When you feel overwhelmed or afraid or just plain bad you want to shake it as fast as you can. You’ll do anything to avoid it & move away from it. You just want it to go away and be gone. But it doesn’t. The longer it persists the more likely you are to feed right into it. You can help it. Your head is spinning with all these rotten thoughts of the worst-case scenarios, what you have to do, what you should have done and before you know it you feel like running away, hiding or just taking a nap. Or maybe all you can manage is plopping down in front of the TV where it’s safe while you wait for it to pass.
You tell yourself you shouldn’t feel this way. You should “think positive”. You should be grateful for what you have because there are people a lot worse off than you. So now you feel bad about feeling bad on top of whatever made you feel bad in the first place. I am here to tell you THAT is no way to live, and it’s not going to get you what you want. Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, this is how you feel and it’s important to recognize, acknowledge and honor those feelings. You have a right to feel the way you feel.
You have NO CONTROL over the feelings and emotions that pop up – not directly anyway. I’ll get to that in a minute. However, once the feeling is here you do have choices. First ask yourself do you want to feel those feelings and have those thoughts or would you rather actually feel awesome, happy, truly grateful instead of just telling yourself you should feel that way? Because it IS up to you. It’s like someone showing up unannounced at your door, you can control them showing up but once they’ve arrived it’s up to you to decide what to do with them.
So back to the feelings and emotions I mentioned earlier, you can tell yourself to “get over it”, beat yourself up or give in and feed it with your time, attention and energy. Or you can neutralize it.
If you try to get over it, or run away from it, it keeps coming back or it just refuses to leave! What you resist persists. Engaging in negative emotional chatter like running worst-case scenario drills in your head is even more damaging because instead of making you feel prepared, it makes you feel like a victim waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know you’ve never considered yourself a victim, I didn’t either until I asked myself who feels this kind of hopelessness, helplessness and this deep desire for security? Victims. Oh, by the way, THOSE feelings create a need for control – and THAT is how control freaks are born. That cycle repeats and feels more and more PERSONAL “why does this happen to me?”, PERVASIVE “why does this keep happening to me”, and PERMANENT “is this always going to happen to me?”.
Neutralizing the negative allows you to let them pass naturally, without rushing them or fueling them. Whatever negative emotion you’re feeling can pass through you within a minute if you don’t flame it or try to resist it. The benefits of this are huge! The worry just melts. You’re able to think clearly and calmly, transforming doom and gloom into solutions and options. You feel empowered, strong and secure because you’re not a victim of your own feelings like you were. You are a more creative problem-solver whose clarity, calm, confidence and security puts her in the perfect state to create solutions. Bam! No more overwhelm.
So what do you say to yourself to get out of the funk and up into the joy?
- Honor how you feel – if it’s crappy acknowledge that – it’s how you feel. Say to yourself, “it’s totally natural that I feel this way. I’m just going to honor it and allow it to pass through me. I’m not afraid of it, so I’m not gonna run, not gonna hide and I’m not gonna fuel it with fear.” Do something soothing like you would to a baby, I rub my belly in a clockwise motion while I’m saying that. Do it repeatedly until you begin to feel the calm.
- Resist the urge, the knee-jerk reaction to tell yourself to “get over it” or their berate yourself for feeling that way because it doesn’t work and it makes you feel guilty which makes you feel even worse AND it undermines your confidence EVEN MORE.
- Make the choice to feel better. This is a critical step because some people genuinely wallow in their misery because it’s comfortable and familiar and it provides a rationale for why they haven’t achieved what they want and the sympathy and attention feels better than nothing, so they settle for that.
- Breathe deeply – your emotions -the way you feel- directly impact your body, so you need to relax and release the tension in your body. The best and easiest way to do that is to take long, slow, deep breaths into your belly. Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose (this should inflate your belly rather than your chest). Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you do this, close your eyes and bring your attention to the spot in your body where the feeling is most intense. Bring your breath right to that spot. Imagine that’s the spot you’re hitting as you rub your belly (from number one above). Do this for as long as it takes until the feeling subsides. The key is to make sure you’re keeping your mind busy with this exercise so you’re not fueling the negative feelings or beating yourself up for having them. Repeat this process until the feeling subsides or the intensity is reduced enough for you to feel calm, clear and relieved of the negativity. Once the feeling subsides move onto the next step.
- Count your blessings – actually make a list of the things you are grateful for in your life. Doing this eases the fear raised by your subconscious mind by reminding you how much you ACTUALLY DO HAVE and have achieved and that brings you comfort and makes you feel secure.
- “Won’t it be so great when …” – Usually when you think about what you want: your goals, dreams, vision, etc., it instantly makes you feel the lack of it. Instead of saying, “I wish I could … “ Start saying, “won’t it be so great when …” and insert your goals, dreams, vision. Use this to replace “I wish I could …” or “when will I …” “Won’t it be so great when…” automatically opens your mind to possibilities and creative solutions versus the dead-end feelings you get when you list the things you feel you can’t have.
The more you do this the better you feel. It makes you more confident, happy, productive, motivated and gives you more energy. The better you feel the more attractive you are to others – in every way – so people want to be around you, want to have what you have, want to know what you know, they want to do what you do. You become an inspiration. From overwhelm to inspiration in 6 Easy Steps. Give it a try and see how much better it feels.