OK – I don’t do overwhelm at all well! I never have, but it was easier when I was younger…. There was always a way of transcending that terrible feeling of being weighted down. Not anymore – so what has changed? My perception. I have an auto- immune illness and and I’m a lot older.
I don’t like to moan about life at all, so finding a way of expressing the feelings of being in this staggeringly snare filled jungle of briars and nettles, is like having my breath stopped. ‘The Silent Scream’ comes to mind. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, yet it is the most isolating feeling – a madness which threatens even the stability of the best of us.
So…., how to remedy it? I have just read back over what I’ve written. The answer doesn’t lie in the making of lists, prioritising etc, at this point. When suffering overwhelm, it is just too much to do that as I can’t ‘think’. No, the answer lies in my statement, “it’s like having my breath stopped”. So I take it right back TO my breath.
I sit quietly. (Preferably without my cat on
My lap – dribbling!).
I close my eyes.
I hear the sounds outside of birds singing.
I feel the air on my skin.
I feel the chair under me and supporting my back.
I bring awareness to my breathing, noticing I am gripping my upper abdomen/solar plexus.
I get curious, sensing the movement or lack of movement, in and out as the ribs lift and fall, enabling the lungs to utilise the intake of oxygen.
The movement is small, I begin to feel the tension falling away, dissolving and freeing.
I notice how I have stilled my mind through my awareness of my breathing.
I sit, allowing myself to deeply enjoy my own breath, my own sense of self.
Now I can move forward…. ‘Overwhelm’ has dissipated and I can begin to make a lists of priorities.
I drink a glass of water to flush out the toxins which the overwhelm is likely to have produced.