Overwhelm hits everybody at some point, and for many in our society, it occurs on a fairly regular basis. I won’t say that it is a normal occurrence because it is not. Unfortunately, it is a regular occurrence or experience for many people given the multitude of stressful environments that have been created around us.
This week we are going to focus on providing some useful tools to limit or even eliminate the overwhelm you may experience.
First, here is a little perspective: The universal sound of serenity is Om. Notice that the world overwhelm begins with an “O” and ends with an “M.” Our angst comes from getting mired in between our serenity. Like anything, we tend to make things so complex; in this case, by jamming a bunch of letters between the “O” and the “M.” Lighten up and keep it simple. Remember, no matter where you are or what you are up against, your peace exists in parts of the overwhelm.
When you find yourself in it, perform a “brain dump.” Get a piece of paper and start writing down everything that you believe is contributing to your overwhelm. List projects, actions, issues, circumstances, people, distractions, interruptions, bills, you name it. Get it all out on paper. Don’t worry about how you are going to get these things done or figure things out. Just get them out of your head and onto the paper for now.
One of the biggest offenders that swipes our bliss is trying to keep our life in our head. It’s the not knowing what’s not getting done that magnifies our angst. Doing a brain dump gets it out where we can see it and thereby serves as a pressure release that enables us to start getting our power back and seeing solutions.
Once you have dumped it all out on paper you can start to do something about it.
Next, do the best you can to quiet your mind and prioritize what needs immediate attention, what can wait until tomorrow, next week and next month. Again, don’t get triggered into figuring out the how. Just prioritize.
Once you have your brain dump prioritized, you may notice that a great deal of what you thought was so overwhelming really is not. Time exists so that you don’t have to do everything all at once. With that in mind, select the top three things that you indicated have immediate priority.
You should find that you can think a bit more clearly having done the brain dump. For each of the top three immediate items you just identified, develop a plan for getting it completed. Take an action based on that plan. By the way, know it’s okay to ask for help. It really is. You don’t have to do it all yourself, and people do want to help.
Focus is a big one for all this to work. Take time on a regular basis to focus your energy on what you want to experience and not what you fear may come about.
Remember to breathe during the entire process, and remember that all is happening to help you increase your capacity. The overwhelm comes from a low capacity to maintain a sense of feeling in control. As you start to take action and move through the various projects and actions, you start to increase your capacity. As you increase your capacity, the overwhelm dissipates.
Take time to generate and hear the Om sound and eliminate the chaos in between the sound.
Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!
Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (530) 273-8000.