What kind of overwhelm do you have?

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado

Overwhelm is part of life. It is a wonderful stress response if used correctly. If we step off a curb in New York City and almost get hit by a bus; it’s ok that we can’t do long division in our head at that moment; we just need to get out of the street! But when we feel like this all the time, overwhelm can cripple us. Overwhelm makes us shut down, go numb, or retract from our lives. How can we thrive when our brains are in a traffic jam? In order to succeed, we need our minds to stay present and keep us moving forward.

I see two kinds of overwhelm in my practice. We can feel overwhelmed by everything or in specific situations all the time. For some of us reading, listening, moving our bodies, or just trying to pay attention can make us feel overwhelmed. Others find our selves in circumstances that feel overwhelming but as they pass, we feel better and can move forward. Maybe we have too much to do or we are starting something new and just feel stuck in that area of our life. Feeling chronically overwhelmed can prevent us from living a full life. Let’s talk about solutions that will help us control this debilitating pattern in our lives.

Most of the people that I see for Crossinology Brain Integration Technique (BIT) feel overwhelmed in some area of their life all the time. Many of my patients feel like information is coming at them too fast. When we can’t process information we can get emotional, daydream, or disconnect from our environment.  What causes this? When the white matter between the two hemispheres of the brain is not functioning well, we get overwhelmed quickly. BIT is the best way to increase the function of this highway between the two sides of the brain. When we get our neurological systems integrated, we see our lives become easier. When we have bi-hemispheric function we can stay with things; we can move our bodies more efficiently; we can speak clearly; we can stay focused and ultimately we can succeed and stay connected. I have seen this therapy help all kinds of overwhelm. Many conditions benefit: ADD, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Genetic Disorders, and many more. I recently had a patient who didn’t have a specific learning disorder but had terrific gains in her life after BIT. She was in her 40’s and she decided she wanted to go back to school for nursing but struggled in her schoolwork. She went though BIT and is getting straight A’s now. BIT can help overwhelm at any age.

Some of us bite off more than we can chew. I get it; I am one of these people. Here are 7 ways to manage stress and overwhelm. 

Remember to breathe. Taking deep breaths can calm down your fight or flight response and reduce your stress hormones. I suggest taking 10 deep breaths and counting 4 seconds in, holding your breath for 4 seconds, and then letting your breath out to a count of 4 seconds. Try doing this exercise multiple times a day, especially if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Don’t expect perfection. Let go of perfection, it doesn’t exist. Try to change your motto to ‘I always do my best and that is all I can do’. The less pressure you put on yourself the better you feel.

One hour at a time, One day at a time. Break your time down and prioritize what needs to happen in that hour. Don’t look ahead to everything you need to do.

Remember to set realistic goals. In a perfect world we could do everything in one day but we are not superhuman.

Write it down. Spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the day writing down everything you need to accomplish. When you write things down, your brain doesn’t constantly have to remind you of what needs to be done.

Meditate. Meditation is the best way to clear your mind. There are all kinds of meditation styles.  If you go to my website, I have a few links to show you how to meditate. I think the easiest way to meditate is to focus on the present moment. How does your skin feel? Are you breathing shallow or deep? What does your body sense?

Remember self-care. Exercise regularly, sleep 8 hours per night, laugh hard everyday, eat healthy food, and stay connected to your loved ones.

Overwhelm does not need to control your life. If you try these 7 steps and still feel overwhelmed, give my office a call at 303-652-0978. I have solutions to help you. How do you deal with your overwhelm?

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