Feeling Overwhelmed? Then do this one thing.
Here’s a simple mindful exercise to help overcome that horrid feeling of overwhelm that so many of us suffer from, trying to juggle so much in our busy lives.
When you find yourself rushing from one thing to another, either at home trying to juggle finishing the housework, cooking dinner and picking the kids up from school on time. Or at work, battling to keep up with the numerous emails, deadlines, and getting things ready for numerous meetings. I mean what happened to a lunch break??
In the world we live in today, we’ve become hooked into the ‘being busy equals good’ paradigm. It doesn’t allow us to simply ‘be’ ourselves for a moment. We are constantly reacting to stimulus around us, be it the aggressive driver up our arse, the irritating guy on the tube with no space awareness, that Facebook post, the rather curt email from a boss who doesn’t appear to realise the size of your work load, even that poster telling us how we should look…and more…
If you can allow yourself to do this simple exercise at least once a day, you’ll begin to find a bit of space between your immediate reaction and what’s being thrown at you.
You’ll begin to notice how you truly feel at that moment and not just respond in a reactive manner. That habitual behaviour to simply ignore how we feel and move onto doing the next thing, may accomplish a tick on ‘the to do’ list in your subconscious but it doesn’t leave you feeling connected or grounded.
Maybe put a post-it on your computer to remind you at 3 pm to take a breath and try this short but powerful practice. It will give you the strength to finish your day more positive and on your own terms!
Do this one thing to prevent feeling overwhelmed.
It’s as simple as this….STOP…
Try to STOP for a few seconds during your day. You could be at your desk, in a queue, walking or travelling ; this simple technique will enable you to reconnect to yourself, to your natural resilience, by tuning into the ‘now’ and how YOU feel without judgement or expectations.
Four Simple Steps to Prevent Feeling Overwhelmed
S: STOP AND TAKE STOCK
Check in with your heart and body
- Ask your head – what am I thinking of right now?
- Ask your heart – what am I feeling right now?
- Ask your body – what sensations am I feeling right now?
- Simply acknowledge anything that comes up, without judgment or analysing.
T: TAKE A BREATH
Next, direct your awareness to your breath as you inhale and exhale, don’t try to control the breath, just notice it. This helps you move into stillness and the breath becomes an anchor.
Now begin to expand your field of awareness to your body and surroundings. How are you standing/ sitting? What does your body feel? How do the muscles in your face feel? Can you relax them? Can you feel the air around you? What can you notice in your surroundings? What smells, sounds?
Bring this awareness with you into the next moment.
Continue your day but with your attention in the present. Your response to the next stimulus will be a natural one, no longer a mechanical, habitual one that happens when you’re wrapped up in ‘doing’. You maybe surprised by how you respond and what happens next…
Here’s a link to a short video by Elisha Goldstein, a mindfulness practitioner and psychotherapist, talking you through the STOP process. Why not save the link to your desk top and use it to get you started?
I hope this post shows you how to overcome feeling overwhelmed..why not try it? You’ve got nothing to lose 🙂
Feel free to share this with some one who you think could do with the help! I’d love to hear from you below….