It’s OK to feel overwhelmed.
It’s Ok to feel. Overwhelmed.
It’s OK. Feel overwhelmed.
OK, feel overwhelmed.
And just like that, I felt much better!
Sometimes it’s hard to make a decision. There are so many choices and so many things to consider. The thought of adding one more thing to life can be completely overwhelming when, on a daily basis, the to-do list is not getting done.
The basics – making money, taking care of kids, managing food and bills. Then the next level – taking care of self – exercise, nutrition, mental and emotional health. Then the top-level – dreams, desires, aspirations, fun, pleasure. It often feels like there is just no room for these top-level things once all the time is used up for the mid-level and base level needs.
There’s just too much – too much to do, too much to take care of, too many obligations, too many choices. Of course, we feel overwhelmed!
Realize that if you are in this situation, it’s ok to be overwhelmed. We want to do the right things and do them the right way. There is so much pressure to perform and produce and to be happy and fulfilled. We have a sense of urgency and compression to make all our marks, to be good. Then, we feel sensation and emotion, and it’s too much to handle, and it’s not part of our game plan to be having any problems. What follows is self-judgment, trying to stop feeling. Stop messing up. Stop being messy. These thoughts and judgments are additional pressure we are putting on ourselves.
And that is where you can start to unwind the overwhelm. Allow yourself to feel it. Feel the emotion of being overwhelmed. Let the tears come. Feel the sensations of being overwhelmed. The pain of a full to bursting heart, the heaviness in the chest, the buzzing in the mind, the tightness in the stomach. Feel every sensation as much as you can. Notice your judgment of it. Notice how critical you are of yourself. You may think you should not feel this way, but the fact is you do feel it, and that thought is a subjective evaluation you can choose to let go of. You may think you should be able to handle it all, but again, that is a subjective opinion. And it’s making you unhappy. See if you can let it go. Thank your brain for its opinion and let it go. It’s not serving you.
Keep giving yourself permission to feel the sensations in your body and cry if you like. See if you can truly begin to separate the sensation from the story. All the judgments and criticisms are just stories you are telling yourself. You are making them up based on your beliefs and programming. You can choose to make up different stories for yourself.
For example, maybe there is a part of you that is feeling terrified — terrified of making the wrong decision — terrified of making a mistake. You are terrified of causing hardship for you and your family. Well, then, of course, that part of you is trying to protect you. And you keep ignoring it, ignoring what it’s trying to tell you. The inner turmoil is a sign that you need to get quiet and evaluate some things. You need to listen to that part of yourself and see – are the fears real or imagined? Are there ways to mitigate the negative possibilities? If bad things happen, will you be able to recover? You need to work with yourself to comfort and take care of your concerns.
This process will clarify if making a change or taking on something new is truly too much – at least for right now. You may find that certain circumstances need to be in place or changed for you to not have so much on your plate. This evaluation is reasonable. One person can only do so much. It’s ok to give yourself a break and focus on the next correct step.
If the only thing holding you back is fear of failure, then you can decide how you will deal with the defeat. You can grieve the loss of your potential success. You can look at it as a learning opportunity. There are tons of ways you can put a positive spin on going for what you want and not succeeding.
Go with the flow. Feel your feelings. Listen to yourself.