We’ve entered into my favorite time of the year…back to school.
It’s a time to refocus and creating our best life, losing summer weight resulting from one to many mojitos and preparing for the holidays.
Unless your organized during this time, it is easy to become overwhelmed which can hold you back from making the changes you desire. I know from experience that if I get over overwhelmed I’m like a semi-truck riding through a full mall parking lot…a disaster. Being stressed out leads to poor eating choices, “taking it out on your loved ones”, unhappiness and not getting much accomplished.
I want to share with you the 3 top ways I overcome being overwhelmed and get back to my conscious self. (And yes, food is included):
- Stop, drop, and breathe. You can do this anywhere from your car to a crowded restaurant and no one will know what you’re doing. Active Breathing brings get you to the present moment and takes your mind out of the chaos that is taking over your thoughts. Through this practice you will connect to that inner loving voice that supports you and you’ll instantly know that you’re going to be OK. Deep breathing is a practice that has saved me from going cuckoo.
- Write things down (and not just your to-do list). Write down your goals, aspirations and yes, your list of priorities for today. When we write down and frequently visit our desires and goals, we can easily access whether or not what we are doing or creating anxiety about currently leads us in the right direction or is taking us on a detour. From this practice, we can decide what to drop and what to participate in. There will be things in life that you have to let go of and letting go of these things is letting go of overwhelming feelings and anxiety.
- Sit down and eat. Sitting down to eat let’s your body know that it’s ok to relax. Sitting down and actually enjoying your meals lets the parasympathetic nervous system take over allowing your central nervous system to calm down. Bliss at the table. Don’t get me wrong, as a busy woman like you, I get caught up in walking and eating (that’s’ the NY way) and not enjoying my food and actually craving more food to eat so I can enjoy it. It’s vicious cycle. Also, it’s hard to eat a salad as you walk, work, drive and run around. That’s’ when the donut, fast food or candy bars take the place of real food leading to a pudgy middle. Sitting down for your meals is the best way to mindfully eat and stop when your tummy’s full leading to weight loss.
- Get back into your body through movement. Moving your body in ways that feel good to you is instant therapy for your mind and body. Personally, I go to my yoga mat and start with a downward facing dog to release the stress and tension that has built up in my body from being overwhelmed. Movement like breathing can be a fabulous tool to bring you back to the moment and just BE allowing your swamped mind to let go of the thoughts that are repeating over and over. If yoga isn’t accessible because you’re at work then take a 10 minute walk or go walk some stairs. Sit in your chair and twist out your spine every which way (chair yoga) and see how better you feel. Squats in between phone calls never hurt anyone’s bum. Through the movement, you’re burning calories, building muscle and setting yourself up for weight loss or maintenance. Do you feel stressed now? I didn’t think so. Our bodies were meant to move and movement releases stress. Say goodbye to being overwhelmed now.
5. Nature heals. Get outside as much as possible. Sure, we’re heading into the colder months but nature is healing and the best prescription to let go of all that is bothering you. If you can, sit in the grass or by a tree and really feel, touch and experience being outside. Listen to the wind blowing and the bird’s chirping. Watch the ants and insects go about their daily business as you release your concerns and worries. Breathe in the fresh air and think of something your grateful for.
- Be grateful. Gratitude is very popular way to arrive back to a calm mind and it’s one of the best tools. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or upset, think of one thing that you’re grateful for. Anything will work as long as you feel the gratitude in your heart and you begin to smile from the inside out. That’s pure joy.
Hopefully, reading one of the practices above got you thinking and taking action on activities to release overwhelming emotions. Remember, you choose to be in control so being overwhelmed is choice. Eeks…that’s’ brutal, but honest. Having a lot to do is just fine as long as you choose to handle it form a healthier perspective and be the one to let go of the chaos. If none of the above floats your boat, them here’s one more:
JUST BE HAPPY FOR NO REASON. IT’S A CHOICE.
This won’t take away your list of things you must accomplish this week but sure makes it more enjoyable.
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and share your favorite practices, tools and techniques of letting go over overwhelm.