There I was sitting in my living room wondering where to begin. We had purchased a couch two weeks ago and delivery was in two days. I thought it would be a good idea to really clean up. I had done this about 4 years ago and now seemed like the perfect time again.
Fortunately, a friend of the family who has an eye of organizing had been helping me. So here I was with boxes everywhere; boxes to go to storage and others still yet to be broken down into categories.
Now I was in complete overwhelm stuck wondering what to do next. My mind was in a whirl. Can you relate? Is any of this resonating with you?
When I catch myself during these times, I’ve trained myself to shift the situation by ADDing Perspective. Until you can become aware of what’s happening, you’ll most likely move directly into "Brain Freeze." As one of my clients said, "I know the overwhelm is consuming me but I can’t seem to do anything about it."
You can! As you know, ADD is situational so too Life is situational. In this situation, the burst of adrenaline has triggered one of my symptoms under stress – overwhelmed with details. Overwhelm is some form of fear. The fear is always related to something we just don’t understand. What we don’t understand may be the whole notion of brain freeze and what you can do when you find yourself in the midst of it.
The following is an exercise to unlock your "brain freeze" and move from overwhelm to overcome; from reaction to action.
1. Practice recognizing when and in what situations you become in my case, overwhelmed. Once you do, say out loud, "I’m overwhelmed! Good! At least I know I am." This moves you from focusing on what is not working to what works: from challenge to success; from a victim, blaming others, yourself, the circumstances to a hero accepting responsibility. This puts you firmly in charge.
2. Brain freeze is a bio-neurological set back. Do not take it personally. You’re brain chemistry is rattling the cage. Take a moment to calm the agitation.
Give yourself a break literally. Take 1 – 5 minute break. VISUALIZE yourself with your completed project. In my case, my new couch at home. My older couch finding a new home. Everything stored and in it’s perfect place.
3. Once there, look around. What do you see? What do you hear? What could you smell, touch, and/or taste. Most importantly, how do you feel?
4. Breathe this in and smile. Take a deep breath and smile. By this time, you just might find that your brain has unlocked. Once your brain has unlocked, you’ll be able to prioritize, decide what’s next and get moving closer to your goal.
5. Now, take one item and only one item and complete the task. It doesn’t matter which item. The action of choosing one and completing it creates "success momentum."
Learn to focus on one activity at a time. Do it the best you can by remembering what works for you and practice taking small steps over and over. You will find that this simple exercise is translatable to so many other situations. You can move from being overwhelmed and reactive to getting what you love you really want.
Step by step you move closer to personal clarity and personal happiness.