What happens to you when you sense the emotion of overwhelm at your door? Do you answer the door and let it in, or do you speak to overwhelm?
For me, I have had a few days in which I noticed overwhelm came knocking on my door. I try so hard not to answer the door, for fear that it will overcome me. This can feel like a daunting thought. Sometimes overwhelm just wins.
How we navigate this feeling, a disruption of sorts, can make a huge difference.
I find that when I entertain overwhelm, I am extremely unproductive and caught up in a spiral of negative emotions. When I see overwhelm and talk through the door, without opening it, I can manage to stay in a much calmer place.
Feeling overwhelmed is common. It signifies that you have more demands for your time and energy than you have the ability to accomplish. It is a temporary state that can be overcome with a few important steps.
Feeling overwhelmed can elicit a strong emotional response; it makes us feel extremely out of control, lack a sense of ease and direction. It doesn’t feel good.
Here are my steps as I speak to overwhelm through the door, without inviting it in for a cup of coffee:
First, see it and actually call it what it is. It is important to be able to recognize these feelings.
Next, sit back and breathe for a moment. Focus on your breath so that your mind begins to relax. Our breath is always with us and very helpful when we shift our awareness to it.
Then, take a look at what might be creating additional demands or energy and why that might feel overwhelming to you right now. Bring attention to exactly what is happening in the current moment. It can be helpful to make notes. Grab a pen and paper and write down all of the things that are running through your head. This “brain dump,” as it is sometimes called, can be an amazing release. As you identify where the additional pressures, stress and feelings are coming from, look closely at what it is you might be able to take off your plate in this moment. Ask yourself “what can I move to the next day, delegate, or even let go of?”
Look at what you can do right now. Is there something that you can tackle and feel good about? If so, do it. When we achieve success in completing one task, our mindset begins to shift.
Look at how you can create a plan, routine or strategy as you move forward. Focus on organizing things in terms of what needs attention and what does not. You will most likely find that the overwhelming feeling begins to lessen. And if that doesn’t send overwhelm running from your door, perhaps take 15 minutes to do something that speaks to you and will return your mind to a fresh and rejuvenated state, ready to seize the day.