Overwhelmed? Try this.
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
As I am rushing home through the crowded city streets, I feel a familiar feeling of overwhelm and anxiety crawl up on me. Distraction! Maybe a latte and a fashion magazine? Anything to divert my attention away from this crippling overwhelm. But coffee makes me even more anxious, and I don’t even like fashion magazines.
So I ask myself this: is this pain I am feeling right now my own, or is it everybody else’s stress I am conducting? But it doesn’t even matter now, I know that the only way out it through. By being with it. I remind myself why I am doing this and take a few deep belly breaths, pausing for a moment to check in with myself. What is really going on right now?
When we stop and drop in, we come closer to ourselves. When we stop running from our inner experience and manage to drop into our hearts, we come in direct contact with the deeper layers of our existence.
Here are three simple questions you can ask yourself at any time you feel stuck, uneasy, restless or anxious:
1.) What is happening in my body, right now? Listen in with your whole being; body, mind, heart and belly.
2.) Can I welcome these sensations as part of my present-moment experience? If the answer is no, how much can I welcome my no to what is?
3.) Back to question one. Because life is always moving and changing. When we don’t hold on to mental concepts, it is easier to experience the freshness of each new moment.
That’s it. Just bringing awareness to what is can shed light into our darkness and alleviate those heavy clouds from our anxious minds. You can even inquire in your journal. By writing about it, it becomes even more powerful, in my experience.
I did not grab coffee or sugar that day. Because caffeine and sugar only makes me more stressed out. I chose to stay with the rawness of my emotions, and what emerged was lightness and the simple joy of being. The pain I experienced before vanished and I felt more closely connected and at home in myself.
Personal insight can only happen when we are willing to slow down, pause and notice what is really going on, over and over and over again. Increased clarity and greater self-knowledge are the by-products from this daily practice.