Friday, December 01, 2006

Overwhelm

Funny how things tend to go in themes – this week’s theme in my coaching practise has been talking about overwhelm so I thought that it was a good subject for the blog.

Why do we feel overwhelmed? Often because we feel that we have too much on our plate, that we can’t get everything done, that the job ahead of us is too large we don’t know where to start. And that’s a key – picking a place to start. Most times it doesn’t actually matter where we start but simply that we do. Once we get going we can find that the momentum carries us forward with much more ease than we thought.

So just starting can be a help. It is also useful to notice that overwhelm is a futures thing – things have that feeling of being overwhelming because they threateningly loom ahead of us and take our focus off what we are doing right now. It is large problem in our heads but not in reality. But it’s real right now I hear you shout, well yes but if you really take few deep breaths and become REALLY present is it still real? No. So if being present with what is happening right now is an aid, how can we help ourselves to get present?

One way to help your mind relax and drop that overwhelm feeling is write a list of what needs to get done. You don’t have to know the ‘how’ right now, simply the ‘what’. By creating this list we are telling our minds that we will take care of it, it can relax. We can then refocus ourselves onto what is right in front of us at this moment and start with that.

Worry often accompanies overwhelm and a very effective way of handling worry to give yourself a 15 minute time slot each day to use solely for worrying. At any other time in the day if you catch yourself worrying you have to say, “No, I can’t worry about that now, I’ll do it in my worry time”, and write it down on a list. Then when the time comes round you can sit down with your list and worry away to your hearts content! You will find that it is a sure fire way to reduce your worrying and realise that worrying has absolutely no benefits at all. If you do this your worries and therefore your feeling of overwhelm will shrink immensely.

Remember it is all in the mind – what’s in yours?

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