Hurry! Multitask! Go! Go! Go! Doesn’t it feel like a drill sergeant is constantly pushing us? Whether it’s in the office, out of the office or in our heads, the pressure doesn’t let up. Always busying ourselves, scouring online news so we don’t miss anything, sleeping less, worrying more – it’s all overwhelming.
To be overwhelmed is to be buried or drown beneath a huge mass. That “huge mass” may be your never-ending To Do List or the paralysis of wondering what to do next. It physically and emotionally affects you. The symptoms of overwhelm include confusion, frustration, depression, insomnia and anxiety.
Anxiety is a sign from your subconscious mind to focus on what you want. But how can you focus when American society is strongly encouraging you to multitask and do more with less?
Focus is what is lacking when people become overwhelmed. Before moving into action, before climbing that mountain of a To Do List, let’s simply focus (or refocus). Let’s center ourselves.
Set aside time this week (today if possible) to do that what centers you. Whether it’s meditating, praying, exercising, playing the piano or surfing, do what recharges you. Find what works for you or go back to an old stand-by activity that has helped you center yourself in the past. Centering yourself allows for a sound and calming perspective; it allows you to better focus.
Mike Dwyer, a web designer and web developer in San Diego, writes on his website The Flying Peanut about how surfing provides him perspective. Here is an excerpt from Dwyer’s first article on the site “How I got salty and learned to love the bomb”:
Surfing saved my soul.
And I don’t mean in a, “I used to be addicted to crack cocaine, but then I started surfing...” way.
I mean in a, “holy crap, please save me from my iPhone and Starbucks and microwave chicken nuggets,” way. I don’t mean surfing saved my life; I mean it saved my soul. It brought me direct access to the spiritual in my everyday life. Let’s face it, your job is pretty trivial on a morning where you’ve ripped a few turns on a head-high wave, or had that same head-high wave curl over and drop a few gallons of white water forcefully on your head.
According to Psychology Today’s article “Overwhelmed? 5 ways to focus your life,” we need to take this break for the sake of our subconscious (here referred to as the “unconscious”)."Creativity demands you have periods of time where you don’t think about work or problems. The more complex a situation, the more you overload your brain. When you occasionally distract yourself with something mindless or a physical activity, you give your unconscious a chance to sort through possible solutions."
Give yourself a break to do that what centers you. You will gain perspective and focus (or refocus) your efforts. Do it this week (or today). This is the first step in the cure for overwhelm. It’s the step that our society won’t push on you; you must take this step by yourself and for yourself.
Click here for more information on surfing in the San Diego area.
Click here for a list of San Diego meditation facilities.
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