As someone who gets preeetty easily overwhelmed, I decided to find some sustainable ways to deal with it… I say sustainable because until recently my ways of dealing with it meant watching movies I’ve already seen (many, many times before) every free moment I have on my hands. Nothing wrong with healthy escapism, of course- but there had to be a better way.
Plus there is nothing healthy about it.
Also, when I say overstimulation, I’m talking about our dear 21st century sensory overload- from our environment, our phones, all urges to multitask and achieve. Just a massive amount of information and needs that causes us to feel anxious, tired and burned out. And it’s not hard to understand why that is happening…
I mean think about it, not too long ago, when you wanted to learn an information (just an example)- you had to find someone who was knowledgeable enough to give you that information ooor to find a book that contains it. A very slow process (comparing to today). So you had to be really interested in the subject, otherwise you would give up the search.
In no way I’m saying that, that is better than immediate response technology gives us. These days we are able to be our own doctors, fix cars and do a bunch of stuff we otherwise couldn’t. So there is no need to be mad for having it too easy. It simply is what it is. And what it is- is so fast that is making us overwhelmed. Simple.
I would also like to add that all these things I wrote here (as with everything else on this blog) is nothing revolutionary. Everything you already knew or heard, I’m just reminding you of that… With some researches to support it.
A series of breathing exercises available to anyone, works instantly and doesn’t cost a dime! What a deal that is! The problem is, it sounds so simple that people often don’t even want to try- which is a pity because it works. The first time I felt the benefits of breathwork was during Kundalini yoga practice, breath of fire to be exact. It took me less than 5 minutes to go from super stressed to giggling. I don’t remember how long I stayed that way. But I realized that ultimately it’s up to you how fast you return to your old thinking and feeling patterns. Now, since Kundalini is advanced spiritual practice and not everyone is interested in it- there are many other options that don’t even touch Spirituality. For example, a man called Wim Hof (or Ice Man) has a phenomenal technique (click here to try) that works for everyone. Sometimes I take a 10-minute-break on my work, and do it in the car. The amount of clarity I feel after is indescribable- you just have to experience to know what I’m talking about.
Research on benefits of breathwork:
- The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults
- How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing
No brainer, right? When feeling overwhelmed it’s a good idea to keep the triggers away. Especially when our phones and computers are partially responsible for this mess to begin with. I wouldn’t say throw it away or don’t use it at all, I feel like in today’s climate that would be impossible anyway… Unless you organize your life in a way that you don’t use them that much. Which is an interesting idea (worth of exploring some other time)… But for now just let it be for a while. If someone calls you on your phone- answer, if someone text you- answer. But otherwise leave it in your purse, or somewhere in the house and don’t touch it. Just for a little bit, don’t open your laptop out of boredom. If you’re working from your computer, awesome (congrats btw) but when not working just shut it down. Whenever I catch myself carrying my devices around the house- that is a sure sign to distance myself from them. Some form of relaxation comes quickly after, without exception.
Research on the subject:
Have you heard about earthing? Or you may know it by Grounding- it is walking barefoot or making any other form of direct contact with Mother Earth. It’s so funny, when you say it to the “normal” person they instantly give you The Look. But the research has proven that our dear Mother Earth has a limitless electron supply that is emitting for all living beings to benefit from. Electrons are penetrating the body through direct contact and neutralize free radicals immediately! It’s like you’re getting plugged into some healing electricity. A pile of evidence (that is getting bigger and bigger) suggests that the reason for so much chronic issues, stress and depression is actually our disconnection from this divine source of energy. We can trace it back to the sixties and invention of synthetic rubber. Which than became a staple of our shoe closet- in the form of rubber and plastic soles. Completely separating us from Earth’s energy field. Crazy, right?
The best thing about Earthing is that you don’t have to be barefoot all day! Just 10-15 minutes a day is enough to feel the benefits. You know, we organize our time so we always have enough battery on our phones… Imagine if we take the same approach with our own health and well-being. Wow, what a difference that would be!
Phenomenal article on the subject:
Of course it had to be on this list! Meditation is one of those methods that work relatively instantly AND over time. Relatively because if you have certain expectations, such as having no thoughts whatsoever, you could get even more aggravated than before the meditation. Since the mind most likely won’t stop sending you stuff to think about. So the key to meditation is not to have a mind completely blank (although if it comes to that point great!)- but to not get seduced by thoughts into thinking them. As Alan Watts said beautifully once: It is the clarity, in the sense that your mind isn’t sticky. That act (or better say no-act) works over time as it slowly transfers itself onto the other parts of the life. Allowing a person to, perhaps, see what thoughts are causing the over-stimulation and then just let them pass without getting attached and exhausted.
So do yourself a favor: next time when you feel overstimulated- put your phone in silent, go to the park, take your shoes off, take a breather and see what happens…
P.S. Let me know how it went.