You know that moment when you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know which end is up?
When you want—no, you need—someone to hold you and tell you it’s all going to be okay, but there’s no one available to do that? And you feel as if you might explode from stress and anxiety?
In the past, when I was in that place in my head, I’d literally lay face down on the floor and sob.
One of the things that used to push me to this level of desperation was building my website. If you’ve never done it, let me tell you it’s not easy! But that wasn’t the part that had me hitting the floor. It was all of the emotion that came along with it. I put my whole heart and soul into developing my website, and each hurdle with the design or functionality was like a stab to the gut. So, yeah: head, floor, crying.
I learned from a yoga therapist friend of mine that doing this (the forehead on the floor part) actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system. That’s awesome because it shuts down that panicked “fight or flight” response.
But it’s also not a super productive way to solve a problem. Nor is it something that can be done anywhere but the privacy of your own home.
If you’re overwhelmed to the point of tears at work (or anywhere), I’ve got a much better solution for you! It comes from my own experience, years of working with spirit, and a strong grounding in helping others along their spiritual journey.
Step one: breathe.
I know this sounds basic. But I’m not talking about the way you breathe from moment to moment each day. I’m talking about controlled breathing. Take a deep breath in for a count of four and slowly let it out for a count of seven. Repeat this at least three times until you feel your blood pressure returning to normal levels.
Step two: tune in.
Tune in to your emotions. Try to untangle the mess they’ve become. Pick one and follow the thread of it back until you find what’s causing it. Keep doing that until you’re feeling less stressed and overwhelmed.
Step three: release.
With each emotion and situation you’ve untangled, find a way to release it. Offer it up to the universe and ask to be healed. If you’re in public somewhere, you can do this silently, like a prayer.
Step four: find a solution.
Now that you’re calmer and more centered, you can look for a solution to the problem(s) that had you overwhelmed. It can help to ask others for advice or to seek divine guidance.
Step five: meditation.
Consider making meditation a part of your daily life. Over time, meditation works to rewire your brain and calm your spirit so those moments of stress and overwhelm are less dramatic and easier to cope with.
I’ve noticed that when I started using these five steps instead of sobbing on the floor, I arrive at a solution much more quickly and I don’t use up a ton of precious energy in the process.
Recently, I had an issue with my email (again, technology fighting with me). This time, though, instead of hitting the floor, I worked through the steps and in less than 15 minutes, I had a solution and my email was up and running again. Even better, I wasn’t exhausted from the effort.
author: Sarah Woodard
Image: Shifaaz Shamoon/Unsplash
Editor: Catherine Monkman
via Elephant Journal