How to turn overwhelm into inspiration.
Overwhelm. We all experience feeling overwhelmed at some stage or another. The reason this feeling arises in the first place, is most likely, from the desire to accomplish, to produce, or to deliver.
When demands have been put on us, either by our own minds, or those of others, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start, what to focus on and even where we are going with it.
Creating goals and accomplishing them does give a whole lot of satisfaction, confidence and esteem, but when we feel like things are spinning out of control, it is time to take a step back. Being “stuck” is never going bring positive results. So what can we do to get out of that mode?
1. Stop, breathe and feel.
Stop yourself running from one distraction to another trying to “figure it out” while you’re aimlessly doing one thing after the other, frowning, sighing and driving yourself nuts. Admit that you are feeling overwhelmed. That should cause a natural release in your breathing.
Now, notice how contracted your abdomen has become. Breathe into your abdomen like a mini internal massage and notice the frown on your face being replaced by a little smile. You are on your way to transforming overwhelm to inspiration.
2. Write a list of all the things on your mind.
That’s right, let it out. Every single thing that you are currently holding onto in your mind, write it down. Put on paper everything you have to do, to remember, or to think about. Scribble out the titles of what you are thinking about, what may be bothering you, pending matters you are working on, and things you’d like to work on when once again you have time. Moving the content from your mind to a visible form creates objectivity. From this viewpoint it is much easier to sift and sort and prioritize the importance of each entry.
3. Cross out what’s completed.
Often by simply writing something down we realize that we no longer need that thought. This lightens the load a lot. With the remaining items it should be easy to see what is important right now and what is not. You can even rank and prioritize the items on your list to give you a greater sense of progress.
4. Realize that you are in control.
You have the choice to decide how to approach the items on your list. That means you are 100% in control of your actions, and not the other way round. If you do not feel in control at this stage, there may be unconscious fears trying to convince you of something that is not. You may want to ask yourself if really you have to do something you really don’t want to. What will happen if you don’t? What are your motivations for fulfilling certain demand, or if it simply seem to big of a task, make a second list breaking it up into smaller steps.
5. Accept your limitation.
The demands put on you can only be handled one at a time and you can only do your best. You may find that the knot in your stomach was caused by really not wanting to disappoint someone, or by wanting to prove your own worth to yourself.
Remember, healthy goals have a healthy motivation and working on these, even in the midst of struggle with it makes you feel good at some level. Doing your best with what you are capable of doing at anytime, is all you can really do. Confidence sprouts not from merely succeeding or not, it develops from the quality of attention and dedication you bring to whatever you are doing.
So if you have to delegate, do so. If you have to disappoint, do so. If you have to postpone, do so.
6. Be Inspired.
If a moment ago you felt lost, stuck and overwhelmed, and you completed the steps above, you have clearly proven to yourself that you can get out of it with no problem. This in itself is a pretty big accomplishment. Congratulations!
Perhaps you didn’t need steep 2-5, and by breathing into your belly the expansion of relaxation sparked a sense of inspiration naturally.
7. Choose your platform.
When you open your mouth and breathe out at the same time, it produces sound. From this sound a song may emerge, a composition, or prayer or masterpiece.
When you write a word a sentence may follow, perhaps through rhyme a poem may grow. The first paragraph of your life story, the remembrance of a vision, the business plan or daily schedule, the long awaited spring cleaning, or perhaps a silent rest are all possibilities through which inspiration may manifest. Simply direct your attention to the platform suitable to your situation.
8. Be open to uncertainty.
You are now ready to let creativity flow through you like never before. The times when we work with most precision and focus are the times we are inspired and this creative flow cannot flourish without the courage of embracing the unknown. Take a chance and see what comes out of it.