How do you cope when it feels as if life is throwing too much at you at once?
We can often feel pulled in so many directions that it makes it difficult to handle one thing much less the avalanche of issues headed towards us.
How our minds chose to respond to the growing list of problems dictates the quality of our lives and our happiness levels during these intense times, so it’s well worth learning a few steps for making this as manageable as possible.
How did we get here?
When life becomes unmanageable and you just want to hide under a rock someplace, you are experiencing stress and overwhelm.
Overwhelm is the side effect of PRESSURE.
One or both of the following is happening during overwhelm.
- One: Your mind is pressuring you to do something, or
- Two: Someone outside of you is pressuring you to do something.
We think the uncontrollable circumstances outside of us are creating the overwhelm when in reality it is our pressure creating thoughts about the circumstances outside of us that is creating the overwhelm.
If you are stressed to the max, let’s dedicate the next 5 days to turning things around.
DAY 1: Press pause and rescue yourself from the chaos.
- Stop what you are doing, thinking, planning, etc.. and shift your focus over the next 3 days to one of relief and relaxation. Let it all go.
This first step maybe the most challenging for most of you, but you will need to slow the momentum of the overwhelm and begin to recover by pressing pause on life for the next 3 days. You will need this time to recover from the negative effects the overwhelm has created in your body, mind, spirit, and life.
DAY 2: Allow relaxation and recovery time.
- Do three things today that feel easy or that bring relaxation to your body.
As you shift your focus to things that bring you relief, comfort, and relaxation, you may continue to struggle with the concept of ease.
It is important to go easy on yourself.
You and your body have been through a lot. I promise the world will go on without you in it for another two days.
DAY 3: Allow ease into your life.
- Begin with the space you spend the most amount of time in and reclaim this space as your Calm Container.
- Minimize and organize the items in this space. No clutter please. Remember your outer space is a reflection of what is going on and being allowed to intrude upon your inner space or your mind.
This will take focus, practice, and consistency, but begin letting your mind know, that from here on out, you are creating a calm container around your life. This calm container will only consist of things that bring ease, simplicity, and joy to your life.
DAY 4: Adopt the “No Pressure” mentality.
Train yourself to recognize the signs of pressure and overwhelm creeping back into your life.
- Can you recognize when your mind is beginning to make “big deals” or complicate things?
- Can you recognize when others are placing unnecessary pressure on you?
DAY 5: Know your Calm Container boundaries.
Learn to protect and prevent your “Calm Container” boundaries from pressure intruders.
Identify everything and every thought that creates pressure in your life and begin the important process of eliminating them from your calm container. Think back to your most recent experience with overwhelm.
- Can you trace it back to where it began?
- Were you creating the pressure or was the pressure being created by another person?
- Were you managing your calm container and allowing ease in?
- Did you say yes when in reality you did not have the time or resources necessary to take on a new idea or responsibility?
If you would benefit from “The 5 Day Calm” Guided Meditations or would love to learn more techniques for living a life free from unnecessary stress and pressure, check out The 5 Day Calm You2 Masterclass here.
This essay was featured in the Feb. 24th edition of The Sunday Paper, Maria Shriver’s free weekly newsletter for people with passion and purpose. To get inspiring and informative content like this piece delivered straight to your inbox each Sunday morning, click here to subscribe.