And a bonus of two very effective and positive processes to help you.
The topic of overwhelm came up in a writing group today about how overwhelm can take over and send you into a temporary spin or if unchecked drag you into a downward spiral.
Do you want to know what to do when overwhelm threatens to overtake you? Overwhelm is all-consuming, it fogs and clogs your thinking and moving forward seems like a pipe dream.
If this is you right now, stop for a moment and breathe. Deep slow breaths and when you feel calmer check out these positive beneficial options. It could be just what you need to move from stinkin’ thinkin’ to mind tinglin’ thinkin’.
- Step back
Instead of pushing on and driving yourself crazy or worse start beating up on yourself, step back. Leave your work for a day or two and come back with fresh eyes and a more discerning perspective. Be patient and kind to yourself as you go through the process.
- Who are you asking? I
If you are asking others for help or maybe a friend’s edit, choose carefully. Are you asking because they will say yes to please you? Are they your target market? Will they be honest, tactful yet supportive in their comments?
- Don’t take it personally – This is your baby it is you sharing the personal you and initially feedback may hurt. Step in and feel into that pain and hurt, be open and honest with yourself then pick out the gems and concentrate on them. Avoid the overreaction of ‘it’s all bad’, ‘I knew I could not do it’. I can thank 40 + years in Toastmasters and their evaluation process that has taught me valuable lessons on feedback of every kind.
- Make a list of all the things crowding your mind.
Get it out of your head and onto paper. Take a few moments and decide what needs to be done now, right now. Then do it. Number your list and work through it. As a form of reward instead of crossing out what you have achieved, highlight it, then at the end of the day you can review with delight what you have achieved.
- Take the pressure off yourself. What is the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do a gazillion things today? You have 100% survival rate so far, you are still here to tell the tale.
- Stop comparing yourself to others – you don’t know what they have overcome, if they have a team to help them or if they have skills you don’t have (and you have skills they don’t). For example, don’t compare yourself to someone super successful when you are starting out.
- Align and Integrate
When you are writing a deeply personal story from your past it takes time to align and integrate that into who you are today. To take your experiences and be able to use them to create amazing changes in you and those around you takes time. If this covers decades just think about how you have grown and evolved. Remembered what happened, happened to the you who was there at that time, not the you of today.
- Reach out – Have a ‘go to’ person or group who understands what you are doing and run your challenges past them. I am very fortunate to have incredible support from my writing group and we have been there for each other as challenges arose. People love to help people, allow them to do that, it won’t be long before you are there for someone else.
Two processes that have proven useful when you feel overwhelmed are:
Process 1. – In your mind’s eye take yourself up into the sky, higher, higher and higher. Keep going until your problem shrinks to the size of a speck, you might even blend in with the stars. Look around you in space and ask yourself how insignificant is that person/problem. Sit with your thoughts before slowly coming back with you new perspective.
Process 2 – If someone upsets you or sends you into overwhelm, in your mind shrink them down until they are very tiny and you can hold them in the palm of your hand – then with a big breath – blow them away.