If your joy and enthusiasm for life is taking a hit by overwhelm, here’s how to override it, and take control before it takes hold.
Feelings of overwhelm and doubt are signals to act on. Here are 5 ways to reset swiftly and move ahead thoughtfully.
1. AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA.
If you’re overwhelmed this will stoke the fire.
Social media is built to be addictive and designed to train your brain to keep coming back to it. It’s important to remember that you and your attention are their product. The developers don’t care about your long term health or wellbeing. They want more users to spend more time on their platform to monetise from that. There are teams of designers and engineers to make the platform more appealing and addictive.
If you want to train yourself to be a high functioning, happier and resourceful person, it’s important to see that excessive time on social platforms can have a detrimental effect on you, your brain, your focus, your attention span, your productivity and your beliefs about yourself.
Ask yourself why you’re on a social platform and why you want to look on it before you do. Set a timer before you go on there to pull you away once you’re in. Social media can’t replace real-world human connection.
We need real-life contact with others to trigger the hormones that make us feel happier, healthier and positive. During this pandemic this can look like video calls or time outdoors. Ironically for a technology that’s designed to bring people closer together, social media can actually make you feel more lonely and isolated.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION.
If someone gives advice on how to live your life or fix a problem, ask yourself if the advice-giver is someone you look up to. You don’t have to take advice from anyone unless you agree with their own life choices and respect and value their opinion.
Remember, it’s easy to give advice but not everyone lives by their own advice. Be discerning and notice how advice makes you feel when you receive it.
If it feels good, great! If not, notice that and think about what sources of advice really resonate with you.
3. MAKE SPACE TO FACE THE FEELINGS.
Give yourself space to slow down and pay attention to how your body is feeling and what your mind is dwelling on so you can make sense of it and take smart action. Slowing down may seem counterintuitive but in fact, a pause is sometimes just what we need.
If you’re overwhelmed and your head’s in a whirl, freely writing how you feel can help to get clear. When you read back you can find the words that stick out and have more meaning behind them. You can use the words to decide what the next most important step is to help you move forward.
4. GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND INTO YOUR BODY.
This is where you can shift your hormones, replacing the addictive dopamine hormone with endorphins and oxytocin. These hormones physically shift your inner state.
If you want to feel more energised and motivated more often, it’s a powerful thing to know that the thinking mind is only part of the whole system driving our lives.
At a deeper level, hormones and habits are driving much of what we do. Overriding your logical mind to quickly shift your state activates these other parts of your body. Give yourself that initial push in your thinking mind and then notice how it disrupts your energy and your state.
Get into your body through things like meditation, movement and music to disrupt the overwhelm loop. The energy shift will come and you’ll get into your resourceful side that’s always there beneath the conscious mind.
The body knows what you need in every moment. It’s our job to listen and honour that.
5. OWN YOUR CHOICES.
The suggestions in this article need a decision to act. If you’re not compelled or willing to act, own that decision rather than beating yourself up about it. There’s no sense in making yourself feel any worse.
It’s ok to not be ok. But it’s not ok to stay that way. It’s not ok for your wellbeing, for your relationships and for your future. Ultimately it’s in your hands how you choose to move ahead. Arming yourself with knowledge to help you move ahead thoughtfully helps. But knowledge without action is meaningless. If you feel depressed and unable to act on a longer-term basis, then seeking professional support is a wise and important move.
You’re so capable – whatever stage you’re at right now.
You are in control of your life and, with the right techniques, you can utilise the whole capability of your body and mind.
This is true self-care.
We’re in this together and I’m rooting for the real, brightest you.
If this strikes a chord let us know in the comments below… you never know when your words might be just what someone else needs to hear.
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