Soul Searchin

How I cope when feeling overwhelmed.

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You ever feel overwhelmed by life? Like everything is happening all at once, and it’s hard to keep your head above water? Perhaps its life changes are happening all at once and trying to sift through your feelings and thoughts while making difficult decisions. Maybe it’s the frustration of working hard towards something, getting close than having it come to a standstill. Whatever it may be, life can be hard sometimes, and it’s normal to feel overcome by it. In the day in age where everyone insists that you think positive and you can Jedi mind trick your problems away, it’s hard sometimes to feel safe enough to be disappointed, frustrated, tired, upset, hurt, overwhelmed, etc. I encourage you to allow yourself to feel as you need to. That doesn’t mean that you wallow in sadness or allow yourself to slip into a dark place if you can help it, it just means that you understand that to get to the other side of something, you have to go through it. So permit yourself to be in the space that you are in unapologetically and then once you’ve done that, pick yourself up, and you fight. You fight through the sadness, fatigue, and obstacles. You make a plan, and you go for it until you’ve reached the other side. Here are some things that help me when I feel as though life is getting the best of me:

1. Pray

Prayer can be defined as an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship, typically a deity, through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ancestor.

Prayer doesn’t have to be rooted in religion as much as it is a spiritual act to bring your desires to light in a way the submits them to a power that is beyond yourself. For me, I believe in God, and I find solace in taking my burdens to Him. Whether you are praying to God, the universe, ancestors or even some deeper version of yourself, to offer up your thoughts both good and bad, requests in times of sorrow and gratitude in times of joy is to create an atmosphere around you that opens you to allowing life to conspire in your favor. When in doubt, I pray.

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2. Take a moment for yourself.

Taking a break is okay. Even it’s a quiet five minutes to step away from your desk, the room, or wherever you may be, take a moment. Take a deep breath.  Meditate. Meditation doesn’t have to be a drawn-out thing where you are surrounded by candles, sitting with your legs crossed and soft music in the background. Meditation can be a quick minute of silence where you listen. Listen to what God, the universe, your intuition is telling you. Allow it to guide you at the moment so that you may step back into whatever it is you need to do and do so with clarity and confidence. And when time permits, do something for you that makes you happy. Get a massage, take a ride on a scooter (my personal favorite), walk on the beach if one is near. See a movie, get your favorite meal, or take a trip. Sometimes just the smallest act of kindness towards yourself can be just the thing needed to get through the anxiety you may be feeling and the refresher to tackle trails head on.

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3. Journal.

Journaling is the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of your life. It can be freeing in a way that brings clarity to your thoughts so that they are not just circling in your head which can control your behavior and ability to move forward. It allows you to process whatever you may be experiencing in an unfiltered way that can often lead to healing and breakthrough. I am my most honest when I write. I somehow can tap into the deeper parts of my soul and allow it to speak in a way that both frees and challenges me. I can no longer overlook the things that I have been suppressing when presented with it in this way which forces me to grow. The more I become, the more I can conquer the battles set before me and perhaps most importantly, to do so in a healthy way.

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For additional information about the benefits of journaling, please visit: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-journaling-for-stress-management-3144611

4. Make a plan.

To every problem, there is a solution. Once you’ve allowed yourself to identify the problem, then feel how you feel about it, it’s now time to get to work to fix it. Again, writing is a great problem-solving tool as it allows for you to see the problem and then come up with real solutions. Additionally, talking things out with trusted family members and friends can be a practical resource. Sometimes we are so caught up in our own emotions surrounding the issue that it can be hard to see the totality of the situation. Having someone who is looking from the outside in can bring a different perspective that allows for you to see things differently which could help in your approach to fixing, healing from, or moving past whatever it is. Seeking wise counsel is always beneficial. Whatever your method, make a plan and execute one step at a time.

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5. Stay Present.

Perhaps one of the most significant areas I am currently working on is to stay present. It can be challenging to stay in the moment when there are so many moving pieces and so many things at stake. We naturally tend to think ahead when we haven’t even gotten through step one. That doesn’t mean that you don’t prepare yourself for possible outcomes or that you don’t think positive and envision whatever it is you are after coming to fruition. It just says that once you’ve done all of that, you’ve now got to allow yourself to stay in the moment and experience everything as it comes. Expectation is the gateway to disappointment, we break our own hearts by creating great expectations and are disappointed when things don’t happen as we planned. Listen, all you can do is what you can do, so be content with doing your best at whatever that is. Focus solely on finishing your assignment, completing the task, doing your part, saying what needs to be said, etc. Once you’ve done that, then trust that what is to come next is going to work out for your greater good. The universe tends to balance out in a way that matches your energy and yields good returns. Easier said than done, believe me, I know. However, I also know that by worrying or thinking about anything other than what’s immediately in front of you only creates pressure and adds to the overwhelming feeling that causes more stress. Life is hard enough, cutting yourself some slack is necessary.

We also must learn to appreciate life as it’s happening. Every moment you are given on earth is a moment for you to get better. Even the tough moments build character and reveal a new layer of yourself that you didn’t know existed. By staying present, we allow ourselves to come to a place of gratitude which is the ultimate cheat code for unlocking the life we desire. The more I can be grateful for all things both good and bad; the more life will open up to me. The more open life becomes, the more opportunity I have to live it to its fullest. The goal is to be healthy, happy, whole. If we don’t experience the things that get us there, then we’ll miss the best part, the journey. So stay present, even if it’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar, not where you want to be. Your trials and triumphs are apart of who you’re becoming, and that is a better version of yourself. I am grateful to have endured with fortitude and for the woman who will emerge on the other side.

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