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Overwhelm, stress, argh….

Why recognising the signs of overwhelm is important

This morning I thought I had lost my purse. My heart raced and I could feel the overwhelm that I was already feeling, increase. Argh. But how could I? I had it in my hand only moments before. It was then that I realised I was in overwhelm and had dis-connected from my body. Not a physical dis-connection. That would be impossible! But I had stopped listening to it, I was all in my mind. I have to do this. This is next. And when I do this, I can relax. 

This state, was not helpful. I was just attracting more stress and overwhelm and getting myself into a panicked place. It’s easy to do this. Thinking about all of the things we have to do and then you enter overwhelm. 

I recognise the signs, now. But, I didn’t always. I would often find myself gripping on for dear life, hoping I could get through my ever growing to-do-list. Then I would feel this clutching in my heart area, which is where and how I feel overwhelm. I didn’t notice how I was feeling in my body when I was at my worst. To be honest. I struggled to notice anything, but the growing fear that I wouldn’t get what I needed to done. I stopped doing all of the things that I loved because I lacked motivation, creativity and was exhausted from all of those hormones running through my body. 

Now my life is very different. I still experience overwhelm if I’m not connecting with my body and unconsciously rushing. This doesn’t mean I have to be conscious all of the time and connected to my body, but it does mean I have to check in every now and then and be aware of what happens when I’m not connected. I also meditate to help me stay in a place of balance more often, but let’s be honest. It’s not always possible. 

By recognising the signs of overwhelm, I was able to breath into the place I feel anxiety. This releases some of the overwhelm. I take a moment to stop, even though rushing around feels productive, it’s not. I imagine my feet rooted to the ground and tree roots coming out of the bottom of my feet. This gets me back into my body and out of my head. Dancing for about 30 seconds does the same thing, but I couldn’t do that in public. Well not without a little alcohol. I then write a list of all the things I have to do. Out of the head and on paper is a better place for all of those things. It also gives your brain more space to focus on tasks, rather than racing ahead trying not to forget what you have to do. When we are in overwhelm or stressed, our brains don’t work as well. Our bodies are flooded with hormones and we step into fight or flight mode. We have less capacity to concentrate and if you’re anything like me. When I am this state I become less responsive, less capable of managing anything other than what’s in front of me and less flexible. Essentially, not a nice version of myself. 

So tune in. Understand the signs of overwhelm, or the signs before overwhelm and find ways for you to manage your state on the go.  

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