By Lily Friedman
“The feeling of overwhelm always means the same thing: You’re too heavy on the action and not heavy enough on the alignment of energy”- Abraham Hicks
Overworked, overwhelmed and unfocused. Does this sound like you?
With too many chores to do and constant overstimulation, this is how many of us feel in our day-to-day lives. To fix these problems, we must first begin by cultivating mindfulness – the psychological act of bringing one’s attention to the present, usually practiced through meditation.
But don’t worry. With this week’s Wellness Roundup we won’t be perfecting how to meditate. Instead, we’ll learn how to use mindfulness to overcome overwhelm, focus on the most important tasks at hand and give our undivided attention to others in conversations.
Scouring the internet each week as the social media marketer here at The Sanity Snack, I’m on a mission to deliver some of the best wellness and self-improvement advice on the web to our followers.
Now let’s get into these de-stressing sanity tidbits:
Overcoming the Overwhelming
With the world moving at the fastest pace it’s ever been- circulation of social media, the hustle and bustle of workers, a race for innovation- it’s no surprise people are feeling more anxious and overwhelmed than ever before.
On Natalie Kogan’s blog site happier.com, she shares ‘Science-backed Techniques to Help With Overwhelm’. With a genuine goal to find ultimate happiness and decrease stress, Kogan opens up on how to transition smoothly into the new season in order to help you feel calmer and more resilient in times of change and challenge.
“Negativity begets negativity: When you’re stressed, your brain’s natural negativity bias is even more sensitive. This means you’re more likely be negatively affected by things that are stressful or frustrating,” she says. Try de-stressing and kicking your nerves to the curb by following Kogan’s 3 simple, yet tried and true techniques for overcoming overwhelm.
Dumping the ‘Garbage’ From Your Brain
The cup of water if overflowing, spilling out and onto the floor. This is your brain on overload.
Motivational speaker Mel Robbins uses her personal Youtube channel to offer advice and better her viewers lives. In a recent video, ‘How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed Right Now’, Robbins uses a mason car, a pitcher of water and a piece of paper to teach you a trick on making overwhelm vanish. She calls this the ‘brain dump’.
Think about every time you check your email, open a new document, get a text message, or have a place to be. It sounds silly but all these little things pile up fast and lead to tasks you must get done, creating a very chaotic and scattered brain.
You no longer have to feel anxious and like you’re losing control of your own time. Follow Robins strategy to ground yourself in the present and move forward with the things that matter most. Dump the ‘garbage’ from your brain, so you can get a clearer head and focus on one important task at a time.
Giving Your Full and Undivided Attention
When in conversation with others your mind is probably thinking about what other things you should be working on or what you’re going to eat for lunch. You reply to the person you’re speaking to with things like, ‘Yeah, uh-huh, right…’ Well apparently our brains have been doing it all wrong because ‘this constant, low-grade sense of urgency’ is impeding on our genuine communication and connection.
Mindful leadership expert Laurie J. Cameron shares an excerpt of her book The Mindful Day in a mindful.org article titled ‘How to Give Your Full Attention’. The necessity of Cameron’s lesson? “Mindful listening—focused attention to what another person is saying, without judging or having an agenda—is a foundational skill that is rarely practiced anywhere,” she says.
Don’t make the conversation about you, make it about the speaker by training yourself not to space off or interject the person talking. “Just as in meditation, the key to mindful listening is to simply notice when your mind begins to wander, and then gently bring your focus back to center—in this case, to the speaker,” Cameron says.
Become a compassionate ear by practicing self-awareness and listening with greater care through Cameron’s ‘five key mindful listening techniques’ at the end of the article.