staying present to help reduce overwhelm

Monthly review – staying present to help reduce overwhelm

staying present to help reduce overwhelm

The point of my reviews is to look back over the month and see how I have progressed with the habits I have set to help me achieve my goal for the year. It is essential to look back on the past so we can learn, acknowledge, celebrate and make changes going forward if needed.

We need to spend time on the past as we do on the future. I set time aside each week to plan ahead, on a monthly basis for more top level planning and at the start of the year as I set a goal for personal and business. Planning definitely leads to a more purposeful and organised life.

However, if we are constantly dwelling on the past or thinking ahead about what we are doing next we can cause ourselves to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or deflated. As we go about our days, staying present can really help reduce overwhelm. Worrying in advance or brooding doesn’t help decrease our workload or change the past but it can make us feel worse and it isn’t great for our health either!

Brooding, by nature, is not solution-focused thinking but emotionally-activating thinking—and not in a good way. Besides getting us upset and releasing stress hormones into our bloodstream, brooding has been linked to a host of psychological and physical problems such as alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and cardiovascular disease.

Source – Psychology Today

So as things start to speed up at this fun and festive time of the year, remind yourself to take a few deep breaths, focus on the present, the work at hand and reduce the overwhelm!

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.

– John Newton
HabitConnection to goal - Do the inner work to be able to give more to those around me.Quote - “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” - Carl JungOctober Review
Meditate in the morning for at least 20 minutesI have been meditating for a number of years now, but lately it is often left to the end of the day and I listen to a guided meditation before I go to sleep.

To reap the real benefits of meditation I want to practice in the first half of the day, non guided and for a minimum of 20 minutes. In this time emotions, feelings and issues will come up and I will need to learn to not react to it, simply observe it and focus on the meditation session.
“The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of peace.” - J. Donald Walters
As I noted last month, I have pulled this back to 10 minutes to keep the habit alive and prevent me from not doing it at all. While I would like to get back to 20 minutes and I will do this on the weekends, the reality I am going to keep going with what I can do at the moment.

I will also continue to listen to a guided meditation at night as well.

Participate in a weekly faith based activityI have a strong personal faith but feel that it needs a recharge and refresh. Immersing myself in more faith based activities will help me achieve this and to examine my spirituality at a deeper level.“Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.” - Khalil GibranI finally caught up with my daily reading in October which I was super pleased with.

With lockdown ending I also headed back to my weekly Thursday in person commitment too which was great.
Write in a gratitude journal dailyFor some reason I stopped my gratitude journal process in the latter half of 2020 and I have noticed its absence. Part of my journal entry in the evening is to note down how I could have made the day even better. Reflecting each day on how I can improve is an important part of doing the inner work.“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” - Christina Baldwin
I have been consistent with this in October. I have deliberately kept this habit super simple - pencil and notebook and I write three things down each night.

I used to use the 5 minute journal app which I still love but I stacked this habit with my nightly reading and it just worked better to do it this way this year.
Learn and speak Phil's love language well and dailyI read The 5 Love Languages® by Dr. Gary Chapman a few years ago and loved the concept. For some reason I never got Phil to do the quiz and work out his love language. I will re-read the book and get us both to do the quiz .

I will then focus on making sure I am speaking Phil's love language on a daily basis.
“Love is a choice you make everyday.” - Gary ChapmanNot perfect but a better month for me. I have been focusing on small things. Verbalising my gratitude, making more positive comments and really checking in on how he is going. Small things can really make a difference.

How was your October?