One of the most frightening things to cope with in life, is the experience of overwhelm.
Overwhelm is when you experience significantly more stress than you feel you have resources, and may be as mild as work pressure and as huge as a full nervous breakdown – and anywhere in between.
When we are in a state of overwhelm, we feel like our issues are completely in our face, we’re unable to turn away from them and there is no escape.
The good news is, you don’t have to experience debilitating long-term overwhelm, and with a bit of guidance, help and support you can shift your life experiences from overwhelm to effortless ease.
I know, because much to my own surprise, I did it.
I remember one time collapsing on the kitchen floor unable to move because I so badly didn’t want to go to work that day. It wasn’t that I didn’t like my job, I loved my job, but it’d changed from the one I signed up to and the company was putting itself under vast amounts of pressure to bring in money, and that was something I wasn’t particularly good at.
It took me what felt like hours of disrespectful disobedience simply be-ing on the floor there acknowledging my truth (as much as I could) before I could get up and persuade myself to show up for duty. Did my work care? No, not really. Did they make a big deal of it, no – I never shared and they were none the wiser. Would I do things differently now? Yes I would. Did I ultimately listen to myself and leave that job? Yes I did, after a period of time away I could see it wasn’t right for me at a soul level. But in the moment I was on the floor I was in complete overwhelm and it was all I could do to be on the floor and do nothing else.
What causes overwhelm?
Overwhelm is caused by two fundamental things.
- Forgetting we are bigger than our problems
- Feeling our thinking/being attached to our thoughts
The difference between someone that hears a piece of data and panics and another person that hears the same piece of data and either stays calm or springs into inspired action comes a lot from perspective.
“Our world is an outer projection of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The good news is, with awareness, those inner thoughts and beliefs can change. To do this, we must let go of having a fixed idea. So let go of attachment to what we want, and stop resisting the experiences we don’t want.”
A person that is able to rationalise a piece of data by being very secure in their inner strength and unattached to achieving a particular outcome or needing to resist a particular outcome, is able to roll with the punches of life and remain detached from their impact. They will still experience the event, but they won’t take it on inwardly and make it all about them. Instead, they are able to realise the event is going on outside of them, but who they are, their true essence remains unchanged.
To do this, we must be aware of our true nature.
Our true nature, is the part of us that is eternal.
Our true nature, is the part of us that is eternal. It is the consciousness that is aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions and bodily sensations. It precedes are thoughts and existed before it inhabited your current physical form. Our true nature (not to be confused with personality) is a large, infinite awareness that is capable of manifesting new experiences and being peaceful with the ones we have. It is never broken, hurt, disconnected or ill; it is always complete, whole, joyous, abundant and peaceful.
Yet why, when we have such a powerful and capable energy at our source, do we experience overwhelm? Because we without realising the consequences, at some point somewhere down the line, we turned away from who we are and started to believe we were something else.
We started to believe we were:
- Our body
- Our thoughts
- Our feelings
- Our family status
- Our job title
- What other people said we were
- What society said we were
- Our ego (a mental construct of who we wanted to be)
- Out own worst nightmare
In doing so, we made ourselves very very small.
We forgot that we were something far bigger – that is divine energy that has the ability to be conscious and has the ability to co-create, that resides within a body.
From this perspective, can you see how difficult overwhelm would be? We’d have to let go of all that, and shrink ourselves down to the idea we are a poor defenceless human to experience overwhelm. Reconnect with the knowing you’re a powerful source bigger than all of creation and you contain all the resources necessary to either cope or bring about change, you remain unphased by life.
Feeling our thinking/being attached to our thoughts
The other part of the equation is being able to appreciate that our physical body has thoughts, which is a healthy thing, but we don’t need to engage with them. What do I mean by this? I mean we permit those experiences to flow through our body, but we don’t need to stop and analyse them, change them or resist them.
Research says that we have around 100,000 thoughts a day. Most of these thoughts are the same as the day before and most of which are in our unconscious mind, which means they happen without us being aware of them.
When we are feeling our thinking, it’s because we grabbed hold of one of those thoughts and are feeding it with our attention. We might be repeating it over and over in our mind, having a running commentary about the thought, trying to push the thought away, worrying about the consequences of the thought, imagining the outcome if the thought did or didn’t come true, trying to find the origin of the thought, trying to find an antidote to the thought, I could go on! A lot of additional thinking (and body biochemistry) can come as a result of not knowing how to handle the experience of having thoughts.
So what instead?
Great question! If grabbing onto thoughts and forgetting how big and powerful your true nature is isn’t good for you, what do you do instead? The answer is, get back in touch with that permanent part of you.
There are many ways to do this. Yoga, an art class that encourages creative freedom, your religion (if it focuses on the spiritual side), exercise, time in nature, animals, being around enlightened people and meditation.
For me it felt strange at first, as if was disobeing orders; but over time I got more familiar with it. I’m still on a journey with it! But for a long time now, I have been able to put a large amount of distance between what is going on in my life and who I am. This frees me up to act from inspiration and wisdom. It allows me to be impartial about challenges and stay neutral, not making it about ‘me’ and instead be immersed in the is-ness of it all.
And do I still experience overwhelm, yes I do a little bit when I’m traversing new territory. This might be taking on a new project, dealing with a challenging family situation or needing to be there to support another. I’m not adverse to the idea that a Breakdown is actually a Breakthrough, as I address difficult situations head on and find a new way to respond to them. Either way, whether it is a Breakthrough or overwhelm my response to it is very different these days because I:
- Stop the cause of the overwhelm by addressing the issue (rather than hoping it goes away)
- Remember my true and infinite nature and remember I am bigger than my problems
- Remind myself to be in my present physical environment and not energetically elsewhere
- Choose to be OK with whatever happens rather than be attached or resistant to outcomes (no matter how hard it appears to be as not doing so is harder)
- Ask for help. I ask people to steady and guide me when I’m a bit wobbly or remind me of what I have forgotten
- Do what it takes to support myself. Take time off, spend extra time in nature or meditating. Basically put my-Self first
- Congratulate myself on my efforts and acknowledge my commitment to being peaceful.
My number one top tip though for dealing with overwhelm is to have a proactive approach to knowing my infinite true nature. This means engaging in practices such as Reiki and meditation to develop that awareness so that I spend more and more time operating from there. It means making a commitment to a daily practice, making it more important than anything else and seeking a similar tribe of people that know and appreciate the journey I choose to be on.
To this end, I run 2-3 mediation groups a week and teach Reiki to students from all over the UK. In my sessions and training, I give you first hand opportunity to experience your true nature, so that you may operate from that infinite place and grow your connection to it outside of the session. You are given the chance to ask questions and explore for yourself what coming from your true nature is like, as I guide and support you through the experience.
Together we reaffirm our commitment to being peaceful and to let go of anything that doesn’t serve. We focus on a proactive approach that gives us the tools to manage and be OK with modern life, and we meet new people that understand our journey and know what it is like to let go of one survival approach to start another.
Don’t just take my word for it though, come along and try it!
You can find out more about my Meditation groups here.
And about Reiki and learning Reiki here.
Becci Godfrey is a Mind Detox practitioner and trainer, Reiki Master and Teacher and Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator. From her base in Mark Cross, East Sussex she helps hundreds of people locally and all over the world overcome their life, emotional and health challenges to fulfil their potential.
To find out more, or find out what up and coming courses are available you can visit Becci’s professional profile here or follow Mind Detox Tunbridge Wells on Facebook.