What emotion do you feel the most often?
From my clients and the moms I talk to, I think the #1 emotion that we coach through is OVERWHELM. Now, before you can solve for any emotion, you have to know where it's coming from.
Where does “overwhelm” come from? Not your busy life. Not your unending to-do list. Not the annoying relative that you need some space from. Not your kids. Say it with me … IT COMES FROM YOUR THOUGHTS. ALL emotions come from your thoughts.
Step #1 is to TRULY realize that. You can't solve something if you're going to the wrong source to fix it.
If you think you're going to fix overwhelm by taking things off your to do list, or by running away from your life, or by giving up one of your kids for adoption, I promise you, it won't help. 😂 That's like running to shut off your water because all the lights are flickering in the house. You're going to the wrong source to solve the problem. It ain't gonna do any good.
So hear me on this: If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's because of what you're thinking. And until you truly see that and believe that, you won't be able to solve the overwhelm.
I'll give you a very practical example of this that happened to me just a few days ago.
It was the morning rush before school, and I was in the kitchen making lunches (yes, I make my kids' lunches in the morning 🤦♀️). All of a sudden, I felt my chest get tight, and my hands get clammy. I immediately felt overwhelmed. So I asked myself, "What are you thinking that is producing overwhelm?" And I realized that my entire upcoming week and to-do list was running through my head on overdrive.
I have to make a menu and a shopping list.
I have to prepare for teaching.
I need to call back _____.
I have all these errands to do.
I have these events coming up that I need to plan...
Once I slowed down my brain enough to realize what was going on in there, I was able to take control of myself. OF COURSE I'm going to feel overwhelmed if I'm thinking about all the things I need to do while I'm making my kids' lunches!
The biggest cause of overwhelm is thinking about things when you aren't currently able to tackle them.
So I slowed my breathing down and came up with this new thought: This is where I get to be right now. And that took me right back to the present moment of putting applesauce pouches and popcorn bags inside the right lunchbox.
All the to-do list items had no choice but to wait. They weren't going to happen during the lunch-making rush. They were going to happen later. So they didn't deserve a piece of my mental space (and certainly didn't deserve to overwhelm me!) until I was ready to tackle them.
And just like that, I was able to reduce my feelings of overwhelm considerably, take myself out of racing future thoughts, and back into the present. Now it's your turn.