Overwhelm happens to the best of us and overcoming it is the key to moving on with our day with clarity of mind. Therefore I share with you a resource to help you overcome your feelings of overwhelm, and suggest ways you can adapt it to suit your unique style.
There are many times in life when we feel overwhelmed.
It doesn’t matter how you get there, the feeling of overwhelm can be debilitating, all-consuming and a right pain. The anxiety, the need to cry and a muddled mind interrupts life.
Therefore we all need resources for feeling overwhelmed so that we can overcome the emotion and move on with our day.
Yes, I did say emotion, after all to me overwhelm is the brain’s inability to identify and label all the emotions you are feeling in a single moment.
How can we stop feeling overwhelmed by emotions?
The answer is to give the emotions space, a moment of time to be acknowledged without creating a story in our minds. We can start by taking a deep breath.
Then I want you to try this simple technique, adapting it to suit your style with the suggestions below.
After all they are your emotions, your feeling of overwhelm so you need to find your best way to overcome it.
The best bit is that it only takes 90 seconds to process an emotion so you can adapt this technique to be as long or as short as feels good in the moment.
Overcome Overwhelm – The Technique Of Release Writing
I first came across this technique called Release Writing from the wonderful Christine Hassler when I started my life coaching training.
It has been a big part of my own growth as well as a tool I bring out often to support my clients.
Find yourself a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for a few moments
Gather a pen, paper and timer (phone on aeroplane mode will do).
Set the timer for 2 minutes
Write at the top of the paper - I feel…
Let your mind wander and capture every thought onto the paper
Keep writing until the timer goes off
It shouldn’t be neat, grammatically correct, logical or even legible
When the timer goes off, scrunch up the paper and throw it away, or if you fancy a little more flair – burn it.
Personalise The Technique To Overcome Your Overwhelm
Experience has shown me as a coach that what works for one client, might not support another. This is where it’s so important to adapt my tools and techniques to each individual client and I want the same for you.
So here are 5 ways to personalise this tool to help you overcome overwhelm:
1. Talk To Yourself
Writing may not be your style so try audio journaling. Grab your phone and any voice memo app, hit record and capture all your thoughts before deleting. Again remember it shouldn’t make sense, we are allowing whatever comes to mind to flow out.
2. Say It With Music
If you play an instrument why not overcome overwhelm through music. What does anger sound like? How about sadness? No score writing, no need for it even to be pleasant on the ears, explore your feeling while playing.
3. Get Creative
Artists of the world, if you love to draw or paint, then allow yourself to creatively express what is in your mind onto the paper in front of you. So what if all the overwhelm means the page ends up being mostly black or brown, explore your thoughts and feelings visually. This isn’t a piece to be framed.
4. Describe Your Body Sensations
No props are needed for this one, just close your eyes allow a feeling to arrive in your mind, and then ask yourself how does this feel in my body? Explore from your toes to your head noting what you experience. Perhaps your heart beats faster, your chest tightens, your fists clench? Just note and move on up the body.
5. Your Unique Way
You are the best person to adapt this process to suit you. How might you find a way to release your overwhelm? A combination of these? Something entirely different? Let me know in the comments.
Overwhelm is perfectly normal.
We often get told from a young age to ignore our emotions and lead our lives with logic. This way of being is going to lead to overwhelm from time to time as our emotions require acknowledgement.
Allow this resource to help you overcome these feelings of overwhelm and bring you back to clarity.
Remember that by personalising it to your style it will be more accessible when you are in need.
So try them all out, find which works best for you and share any other techniques in the comments.