Yesterday, I felt stuck and overwhelmed due to the decent size list of things I gave myself to do. Totally my fault, I bundled everything together in the one day when I could of just as easily spread everything out throughout the week.
So what did I do?
I turned to nature of course.
Instead of keeping with that feeling of overwhelm and building stress within me to rush and get everything done, I took a deep breath, let that need of having to tick everything off go and went into my garden to weed and remove all the dead leaves and branches of the greenery that surrounds my house.
I know that is not possible for everyone to do. I created a situation where I can decide to do what I want when I want and I work from home.
But there are things you can do when you feel like everything is piling up on top of you and there's nothing else to do but get it all done.
Sounds stupidly simple but it works wonders.
Breathing is not only key to keeping you alive but how you breathe actually helps your nervous system decide how you are going to feel and deal with the situation at hand.
In the same circumstance, you can feel stressed out like you're going to pop a vessel if something doesn't give OR you can breathe calmly and do one thing at a time and still feel good while doing it.
You may not have access to working from home and just not do things if you don't feel like doing them but you do have complete control over your breath.
When it all feels too much, give yourself permission to stop for five minutes, sit (or stand) and focus on your breath.
There are many ways to make a shitty situation feel ok through your breathing style but this is one that I am using at the moment during my meditation that is amazing at not only calming your nervous system and reducing cortisol levels (stress hormone) in your system but it also activates heart brain coherence (where the electrical signals between the brain and heart are synchronised, allowing for optimal states of performance and clarity).
This is how I achieve this state -
Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
Breathe out through your nose or mouth for 7 seconds
While you are repeating this breathing pattern, think of people or situations that evoke love, compassion and/or gratitude within yourself.
Do this for around 3 minutes and as you do, notice how your body and mind starts to unclench.
It's also in the heart brain coherence state that you can take advantage and ask your heart to perform certain "control room" functions.
Things like -
- sending more nutrients to certain parts of your body that need repair
- providing more oxygenated blood flow before a marathon
- produce extra protein to repair muscles with micro-tears due to a weightlifting session
You can even ask your heart a certain question you are confused about - "My heart, can you please tell me if staying with John is the right thing to do for me?"
When you sit in silence, even for just a few minutes in the synchronised heart brain state, your heart will tell you.
Something I like to do in this state is thank my heart for the super loud and unavoidable guidance it provides me at all times.
Your heart knows stuff your brain will just fold itself into a pretzel trying to figure out.
So next time you're in a state of stress or overwhelm, give yourself permission to stop for a few minutes to create more space and calm in your body and mind.
You may not be able to leave it all to weed your garden at home but you can make time to "weed" the garden of your mind for a greener, healthier outlook.