Ever feel like life is overwhelming? So many factors; work deadlines, family, friends, colleagues, meals, house, pets, problems, stresses, decisions.... Often it can leave us feeling out of balance. We can be moving from one thing to the next, sometimes feeling like we are just going through the motions and it can leave us feeling swamped, fed-up and burnt out.
We can be trying to do it all, perhaps we want to be good enough or respected, feel a sense of status or we fear being judged by our-self and others; our ego can definitely get in the way! We can feel anxious that our world will fall apart if we don't keep going, we can be scared to make changes and so we stay on this same treadmill of life. You feel out of wack and you can find yourself being short with the people around you, but you want to connect with people but you're only half present as your mind is working overtime.
If anything like this sounds familiar to you, it will also feel very familiar to others too. As a human race, we all experience the same feelings; fear, hope, worry etc. You may feel alone, but you're not. I can share with you that I experience these feelings!
I've learnt to tap into my bodily sensations, allowing me to notice this sense of overwhelming and anxiety in my body, before my mind even realises it. This may feel like a tight jaw, tense shoulders, shorter breaths and a tight tummy. Often I will feel restless and I struggle to relax. However, having this bodily awareness helps me to tap into the mental discomfort earlier and take some time out. I use predominantly three tools; yoga, journaling and meditation, which help to create some safe spaces for me to go inside and understand myself and the situations around me better.
Through yoga I am in a safe place, on my mat. A space I am left only with myself, giving me the opportunity to work on relaxing my muscles, releasing emotions and going inside.
Through journal writing I can take some time to express myself and document how I felt during the day and why, plus start to understand what it is that is really stressing me out. Often I start with a blank page wondering what I will write, but it soon gets filled with things that spring to mind (let's face it my mind is rarely empty), allowing me to see what's going on in my head and start to make sense of it!
Meditation can seem tricky with an overactive mind and is often the last thing I feel like doing during stressful, overwhelming times. But setting a timer for 10 minutes and giving it a go, allows my mind to slow down and see things more clearly, and I often feel better by the end!
In fact, when I lose my routine and these three tools are taken away, I always notice the difference. This prompts me to reach back out for these tools to help balance me. By taking this time for myself, I am better able to cope with the external life around me and I am a much nicer person to be around.
Jump off the tread-milll and onto your yoga mat, journal or meditation practice - or start one of them today! Why not?
Unsure where to start? Join Sam for a yoga class or a meditation journey class that often includes some journal writing too!