Dawn’s breaking and you’ve barely slept all night. Instead of waking up ready to face the day, you feel as if you’ll never catch up with all the urgent stuff that needs doing. Stressful thoughts circle in your head, and you feel exhausted and burned out. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone!
Our pace of life has accelerated at a rate that would seem unimaginable a hundred years ago, but our neurobiological responses haven’t changed. When our hunter-gatherer ancestors faced danger, the “fight, flight or freeze” response to a threat was triggered. Having too much on your plate, an information overload, or a looming deadline might not be a situation of life or death, but they often cause the same adrenaline rush.
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed all the time or just occasionally, Bach Flower Mix 71 can help relieve stress and anxiety. Here are some more practical tips and techniques to help you cope with the stress and protect your mental and physical well-being.
Taking a break doesn’t have to mean escaping to faraway places where we’re no longer stressed and worried. Instead, take a break from the cycle of negative thoughts and self-criticism that run through your mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Replace them with a positive mindset and harness your mental energy to move forward rather than giving up.
It’s OK to acknowledge that you’ve got too much on your plate and you’re not coping. When you were young, your parents would look after you when things all got too much, and you feel overwhelmed. Now you’re an adult, but there are still times when you need soothing. Be compassionate to yourself, take a breath and tell yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You can handle this: self-compassion will help you access the strength you need to cope.
There may be some aspects of your life that you can’t change, but there are plenty of things you can do to regain an element of control. They might be something big like changing your job or leaving a relationship, but these aren’t usually quick fixes. Small things like getting your nails done, meeting a friend for lunch or making time for a relaxing bubble bath create positive moments and help you feel calmer.
Sometimes the language we use reinforces unhelpful, negative ways of thinking and increases our sense of a distorted reality. Our inner conversations consist of “shoulds” and “musts”, thus adding to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Try to reframe your internal voice in terms that help you to feel in control. Rather than saying, “I must finish this project by the end of the week”, tell yourself “, I want to get it done by Friday so that my weekend’s free to spend some quality time with my family.” Instead of increasing the pressure, you’re making a positive choice that brings a reward.
Stress isn’t always bad: it’s our attitude towards it that makes it problematic. When you feel overwhelmed with yet another problem that feels like the last straw, you might start by thinking you’ll never get through everything. But if you tell yourself that your workload is an exciting challenge, you’ll welcome the adrenaline that comes with it. Stress can give you an energy rush that will get you through the busiest of days if you work with it.
We often take our body for granted, but you can learn a lot about your state of mind by paying attention to how you feel physically. Physical symptoms such as headaches, backache and stomach upsets are often the result of a stress overload. So if you find yourself frequently feeling unwell, it’s time to start looking after your body.
When you’re stressed, avoid relying too heavily on alcohol, caffeine or cigarettes. Eat healthily and try to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re not getting at least seven hours a night, Bach Flower Mix 87 can help with sleep problems.
Exercise is well known as a great stress reliever. And even when you’re insanely busy, try to take a short walk outdoors at least once during the day. This will not only relieve stiffness and improve circulation, but also lift your mood and clear your mind.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, it’s time to have a spring clean! Divide your tasks by priority into Must-do, Delegate, Do Later, and Drop: then get going! Simplifying your list will help you be more disciplined and stay focussed on the things that really matter to you.
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