Have a million things on your mind's to-do list? Going 'round in circles with thoughts, ideas, ways to move forward, or ways to break out of your current situation?
Feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, what to do, or HOW to actually get the results you're relentlessly searching for around in your mind?
This is the article for you.
As a meditation expert (or at least I like to think of myself that way...after almost a decade of a somewhat-solid meditation practice) I liked to think quite-highly of myself when it came to moments of dread, fear, or overwhelm...until it happened. And it just didn't stop.
Safe to say, I think we've all been there. Or at least–'we' being the highly creative, intuitive, feminine leaders; high-achievers who want to accomplish all the things, but perhaps have struggled with life and its outcomes along the way...? Alright, I'll speak for myself.
But for now–here are some sturdy and sure-fire ways to get the results you're looking for through all of your dreadful, overworking mind-load (that's actually getting you nowhere...and more into a state of overwhelm.)
These are what I've discovered on my journey, but most elites in their field (and experts for that matter) also reiterate:
1. Write all of your thoughts down... Then group them, number them, and relist them in order of priority.
Really, Roshni? Yes I know you've probably already done the first half of this tool...but didn't realise the sheer, attributable nature of the second. I swear to you, this process has changed and saved my life time and time again since I properly learnt it in high school.
It's one thing to do a complete mind-dump of all of the crazies in your head. Sure, call it 'journaling' (or just expressively dumping out all your feelings on, not just one, but multiple pieces of paper.) This is essentially helpful when you have no one to vent to, or you just need to get it out. But...what about when it comes to actually getting results, and taking action? Usually the process is left here...then what? The situation might come around again, and you're stuck being a sitting duck. Here's what to do:
Write down a list of all of the things you need to do, and whatever else is running around up there.
In order of urgency, group each point and determine whether they are 'A' 'B' 'C' or 'D' group on the list. ('A' is needs to be done now, 'B' is a little later, 'C' is not so much, 'D' is super into the future. Or whatever goes with your flow and rides your vibe. You get the point.)
Now, with your list and multiple groupings of 'A's and 'B's etc, number each item in accordance of importance, pertaining to each letter group (A1, A2, A3...) Aaand do you see where we're going? Keep going! :D This shit excites me... Now wait for the next part.
Now... Rewrite the list, but IN ORDER from A1, A2, B1, B2, etc. and THEN you will see everything that needs to be done in order of emotional value, integrity and importance!!! :D Isn't that awesome?! Yes, I know – you can thank me later! (Leave a comment below if this truly served you.) I will probably sell this process in future as the go-to tool for overcoming overwhelm and actually making progress on your journey! This, in fact, should be its own blog post/article. But I'm too jam-packed with goodness (as usual) so here are 2 more ways to get what you need, and clear your mind and body of the stress you seriously shouldn't be living with.
2. Get support...ideally from a professional.
Like...actually get support. Actually go to that person and ask them for help...and follow through. Because they know what they're doing–and they're gonna help you get from A to Z in a zip...versus you going through the entire alphabet, by yourself, at snail speed. Trust me, that sucks. I've been there–for way too long.
Once I got to enough of a suffering threshold within myself, I got the support I needed–not just from a friend (which was scary to reach out for initially) but actual, professional support. Go see that therapist. So you can finally stop suffering mentally, emotionally, or feeling crushed in your career. Go pay that coach to teach you what they know so you don't have to kill yourself over 10 years trying to figure it out on your own. We've all been there. There's no shame in going, "I have no idea what the hell I'm doing... Help." In fact, your vulnerability will be praised for it.
And if you don't have the money for that? There are so many ways to get support for that. In Australia, we have a Mental Health Plan that covers 10 sessions for free. Yup. You don't have to pay a cent. You just have to go to your GP (general doctor/practitioner) and request for one–then they'll help you take the next steps. Et voila. Free therapy. (Woohoo!)
Again–don't let shame get in your way. If you want to see results sooner than seeing yourself in the looney bin (which is inevitable if you don't get the support you need right now) I highly recommend using or taking advantage of the amazing resources you have around you, that was made for you. Other ways are to ask a family member for financial support (I know, it's hard) or maybe you have an amazing friend that is willing to support you and wants to see you succeed. Whatever the case–if there is a way, and if you are truly desperate enough (and if you're not desperate enough–right now–I hope you think critically to realise that even getting support now is essential for your success, no matter where you are in your journey...far earlier than later) you will find it. Don't give up. And if you have serious money issues...all the more reason to want to hire that coach to help you alleviate your fears around money. Because we all (need and) deserve thriving financial abundance.
3. Get. Fucking. Present.
This one...I overlook waaaay too much. Again, as a self-proclaimed guru back in my day whom, well...I can't really say 'when I found presence' because presence actually found me... I was always so high-and-mighty about knowing the benefits of stopping, going out to nature, and just being. But do I do this when I feel overwhelmed? Or do I run around like a headless chicken hurting my brain and insides for the damn answer...? I'll let you figure that out.
So seriously–Stop. Go out to nature. Just be. It is known that obtaining higher states of consciousness allows us to receive answers in ways which are inexplainable. Einstein was one to use this and meditation as a tool (as well as working a mediocre job, so that the actual genius could flow through in his subconscious unknowingly) and he used this principle thoroughly. But the fact is–becoming present gives us so many blessings, and truly so many wonders for our life, our daily life, our health, our wellbeing, and our success.
If you're anything like me, you think 'doing' is going to get you there faster; and sure, in the right circumstances–where blood-pressure levels are stable and stress or overwhelm is nowhere to be found–action can definitely be the best tool in that moment. But what about when you're serioulsy in a tizzy, or in a big, transformational, or exceptionally-huge transitional space in your life? What if time actually needs to be taken out to assess the next-best steps, by listening to your intuition, and gauging the pragmatics and possible practical logistics involved?
When many factors are at play–the best way, is just to be. Become present. It's counter-intuitive, especially if your nervous system has been triggered into fight-or-flight mode (or overthink-and-overwhelm mode!) Our pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain which is responsible for our day-to-day sequential functioning and actionable processes, is unable to be fully utilised when there is too much going on. So, the cure...the remedy? Stop. Let go. And let be. Go out to nature. Get some fresh air, slow down, and get present.
This, then, allows the mind, body and spirit to open up, relax, find peace–and things start to make sense again. Overactivity in the amygdala, hippocampus and other areas in the brain responsible for emotional processing (and creates the sense of overwhelm) gets slowed down, and the pre-frontal cortex is able to go online in a healthier, more functionable way.
By getting present, we are able to use more of our whole brain, in a holistic and healthy manner.
By getting present, we are able to connect to the simple act of what to do next, instead of illusive situations which our mind is creating and projecting as a subsequent (and illusive) future.
By getting present, we become still, silent, and at ease to focus, and make the right (or get closer to clarity for the right) decision.
Presence is the gateway to all that we desire. And I will never stop saying this, nor practicing it when the moment comes.
So... I hope this truly helped you in some way. I hope you actually took pragmatic action in the first suggestion of writing it all down, then listing it in order of preference. I actually hope you truly get the help you need now–and don't let it sit nor wait any longer. We all need help and support, no matter how old or smart or experienced we are. You still matter. And your success is going to make the world a better place. And finally...dear God, finally! I hope you bloody make time for actually getting present when things get overwhelmed. I know–it's not the first thing that comes to mind. (Duh.) But, trust me when I say, moments like these will most likely save you, as they did me.
Actually, don't trust me. Discover it by doing it yourself.
And I'm always here cheering you on.
With much love,