We have all experienced it as some point or another. But why does it happen and how can we overcome it?
Overwhelm can be summed up by an over abundance of decisions and choices that leaves our brain in a place of indecision and general fizzle. Having too many decisions causes us often to make none and just want to jump in bed and pull the covers over our head.
Back in the day, people had to worry about one thing- survival. There were not all the options. People had less and only what they really needed to survive. If something needed done it was because that is what was needed to survive.
Now we have a zillion options and decisions to make having to do with things that do not determine our survival, but rather just our life choices. We are not going to die if the wall is not the right color or our job doesn't bring us joy on a daily basis. But these are real things and in the spirit of living our most authentic, happy, healthy life having options is awesome!
Really, how lucky are we that we have so many options! Now, what to do about it?
I am no stranger to overwhelm. As a born entrepreneur and go getter, I can not help getting myself into a state of real overwhelm on a very regular basis. Three years ago was a pretty crazy time. We moved our salon business, bought a giant fixer upper, changed jobs and tried to maintain sanity. Eek! Lets just say overwhelm and I got to be good friends. Since then, and continuing to move forward with our home remodel and proffessional eanevors I have relized some super helpful tricks to keeping my brain in check.
Here are the three Key ways I have found to overcome overwhelm when it comes calling.
3) Set Limits to Reduce Your Options
The most decisions you have to make the more overwhelming any project will be. Set some limits. It's totally okay to say no when you have to. Narrow it down for yourself. For myself, there are about 200 different projects I could be trying to conquer at my house at any one second. I have to narrow it down to keep from losing it.
As this applies to our health, generally we are better off making one small change/ choice to better our health. It can be easy to to get overwhelmed by the 'eat this, not that' how to's every time you turn around.
For instance, breakfast. What should you eat? Some say fasting is best. Others say it is the most important meal of the day. Some say granola cereal and yogurt. Others say no grains or dairy. Before you know it the decisions have overwhelmed you and your nose deep in a bowl of lucky charms- no one says that is good for you ;)
Instead, limit your options. Pick a breakfast or two to pick from for the week and go with it. Limit your choices.
2) Meditate- You are in Control
I promise. When it comes down to it, you do truly have the ability to control your own brain, thought, feeling and actions. You can stop your brain from losing it. Really.
Soak this concept in for a second- You are in control. Liberating right? So often it feels like our feelings and thoughts are involuntary and we can't help it, but the truth is- we got this!
But it doesn't always come easy. Taming our brains from running wild takes a bit of practice.
How, you ask, do you tame a brain?
It is no coincidence that every person I admire theses days seems to have one thin g in common. They all meditate daily. Nothing to crazy. Even just a 10 minutes a day can make a difference.
The way I see meditation is it is a time where you take a brain full of thoughts and stress and mess and convince it to just breath and let go. Then when you are in a situation where you normally would 'involuntarily' lose it, you can rein that brain in, breath and let go. You have already practiced!
I love the Aaptiv app for all things working out. They have guided meditations that you can listen to anywhere, anytime. I would totally suggest it.
Yoga and Meditation on the Dock
On our most recent trip to upstate, NY, I dove into learning more about meditation. Rain or shine, I took the time everyday to tame my brain and find peace.
1) Just do it!
This may seem like silly advice, but it is some of the best advice I have ever gotten. Okay, I am going to say something that may blow your mind- there is no wrong choice.
There are choices that bring you closer to your life goals and ones that bring you farther, but every choice teaches you something.
When it comes to overwhelm, when faced with too many decisions the best thing to do is not to quit and bury your head in the sand. The best choice is to make a choice, any choice, just do it! If it doesn't work out you can always make another choice.
We are faced with a ton of diets, so we don't pick one and continue to be unhealthy. I don't know what color to paint the room so I just close the door and don't move in there. The worst choice is no choice!
The number one way to Overcome Overwhelm is to just do it. Trust that is will work out, and if not, you can always course correct. Go with your gut and go for it!
Are you struggling with overwhelm right now? Try implementing these three objectives this week. Have a Happy, Healthy week!