Need tips to overcome overwhelm? Who doesn’t these days? Overwhelm is a HUGE problem in today’s day and age. We have designed our days to jam in more things than can possibly be accomplished At least while remaining fresh and sane. We actually pride ourselves on being strung out by busy-ness.
“Busy” is the new Fine”. Goodbye Busy-ness Hello Balance.
I say it all the time. Acquaintance: “How are you, Trish?” Me: “Busy, but it’s all good!” My self-awareness is high and I realize I should not be proclaiming my busy-ness, so I like to add the qualifier “all good” as if it is justifying my busy-ness as acceptable (BTW, it’s not).
I see people in my office with all kinds of issues that could be reduced, if not eliminated, if they would get their “all good busy-ness” in check. ADHD, anxiety, memory problems, head injury recovery times, and sensory processing problems, just to name a few.
What Does Overwhelm Do to Your Brain?
When you feel overwhelmed it is because your brain is on overload. Neurologically speaking, what this can look like is an increase in power of slow, medium, and fast processing speeds, all at the same time. I call it an overactive brain pattern on a qEEG Brain Map. A “brain on fire” because the whole map is a combination of reds, oranges and yellows that remind me of flames. This increased power results in a variety of behavioral symptoms that can make you feel like your brain is bouncing off the walls. Here are just a few.
Too much slow processing speed, called Delta and Theta, can result in: fatigue or excessive tiredness, the feeling of shut down, brain fog, lack of focus, and difficulty planning and organizing your thoughts.
Too much medium processing speed, called Alpha, can lead to low motivation, the feeling of shut-down, irritability, moodiness, and difficulty regulating your emotions.
Too much fast processing speed, called Beta, can result in chronic stress, anxiety, feelings of anxiousness, a busy mind that won’t turn off, rumination or constantly mulling something over, and difficulty sleeping.
Tips to Decrease Overwhelm.
You must get control of your brain to decrease overwhelm. If you feel overwhelmed know this, your brain is controlling you and not vice versa.
Gain Brain Control Today to Conquer Overwhelm!
How, you might wonder? Start here. Balance the way you use your brain throughout your day and your week. During your days, use your brain first (if you can) for your most important thinking tasks. Make sure to take breaks on and off throughout your day combining the below “times” within your day. Don’t skip any and make sure each is present everyday to maximize your brain power and the happiness within your life. Also, be sure not to multi-task these specific “times” of day. Multi-tasking is very bad for your brain functioning. Dr. Caroline Leaf calls it “Milkshake Multi-tasking” because it is like putting your brain in a blender. Please do not blend your brain, avoid multi-tasking. Create your daily schedule that looks something like this:
- Focused, Concentrated, Work Time: Set out to accomplish one task at a time. For the best results make a list of the things you will accomplish and then circle three of them. Those three are the items you will get done. Make sure you CAN actually get the items done within the time you have. The key is to set yourself up for success.
- Movement Time: Be sure you get up and move within your day. Plan breaks. Ideally plan exercise times or at least a walk.
- Food Time: Your brain needs fuel to perform at its best. Make sure you eat throughout your day. Wholesome, nourishing snacks and meals. Do NOT eat while you are working. Relax and eat your lunch, even if it is for 5 minutes. Within those 5 minutes your brain’s energy will come down and save you from overwhelm.
- Water Time: Drink plenty of water throughout your day. For an added benefit, get up for a quick water break if you are a person who sits at a desk a lot. Water has long held benefits for brain functioning.
- Sleep Time: Get at least 7 hours of sleep. I know, I know, you need less than that. Not true. Everyone needs 7 hours, or more, to function at their best. While you sleep your cells heal and restore themselves. It is the most powerful thing you can do for your health and wellness.
- Social Time: Make time to chat and relax with the people in your life. No, this does not include Facebook, Snap Chat, or other social media outlets. It includes the human beings you see and spend time with each day. Socializing will bring your brain power down to optimal levels and refresh your brain to go back into production mode at a later time.
- Do Nothing Time: Make time frames within your day to do nothing. Absolutely NOTHING. When is the last time you did nothing? It is totally awesome. Give it a try. It will refresh your brain.
When I am “busy” I tend to violate these rules of daily balance even though they have been proven to benefit your brain functioning and life, and I know better! When I violate them, I suffer! I’m tired, cranky, and less efficient. This I detest, so it comes with the added benefit of increasing my stress levels. Oh joy!
If It is Scheduled, It is Real.
If you’re like me, then you will have to schedule these times into your day. When I schedule them, I do not feel as if I am cutting into my productivity time (oh… a little peek into my overachiever brain). When they are scheduled, I reaffirm that these times contribute to my productivity, not take away from them. So, it is not that by taking a lunch you are cutting into your work time (my rhetoric here), you are taking the lunch so that you can go back to your work time with renewed vigor. So, for me workouts are scheduled, movie nights are scheduled, and sleep, you guessed it, is scheduled.
Benefits of Decreasing Overwhelm
If you learn to control your brain by creating beautiful routines throughout your day, you will reap the benefits of decreasing overwhelm.
- More Productive in “The Zone”: You will actually be more productive in less time. Your brain will be able to get into “The Zone” easier and stay there longer if you keep a healthy brain pattern.
- Better Mood: Your mood will improve because you are not swinging so high and low all the time. Like a pendulum, your mood will stay more toward the center and expend less energy by not fluctuating so much. Added benefit is that people will want to be around more and you will like the way you feel a lot better.
- More Mental Energy: Your brain will feel fresh and rejuvenated, not sluggish and moving like a snail. When you need it to, it will produce.
- Better Health: Your overall health will improve. Restorative sleep will help foster regeneration of cells and your immune ne response will be stronger than ever.
- Calm, Relaxed Demeanor: Your demeanor will feel great. Feeling calm is so much better than feeling frantic. Try it and see. You are bound to love the new you!
Take control of your brain to decrease overwhelm to improve your life, it will be a game-changer for you!