How To Reduce Overwhelm With Mindfulness and Start Before Feeling Ready

More often than we would like to admit, we start feeling overwhelmed and, therefore, feel like we are not ready to start something new. Whether you would like to learn to dance the tango or start a new business adventure, your own conception of self-identity, ego, and stress will often get the best of you.

You then start the vicious cycle of not even trying something new because deep down you are afraid to do so. You will then opt to miss out on every single opportunity that could potentially represent an evolutionary point for yourself because you simply couldn’t handle being overwhelmed.

If you want something you never had, you’ve got to do things you’ve never done.

And, what’s more, you didn’t know how to react to these feelings, thus you are now feeling discomforted, once again.

I get it. I too was like this. I never felt I was ready to start something new. And it could have been something as small as eating new foreign food, to even starting this conversation about mindfulness. I felt overwhelmed, misunderstood, and sometimes even in pain.

But why do I speak in the past tense? What has changed?

Well, firstly, I understood that it’s better to figure things out later than to wait endlessly. After all, time is also an agreed and social construction. And lastly, I discovered that mindfulness works for me.

Would you like to reduce the overwhelm you feel? Have you ever tried being mindful? You have already because you are reading this, even if you haven’t even felt ready to become mindful beforehand.

Continue finding out how mindfulness can and will help you to reduce feeling overwhelmed.

It’s Okay to Feel Overwhelmed

We all have felt it, in fact. We have all felt overwhelmed from time to time.

Sometimes it’s because of work, other times because we cannot cope with everything that is continuously going on in our lives. We may feel stressed out when we have a test, or we get stuck in feelings of anxiety in our relationships.

If someone has said that they have never felt overwhelmed in their lives, then they are probably lying. Even more so nowadays, when all of us have too much going on. We are busier than ever before, we want everything to run faster, and we actually feel like something is missing whenever we don’t feel stressed out.

But, what happens when you feel overwhelmed? You can’t think straight, you shut down, you can’t focus on yourself nor others, and you think that everything looks and feels impossible. Even breathing can become a huge responsibility that you don’t know how to handle.

However, mindfulness can help you cope whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.

On the other hand, have you ever considered that those feelings of overwhelm are a good thing? Because they guide you, and this way you get to understand what is, perhaps, affecting you and then you will know how to proceed.

How Do You Use Mindfulness to Reduce Feeling Overwhelmed?

There are several techniques or things that you can do in order to reduce feeling overwhelmed. These are:

RAIN technique

You have probably heard of this technique as it was coined more than 20 years ago by Michele McDonald. She argues that in order to beat feelings of overwhelmed, one must also feel compassion with our own vulnerability.

The RAIN technique will guide you through this, because:

R is for Recognition of what’s going on - this way you can consciously acknowledge what your thoughts, feelings and even behaviors are constantly. This can be done either in your awake state of mind or in your dream state.

For you to work on your feelings of overwhelm, you must first recognize you are feeling that way. You must also understand how your body is reacting to the anxiety, fears, and even depression, in some cases.

A is for Allowing yourself to have a pause - this way you allow everything that’s inside you and that sometimes dominates you, such as emotions, sensations, or thoughts, to be recognized as simply being there. When you feel overwhelmed, you sometimes also feel judgemental towards it, or you can also get lost in all the feelings you are experiencing. Other times you may actively get distracted by and with something else in order to avoid being conscious of your feelings.

When you allow yourself to pause, you are also relaxing your resistance to being mindful, and you are, in fact, becoming aware that you need to solve some of the feelings you are having.

I is for Investigating with Kindness - it may sound silly to some, but once individuals discover how they are feeling and the reasons why they start blaming it all on themselves. Not only do they do this, but they usually also do it with a feeling of anger or shame.

So, once you decide to investigate why you are feeling overwhelmed, try to do it with a desire to know the truth, without actually becoming negatively engaged with the reasons behind your feelings. Be compassionate with yourself, you deserve it.

N is for Natural Loving Awareness - this is, eventually, a place you would like to reach when you are trying to reduce feeling overwhelmed. This way you will naturally lose your small talk and self-identification with your ego.

By doing this you will also realize that you become more open, and that who you are is not attached to how you feel or what stories you continue to tell yourself.

The RAIN technique is something you can practice daily and for the rest of your life. It will actually give you the necessary tools to have a shift in perspective.

Meditation

Meditation has a lot of advantages that could help you reduce feeling overwhelmed. The more mindful you become, then it is likely that you will also become more successful, because you won’t give way to ‘side-effects’ feelings, such as anxiety or overwhelm.

When you meditate and become mindful, you will also become aware of your thoughts, before you even have them. It sounds crazy, but it is how it works.

Thus, remember that job you don’t want to keep on doing because it’s sucking all your energy away? Meditation can help you find an alternative solution to this. So, you either change your thoughts and feelings about the job and you actually stop giving away your energy, or, perhaps you become enlightened and you realize that you can also work on other things or even become independent because you have many great and useful skills.

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and how they can positively or negatively affect you. It is then up to you what you get to do with this information.

Body Scan Technique

Sometimes, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, your body is also responding to this sensation. For example, you are feeling overwhelmed because your boss gave you a report back, and now you have do redo it completely. So, your feelings have translated themselves and now your right arm won’t stop hurting.

Why don’t you try to do a body scan? Start breathing and feeling every single part of your body. This is another beneficial mindfulness technique that will allow you to have a direct examination of how your body is feeling. -you will also see how attuned (or not) you are with your body, as it will clearly show you the warning signs of feeling overwhelmed.

Be Kind to Yourself

Even though it’s not a technique, I think it should become one.

Sometimes, things in life are so easy to achieve, that it seems like they are detrimental to our health. For instance, it is easier to have a constant negative inner chat with ourselves, than being kind and positive to ourselves.

Sometimes you need to keep moving forward, but sometimes you need to move in another direction or pause for a while, and that is okay.

But, what if we change this? What if we stop reminding ourselves how bad we are at something, and, instead, we focus on those things we CAN do? We need to come to terms with the fact that we cannot excel at everything, so, when situations occur, it is our duty to respond to them as best as we can.

And this, in turn, will also allow us to reduce our feelings of tiredness, anxiety, overwhelm, and many more.

Lastly

Even though feeling overwhelmed with a specific situation in life is relatively normal, these techniques will allow you to manage those feelings for you to overcome them naturally.

All these techniques will allow you to start a new thing (whether it is learning a new language, going to a foreign country or even changing jobs) before you even feel ready to do so because you have already developed the tools you need in to reduce feelings of overwhelm, which are often associated to anxiety, depression, or fatigue.

Mindfulness can also serve as a guide in your life, as it will allow you to accomplish more, without you even knowing it. If you would like to live a happy and healthier life, why don’t you try mindfulness then?

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