Dealing with Overwhelm
5 ways that I find useful
1. Cultivate empowering beliefs:
Our beliefs when positive and empowering can help us navigate through tough times.
Some, that help me tide through rough moments are:
A. You are never alone:
We may think we are alone in the face of challenging situations. But the truth is, there is always someone, somewhere facing the exact same situation as us.
We are never really alone in our troubles.
B. You can use your intellect to solve life's problems:
Look back on your life and recall some of the sticky situations you have encountered. Ask yourself, ‘how you came out of it?’ Most likely you used your intellect, charted some course of action and found your way through. You can do the same thing again. And again. There is no problem too big to not get solved.
C. Things don't happen to you. They happen for you:
This belief helps us get out of the 'victim mentality', & opens our awareness to the positives in our difficult experience. Accepting things as they are instead of resisting or hoping it were different helps us build resilience.
“The Buddha taught that we are not actually in control, which is a pretty scary idea. But when you let things be as they are, you will be much happier, more balanced, compassionate person” - Pema Chödrön
2. Focus on effort and actions instead of ruminating on thoughts of 'could have', 'should have', & 'should not have':
Thoughts of, ‘I could have done that', ‘I should not have done this', or ‘why did I do that', etc. are mentally draining. Instead of getting swamped in regrets, choose to take stock of where you are and start putting in the efforts, in a new direction if required, based on the knowledge you have gained through your experiences.
Any small step you take to improve your life will add up over time and take you to a better place.
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. It is accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward” - Oprah Winfrey
3. Cultivate a growth mindset:
Looking for lessons in life experiences is a great way to navigate through it. When you look at life as a teacher, here to help you grow, then you begin to embrace each experience & become curious as to why something might be happening in your life. This curiosity awakens an awareness to how you can grow through the experience.
“No mud. No lotus” - Thich Naht Hanh
4. Prioritise Self care:
Affirm everyday that you deserve to feel good in your body and mind. Also cultivate the habit of asking yourself often, ‘what do I need to feel better?’
The answer could be to let go of a thought, belief or a person that's been weighing you down, or it could be something as simple as getting some extra sleep.
Whatever the answer, do it for you.
“You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first - make yourself a priority.”
5. Have a few ‘pick me ups’ for your blues:
Could be inspiring literature, Journaling your thoughts, spending some mindful time in nature, meditating, or reaching out to a teacher or a friend who you trust, for help.
These are some of my ways of dealing with overwhelm. What are some of yours? Do let me know in the comments.