If you're in a constant state of being overwhelmed and have so much chaos in your life that it seems impossible to just stop and breathe, then you may want to pause and read this.
We live chaotic and stressful lives. There are so many choices and situations that surround us, it seems like a storm of decision making... and that becomes a burden. "Out of control, chaos, overwhelmed, turmoil and pandemonium", are words that create a broken house of cards. Upset becomes the new normal for our lives! If you're navigating from one storm to the next, keep reading.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
No matter what, our lives are chaotic and details seem to fall out of place easily. You might be in total agreement with Murphy's Law that even the good things will eventually fall into bad. That agreement can keep you from any joyful moment, right? Eventually joy will look like something you don't want to contend with because it's so fleeting. Joy is a very fragile emotion. Even more so when we focus on Murphy's law! And the thought of that downspirial makes us even more anxious!
Philippians 4: 6-7
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
What if I told you that no matter how chaotic and how many things are happening in your life right now, that your level of peace is more about your thinking! There are so many things to think about in our daily adventures, that we need to train our brains to think outside of overwhelm. The number of interferences that bombard us in the world today are so vast! Just 50 years ago, existing technology was much less complicated and we didn't need to categorize like we do today. We are asked to pay attention to so much superabundance coming at us that it causes our brains to be undisciplined in figuring out solutions. But our brains were actually designed to evolve into new ways of thinking and managing challenges. That creates new neural pathways which have the ability for new emotion. When you're in overwhelm you're actually repelling new ideas. Confusion is not a safe place. Ask your brain to continually make decisions and do the "thought-work". This will prevent overwhelm!
Release yourself from constantly thinking that you don't know what to do. You have the answers inside of you! You just have to find it. When you start doing something... you will find out if it's the right or wrong thing to do quickly. As long as you're doing thought work around it, your training your brain out of confusion.
Constrain all your options into fewer options. If your thinking that there are so many other options, then narrow it down into less options. Give yourself permission to support your own decisions. Weather that is what to wear for a certain event, what movie to watch, what to eat or trying to organize a chaotic situation.
Walls are built to walk around - or scale over! If there is an immovable obstacle then find a way to go around it.
Organizing the details
If You've ever tried to hold every thought captive you would know it's a difficult exercise. It takes a lot of concentration! And when you're in a place of chaos it feels really impossible. So if we look closer at the problem, I want you to realize that no matter how much you try to control your situation, it will always become a downspirial. No matter what! Ouch! Nothing is perfect. So we have to choose where our thoughts are taking us. We can "choose" to allow our thoughts to destroy us or we can "choose" to take everything a little slower in our minds. Take the situation one step at a time. You're choosing to not allow your thoughts to destroy you. Negative thoughts spin out of control. But you can actually control the spinning by unraveling it.
When you organize your details it allows your emotions to empty out. Try this...
Write down everything in your head on a piece of paper. It helps you think clearer when you don't have to keep a mental note.
Determine your timeline and write down what action steps need to be done for each item. (Start categorizing what is most important.)
Create sub-categories. If your world is more complicated than sub-categories, then break it down into even more categories.
Look at the Big Picture. Get the big picture of what’s involved in accomplishing the project. Determine the major pieces that are involved.
On your list find all the pieces before you explore any one of them, and give each task a number. (Most important to least important.)
In a complicated state of overwhelm, You'll need to think through this slowly. Not rush.
For people with high trauma and PTSD, It's ok to take your day 1 hour at a time. Sometimes you need to go slower than this. Maybe 5 minutes at a time. I went years living like this and it helped my mind slow down and bring me a space to breathe.
Make sure that your list is doable and realistic for you. If you're having problems with overwhelm and stress, please contact me.
If you're overwhelmed with someone in your life, you may write them a letter that never gets sent. You can rip it up, throw it away and give the burden back to God. But you have to let God take it and carry it for you.
5 Minute Meditation
This is also called, Grounding or Earthing which is really a term for Staying Present. It's a technique used for on-the-go busy schedules. Choose an activity you enjoy doing. This might look like walking or listening to music. You can even do this in the shower. Or you can do this within a menial task like laundry, washing dishes or driving. If you're in the middle of overwhelm at work you might escape into the bathroom or an empty conference room.
If you are an Empath and the negativity of people's emotions or pain overwhelm you, a solution would be a short escape into a quiet place so that you can Earth yourself. Your ability is a great gift but allowing it to consume you can become a burden. Find a place of calm... maybe a short walk outdoors near trees and flowers so nature can revive you. Or a salt bath to detox the day may be essential.
Take 3 deep, slow breaths.
Pay attention to your breathing.
Become aware of everything in your environment. The heat or air going off or on. Feel the chair and the fabric of the chair you're sitting on. If you're holding a pen, feel the texture with your fingers. Or touch your sweater/shirt and feel the fibers and texture.
Allow all your thoughts to drift by you.
Feel roots flowing from your feet down deep into the earth. They are strong. Let them go deeper into the earth and let them drink the pure water from the underground rivers so that it nourishes every fiber of who you are.
Feel the cool and warm that surrounds you
The presence of God is always near. Identify God near you and ask him to come closer so that his light surrounds you. Let his peace fill you.
Breath in the peace of his presence. Feel the light within you.
What does that feel like? What does that look like?
Look inside of yourself to see the colors of God and how that is bringing peace back into your day.
Ask God what he wants you to know in this moment.
Hold onto this for another moment.
Drink water to rehydrate and let what doesn't serve you drift away.
We can't change the number of obstacles in the world but we can change how we think about and discover new ways to solve our problems in a deliberate manner. When you hear yourself in overwhelm, separate the facts and separate out your own drama from it. Stop yourself and manage vocabulary. Overwhelm is only in your thought process. Be willing to make a wrong decision so that the right decision will surface. More options are a very good thing but less options will help organize the chaotic. Commit to a decision and support yourself in it. Become part of your own solution!
“Walls are built to walk around! If there is an immovable obstacle then go around it.”
Someone once said, "When you're in a great storm, run to the center and look up. You will find the throne of God." There is usually an "eye" to a storm where there is great calm. Keep your eyes on the throne and let God blow the storm over you.