What to do when you feel overwhelmed

It is very difficult to live your life and function well when you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck or just drifting along pulled here and there.

The mind rarely stops - not even in our sleep! Its constantly planning, comparing, judging, criticising, fantasising and playing things over and over.  And we believe most of it. This takes up a huge amount of our time, energy and attention.

Try this...close your eyes and take 3 long, deep breaths as slowly as you can, and then notice the first thoughts that come into your mind. Take 3 of the longest slowest breaths you can and then allow any thoughts to come into your mind. 

When you notice a thought or an image, acknowledge it and label it, eg. "thinking about getting breakfast" or "thinking about talking with Sue". 
Keep your label really simple and then come back to the breath...

breathing naturally now, notice the next thought that comes along (or the same one) and label that one.

and then come back to your breath and whatever it is you need to do next. 

When you notice you are lost in thought again, label it, and come back to your breath and whatever you are doing.  Be aware not to try to push thoughts away or stop them ... just acknowledge them and come back to your breath.

If you think this is helpful, try it throughout the day whenever you remember or whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.

This is the start of establishing an anchor for yourself, a reference point to come back to over and over and not get pulled and lost in the storms of the mind.  Once you master it, you can learn to let your thoughts come and go without getting swept up and away with them and you can keep your attention on what you are doing.

Come along to my Mindfulness workshop to master this technique and 3 others that I have seen make a difference in peoples life.