written by Erica Quam
There are always those times where it just seems that life is spinning out of control. Do you ever wonder why we get so overwhelmed?
What happens to us physically when we get overwhelmed?
Our heart-rates go up. Our blood-pressure goes up. You may even experience a sense of foggy-ness in your head.
How do you react when you are overwhelmed?
Some people either a) move faster and faster, trying to get more things done and just end up spinning their wheels or b) things come to a screeching halt where they get stuck in slow motion.
Don’t worry. You are not alone!
This seems to be an epidemic in our world today. We're so busy, we can barely stop to talk to people. We're so busy that when we do stop to talk we talk about how busy we are. We’re like bees: we are a constant buzz of activity and in constant motion. It’s so palpable we can FEEL it.
Now we have “smartphones” so we can do even more - we can be plugged in anywhere we can get a cell phone signal - which seems to be everywhere these days. Hike up into the mountains to come across another humming cell phone tower.
When there’s a brief pause in action, we bury our heads down to look at our phone and see if we can answer one more email or text before we check out at the grocery store - that is if we didn’t just take matters into our own hands and do the self checkout option so we don’t have to talk to anyone.
I know, I know. I do it too!
There are 3 BIG things that contribute to stress:
1 - Overcommitment
2 - Unmade decisions
3 - Non-stop action
So, how do we DEAL with these things? Let’s simplify it as much as possible. Here's the Twitter (140 characters or less) version!
This tweet's for you if you're Overcommitted: How does no sound? #PracticeSayingNo
That’s it. Not I can’t because... I’d like to but... How does NO sound? It may be hard at first...but after you say no to one thing, it feels SO good...it’ll get easier and easier. Then you’ll find that you aren’t so over-commited anymore.
This tweet's for you if you're Overwhelmed: Set 3 Priorities #What’sMyVeryNextStep?
If you have NO idea what your priorities are for the day then you have lots of unmade decisions in your head. Those unmade decisions take up a LOT of energy. What can you do? At the beginning of your day you simple list the 3 things you want to get done. Then do it. Don’t let your attention get pulled away from your priorities. Just ask what is my next step until you check it off the list.
This tweet's for you if you're always on the run: Take a Timeout #StopFor5+Breathe
If you always feel like you are moving and have non-stop action, take 5 minutes to sit down or lie down and breathe. Set a timer. You can even choose one of those alarms that wakes you up with the sound of Tiebetan bells - which are so peaceful!
Then what? Observe your breath. Let your shoulders relax, your lower back relax, allow your feet to relax out to the sides. Let your eyes soften, your jaw loosen, and let the corners of your mouth release. Breathe in on a count of 3 & breathe out on a count of 4. With each exhalation let go of any tension from inside.
That’s it. Your breath is a tool. It is free and accessible anytime you want to use it. Your breath is the key to lowering your heart-rate, lowering your blood-pressure, and quieting the mind.
The reality is, we are in charge of our own actions. We are in control of our lives. We get into a PATTERN of overwhelm. We get into a HABIT of overwhelm. Yet we have the ability to turn it around. Hopefully when we turn it around, we will notice how much better we FEEL. Then we will create NEW habits.
And then maybe we can help others to do the same.
Which one of these 3 will you try first? Share in the comments below.