Overcoming Overwhelm… is it possible?

It was Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, that once said “change is the only constant in life”…. that was around 500BC, and how right he was.

We’ve all got a million things going on with work, with study, with kids, with family, with friends…. with bills, with renos, with moving… the list goes on. If you’re like me you’ll find yourself saying “when I get this done it will all be better” or “I just need to get through the next month then everything will be ok”. Even though I have done this through habit, as it seems quite innate in us humans, I’m going to break it and shake it all up a bit. Why? Because there’s always going to be something remember “change is the only constant in life” (Heraclitis, 500 BC). You don’t need to get through this one thing, one month or one year. You need to change how you THINK about it and how you SEE it. Myself included, I’m evolving constantly and this is one of my things too.

Considering that we have no control over what happens (we are all creators of our own destiny, please know I’m not disputing that… that’s a different convo!) what we can do is change our perception and how we think about things. We can come from a place of calm and response rather than overwhelm and reaction.

I can hear you saying “How exactly do I do that Lauren?”

Well… I can’t tell you how exactly, because we are all different and there is no one size fits all solution… but let’s float a few things that I have found to be extremely helpful for me (and others I know).

Meditation. I would say meditation is a really quick way to start creating space. Daily meditation of even only 5 minutes will help you to observe your thoughts, slow them down and create stillness in your mind. The more you do this, the more centred you will feel. You will build up your own inner power which creates that sense of calm that enables you to respond, rather than react, to life. The thing is, in a constantly changing world, the things that happen throw us off balance if we aren’t centred to the core of our being. Then we start being the victim and blaming outside circumstances and getting into a flap, or falling into a deep hole that is really hard to get out of. Trust me I’ve been there. I’m no stranger to depression and have even been on antidepressents twice in my life. I’m not going to put forward a case for meditation, there’s plenty of literature you can Google… this is purely anecdotal and I can say, hand on my heart, the days I meditate I am more connected to my soul and I have a strength that I may otherwise not fully embrace.

Learn to say no. Yes, this is a difficult one and I get it. Just because you are good at something, have done something before or someone else thinks you should do it, doesn’t mean you should. In fact if the word should is involved at all it’s a pretty good indication that you need to say no. Now, saying no and then feeling guilty about it is totally counter productive. So say no and feel good about it. It doesn’t matter if it is a family thing, or something for your kids, or whatever. If you aren’t taking care of yourself first then you are no good to anyone. When you fall in a heap on the floor you are not going to think “gee I’m glad I pushed myself that hard and got all of that done, I made everyone so happy”. The real question is, are you happy? You feeling joy, embracing your inner power and respecting yourself has a ripple effect – and everyone around you will benefit from that uplift in your vibration. Talk about truly helping people.

Declutter your schedule. Ok, seems simple, but really isn’t. Especially for us mums right? Karate, dance, footy, swimming, netball………. insert 10,000 other kids activities here. Homework, school functions, friends, birthdays, family commitments. Ok going to stop typing now as I can feel the overwhelm building! I can’t help you with what you need to do to create more space in your schedule, but perhaps think about asking a friend for help, asking other parents for help, reducing extra curricular activities… maybe getting a cleaner or shopping for groceries online? Have a think about it and then try something, even just one thing, and see if it helps.

Practice presence. When you are working, work. When you are with your children, be with your children. When you are eating, eat. When you are doing whatever you are doing be there. Fully enjoy every moment. Don’t spend it worrying about what needs to be done next. That will just add to the clutter in your brain, and you’ve been trying to meditate that away right? 🙂 Living in the now, consciously, reduces mental clutter and stress levels. I wholeheartedly recommend you read Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”, and more than once at that. If you’re too busy get the audiobook and listen to it in the car or on the bus. Often people wonder how I do so much study or read so many books, the secret is I use pockets of time, like 10 minutes between school and home, to listen to incredible, life-changing information.

I think that’s it from me. I realise that it’s easier said that done, but your overwhelm won’t change unless you try to break some habits, including your perception of what happens in life. It doesn’t mean life is suddenly going to be all peachy and you’ll never have another worry, but man it’s going to be SO much easier to navigate and exponentially more enjoyable, I promise. Your life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you (I don’t know who first said that, I’ve heard it a few times, and it’s so true).

With a calm heart and a centred core,