For starters, the pace of modern society, technology, and automation has a lot to answer for. The speed at which we live our lives is remarkable when compared to human existence only 50 years ago.
Busy people tend to fast-forward their lives. So many of us yearn for simple contentment and to be unencumbered by the stresses of modern life but feel unable to achieve.
What adds to these feelings of overwhelm?
A lack of coping resources, such as supportive, caring friends, families, or communities can leave us feeling isolated. If our work life balance is off and we lack rewarding involvements outside of work we don’t have that all important time to unwind and let our minds process the day. If we don’t have appropriate self-care or stress management skills the smallest of stressors can build into something crushing.
Often there is a powerful ‘cocktail’ of stressors and emotions that lead to the subjective sense of being overwhelmed, it’s rarely just one thing.
Common causes of emotional overwhelm.
Underlying physical or mental health conditions;
Issues in relationships.
Demands from occupation or career.
Life transitions, such as buying a house, having a baby, or looking after an elderly parent.
Death of a loved one.
Insufficient time to complete tasks or rest.
Personal history of trauma.
What is the impact of overwhelm?
The impact of being overwhelmed and living in a constantly heightened state of stress can be dramatic. Being constantly overwhelmed has a significant impact on your cognitive functioning, it’s a fact that your thinking skills will be slower and impaired when under stress. This in turn can lead to a decline in performance and work or struggling with personal relationships which only leads to increase the feelings of overwhelm.
The danger with overwhelm is that we can live with it rumbling on in the background for years until, finally, it catches up with us. In this circumstance, a significant event may trigger such a strong reaction within us that our already depleted reserves don’t have enough to draw on to pull us through.
Tips to deal with overwhelm.
Do a deep-breathing exercise.
Knowing an effective breathing exercise or two can help bring you out of your feelings of overwhelm – and back into the moment
Try some low-impact exercise
Moments of extreme overwhelm aren’t always the best times to bust out heart-pumping cardio moves. Instead, focus instead on soothing, low-impact activities. If you’re able to, take a step away from whatever is overwhelming you – whether it’s work, a text message, a conversation with your partner, or another trigger – and try one of these a low-impact, highly-restorative activity like yoga or some gardening.
Engage in a mentally soothing activity.
Not able to physically get away? Treat your brain like a muscle, try giving your mind some low-impact exercise with some meditation or listening to some calming music. Journaling or writing down your stresses is also a great way to help calm a racing mind.
Reassess your schedule!
To prevent future feelings of overwhelm, it’s often helpful to consider your current workload and list of responsibilities.
How I can help with your feelings of overwhelm.
My approach to overwhelm must start with self-love, being self-caring and making sure that my clients understand is overwhelm is not weakness but a sign of strength.
I look at your physical-mental balance from a holistic perspective, looking at your history, diet, sleeping patterns, relationships and where you live and work (check out my blog on geomancy to see how unknown geopathic stress could be affecting you).
The first step is to look at the heart qualities we have such as unconditional love, wisdom, joy, trust and nurture and apply these qualities to the solid life foundation you already have.
We are all biologically different, so our needs also differ, but self-care starts with a personal and conscious choice of wanting to live a more balanced and healthy life. Big changes are not achieved overnight, but from one day to the other – it takes time and commitment. It is essential that we learn to stop, sit down and allow ourselves to get in touch with our soul. At the start this is one of the most difficult exercises perform – we are almost scared to listen to our needs in case we find something we do not like about ourselves.
Until we acknowledge that the body and mind and soul are one it will be very difficult to live a balanced and healthy life. Caring about our wellbeing – be it physical, mental and spiritual self-care, is actually self-responsibility not just for ourselves but also to those that love us.
I work with my clients to give them the tools that they need to deal with overwhelm not just now but into the future. If you would like to find out more drop me an email on Barbara@equilibriumvitae.co.uk and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.