher power

It will provide the solution when you create the space so stop trying to figure out the ‘why’ and the ‘how’. Trust your instincts and intuition, be true to yourself and the universe has your back! You just need to be connected.

Small steps

Break everything down into small manageable steps. Prioritise your to do list on the basis on what is going to bring you happiness the quickest. Focus on just one thing and see it through until completion. Only then, move on to the next. Anything which isn’t going to get you feeling happy can wait until another day.

What should you take away from this?

We all get overwhelmed from time to time, the key is to notice the warning signs. Do you know what your warning signs are? If not, think back to times when you’ve felt overwhelmed and what you noticed. What were your thoughts like? How did you feel physically?

As soon as you notice the signs, go back to basics like I did. If you’ve read my ‘Go To List’ post, this is where you start, make sure you’re doing as many of the things on your list as you can. If you’ve not read it, read it now!

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