bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something, especially water.
What Leads to Overwhelm
- Uncertainty – when you don’t know what to expect, your mind often goes into overdrive, creating different possible outcomes. You then may get overwhelmed by the emotions associated with all these different possibilities. Your imagination goes wild and your emotions go with it – not a good combination!
- Fear of ‘bad’ outcomes – like uncertainty, there is an element here of getting trapped in thoughts about the future, and the emotions associated with your fears. Being afraid that you will fail at a task at work, or that your relationship will end, or you will never find your soul mate, or that your health will plummet or never improve, all these fears trigger negative emotions in you, without any of these outcomes having actually happened.
- Not having the answers to tough problems – feeling like you have no solution once again leaves you spinning your mental wheels and worrying about what you cannot change. Society is often very individualistic. Despite statements like ‘There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’!’, there is a lot of expectation around that each person will solve issues by themself. Asking for help is often treated as a weakness, which is unfortunate as it actually helps both the person who asks and the person who is asked.
- Having too much to do in the time available – this is a biggie in our current society. So many things to do, so much pressure to achieve, and time always feels like it’s under pressure. Who hasn’t wished that they had more hours in the day? There is an expectation on you to be successful and productive, an element of blame if you don’t achieve as much as all those perfect Instagram wonders. It’s a lot of pressure, and rather like the physique of Barbie back in the day, pretty much unachievable!
What to Do
So, what ways are there to deal with feelings of overwhelm?
As overwhelm is fundamentally to do with worrying about the future, and your feelings about that, there are two basic aspects to dealing with it. Firstly, to bring yourself into the present moment, and secondly, to develop greater calm. How you go about this, though, can be quite varied.
- Meditation/mindfulness – the whole point of meditation is to be in the present moment, non-judgementally. In this way, it works on both the rumination issue and the calm issue associated with overwhelm. If you are in the here-and-now, you are not worrying about what might happen. And if you are being gentle and kind to yourself about your thoughts and feelings, allowing and accepting them, then you will feel a lot calmer about whatever arises.
- Tapping – by releasing the roots of the stress you are facing, tapping will reduce the overthinking around it. It is also proven to create a state of calm, dropping bodily cortisol levels significantly. Once again, reducing rumination and increasing relaxation and self-acceptance.
- Hypnosis – one of the ‘Laws of Suggestion’ devised by Émile Coué in the early part of the 1900’s basically states that you cannot be both angry and relaxed at the same time. By creating a state of calm, hypnosis allows you to examine the causes of your stress, while not feeling its effects. In so doing, it allows you to be present with the associated emotions, and also to connect with your unconscious mind to seek out the underlying causes, and release them.
- Matrix Reimprinting – this technique basically combines tapping and hypnosis to dive deep into negative beliefs and resolve them. Not only does it get you into a calm state while you’re doing so, but it also specifically focuses on creating a positive belief and state to replace the previous negative one. This is especially recommended if there are deep roots to your overwhelm. For example, if you started to feel overwhelm as a child, this is a good indication that the underlying negative beliefs go back a long way.
While deep-rooted overwhelm can perhaps best be dealt with in a session with a trained practitioner, there is still a lot you can do for yourself. Whether it’s regularly practising a calming breath for yourself, or doing some kind of mindfulness practice, every little really does help!
And if you would like a place to start, here is a tapping video to transform overwhelm in all aspects of your life. You’re welcome 🙂