How To Reduce Overwhelm (In Totally Accessible Ways).

Mindset

Chloe Slade

4 min read
May 29, 2020



I wanted to write a post all about tips on how to reduce or manage overwhelm as I think it is a big thing in many people’s lives.


But as I set out to write it, I was conscious of one thing: I wanted the tips to be accessible.


Sometimes, when I see tips to reduce overwhelm, the tips themselves take an hour and actually end up adding more to the to-do list. 


So, with all of these tips that I am going to share with you today are simple and accessible…


Let’s jump in...



A SIMPLE THING - DONE WITH PURPOSE


Meditation is great, but it can be overwhelming to get into, especially if you are already overthinking everything.


You can start to worry about whether you are ‘doing it right’ or you end up getting frustrated or fidgety with the guided tracks. 


But it is useful, so why not explore a form of meditation? 


Remove the resistance between you and meditation by doing a simple thing, with purpose.


For example, try taking a walk or making a cup of tea and be fully immersed in the activity. 


Rather trying to turn your mind ‘off’ focus it on the senses.


What can you hear?

What can you see?

What can you feel? 

What can you smell?

What can you feel? 


Perhaps you can feel the warmth of the cup as you make the tea.

Perhaps you can see a lake as you walk.

Maybe you can hear birds singing. 


Here’s how I suggest you do it:


  1. Choose an activity that has a fair bit of sensory stimulation.
  2. Proceed with the activity, working through the senses and connecting with what you experience. 
  3. Breathe. 



A DETACHMENT ACTIVITY TO PROMOTE SCATTER FOCUS


A detachment activity is an activity you do with the purpose of letting your mind wander in a deliberate way.


The idea is that our minds wander so much, but typically this is unintentional, so we do not give our minds the proper space to wander with intention. 


Here’s how I suggest you do it:



  1. Pick a topic that you would like your mind to explore.
  2. Then pick an activity that does not require too much thinking. Perhaps cleaning, walking or washing the car. 
  3. Then as you proceed with the activity, keep bringing your mind back to focus on the question or topic that you have chosen. 



What happens here is that you are allowing your mind to wander, but on things that will serve you, such as planning or problem-solving. Our minds are great at when they are not trying to remember too much- which leads me to my next point. 



A PLACE TO CLEAR OUT YOUR MIND


Our minds are busy places, and they can get cluttered and noisy. Getting into the habit of clearing your mind can really help to keep your mind calm.

There are many ways to do this, but getting it out onto paper can be  valuable. 


Here’s how I suggest you do it:


  1. I recommend picking a time where your head typically gets a little fuzzy; for me, this is after lunch. 
  2. Next, grab a piece of paper and just jot down everything on your mind: how you feel, your to-do list tasks, the things you need to pick up from the shops, how you plan to relax- anything and everything that is taking up real estate within your mind. 
  3. After you have completed the list, circle any action that needs to take priority and start there. 



ONE WORD JOURNALING


I one-hundred-per cent believe in the power of journaling, but I also know how it can seem pretty intense and as a result, so many see it as not accessible.


Remove the resistance to journaling by journaling just one word.


If you feel like writing more, that’s cool, but there is no pressure to do so.


Here’s how I suggest you do it:


  1. Select a space. I recommend a physical journal of some kind, but if that adds too much pressure, simply do it on a note on your phone. We want this technique to calm you not stress you out.
  2. Next,  pick a word each day and write it down. It may help to write the date down.
  3. Now, this is a totally optional step, but it can be beneficial, to try and pick a time and place to write down your word. As this will help you build a habit out of it, which over time will be very impactful. Using a trigger of an existing habit can help too. So, for example, as your morning coffee brews, you can write down your word.


Your word can be anything you choose, but here are some ideas:


  • How you are feeling.
  • How you want to feel. 
  • Goals.
  • Things you want in your life.
  • Things you want to let go of.


The bottom line is, allow this to work for you. Do not overthink it. Use it as an easy and accessible tool to serve you. 



NEXT STEP


Try out one of these tips, perhaps screenshot one of them and then next time you are in need of a little reset or moment of calm, you can try it out. 


Chloe Slade
Head of Community

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