When You're Overwhelmed, Simplify - Deepstash

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Why We Feel Overwhelmed

Why We Feel Overwhelmed

We’re overwhelmed by all the things we have on our plates, all the interruptions and messages and emails, all the things online and on social media, all the news, and chaos of the world, and all the things going on in our relationships. It’s a lot! We can celebrate the abundance of our lives, but often we bemoan it.

The problem isn’t the abundance, but our fear and anxiety about all of it. Actually, for most of us, the fear is that we’ll let people down. We’ll drop one of the many balls we have in the air and let people down, or worse yet, we’ll drop them all and we’ll be exposed as inadequate!

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Fears That Drive Our Overwhelm

We often have too many commitments.  We say Yes to too many things, partly out of optimism, but also because we are uncomfortable saying No to people.

When your boss, spouse, child or parent asks you to do something, there is an expectation that you’ll say Yes. The idea of saying No to them and protecting a boundary can bring up a lot of fear of letting that person down or upsetting them. This plays out even with people who are not as central to us: coworkers, neighbors, friends. We don’t want to say No to them, out of fear of letting them down or upsetting them, so we say Yes. This creates a Huge Pile of Things we can’t do.

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The Simplicity Practice

  • Soothing the Fear: The first practice is simply noticing your fear and anxiety in all of the above situations, and soothing them. Can you notice how it feels in your body?
  • One Breath at a Time: take one thing from the Huge Pile and focus completely on it. One at a time. That’s all we can do. It’s so simple.
  • Protecting Your Time & Commitments:  start saying No more. A Sacred No, that honors our boundaries and honors that we want to be a Hell Yes to things.

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