Overwhelmed? Help is on the Way!

HandAlthough you vowed that this year would be different and charged into 2016 with the best of intentions to take control of your life, you’re right back where you were before the holidays. Overwhelmed. Overworked. Overscheduled. Most days you dread going to work because you just don’t see yourself making any progress. If one more perky person smiles and says “It is what it is,” you’re going to scream.

The feeling of overwhelm is a common state of mind that looks like it’s coming completely from our circumstances. To make matters worse, conventional wisdom reinforces the misunderstanding about the source of our emotions. The “experts” say overwhelm is the result of relationship problems, career demands, financial difficulties, life transitions, and so on.

When it looks like you’re drowning beneath a huge wave of conflicting priorities and unrealistic expectations, it’s hard to make decisions and move forward. You’re stuck. The more you think about how much you have to do, the less you get done. It’s a vicious circle. Here’s how to stop the madness:

First, realize that your feelings are coming from your thinking 100% of the time. No person or circumstance can ever make you feel anything. Sometimes you see it and sometimes you don’t. But it’s always true; it’s just how the human mind works. When you’re telling friends about your best vacation ever, I’ll guarantee you’re not feeling stressed and overwhelmed, no matter how many emails are in your inbox. Being open to this possibility will pave the way for insights, the fresh thinking that spontaneously emerges when our minds are free and clear.

Second, have faith in your innate wisdom and potential for insights. You’ve been having new thinking and seeing different perspectives and alternatives your entire life. The capability has always been there, but the more you know the less you’re open to seeing something new. Then you’re stuck with what you have, so to speak, and it makes sense try to find a new time management tool, get better at multi-tasking, and when all else fails, complain about the inefficiencies of senior management. You churn and grind away, clogging up your mental pipeline and stopping the natural flow of thought.

Just like a 3-year old in the time out chair, your mind will automatically settle down when you stop focusing on external circumstances as the source of your frustration. From a state of focus and mental clarity, you’ll be able to make decisions and move forward. Your wisdom and common sense will guide you in the right direction.

So the next time you want to scream like a toddler, put yourself in the time out chair and see what happens.

If you want to hear more on this topic, join me in my Supermind -sponsored webinar on February 29th. http://threeprinciplessupermind.com/Events/cheryl-bond-04.886/

Happy Friday!

    30524810_s Why is it that the work and relationships that plagued you all week look so different on Friday afternoon?  The issues and challenges haven’t changed, but somehow you don’t get so riled up about it on Friday.  You’re in a great mood, looking forward to a weekend with your family, maybe doing some gardening or camping.

     Sometimes you notice that Friday afternoons are incredibly productive.  You make decisions and cross tasks off your to-do list.  You don’t get caught in loops of overthinking.  You make the phone calls you’ve been putting off all week and they go far better than you expected.  You feel energized and confident.  During the weekend, thoughts about the week ahead or the past week drift through your consciousness, but you don’t dwell on them.  It’s easy to let them go and get back to the present moment.

     Now fast forward to Sunday night.  The Friday afternoon feeling is long gone.  You’re feeling anxious and pre-occupied.  You might even have trouble sleeping.  Nothing has changed from Friday afternoon to Sunday night in terms of your workload or the people you need to influence and manage.  Yet your mood shifted.  Back to reality – or so you think.

     Here’s another scenario.  It’s Friday afternoon, and you’re tired and frustrated.  In your mind, the week didn’t go well and you didn’t accomplish all you set out to do.  You have a conversation with your boss that turns into an argument.  What happened to Happy Friday?  You stew about it all weekend long.  You try to put it out of your mind but you keep replaying the tape and beating yourself up for how you handled it.

Confusing?  Sound familiar?  Welcome to the Human Race!

   The only way to make sense of these ups and downs is to realize that your mind is always creating your experience of life in the moment through thought from the inside-out.  Regardless of the circumstances, the only thing you are ever feeling is the feedback of your thinking.  Thoughts are always flowing through your mind — sometimes you pay attention to them and sometimes you don’t.  

     You didn’t do anything different or magical that productive Friday afternoon – that’s how the mind works in its natural clear and present state.  OK, so what happened on the other Friday, when it got ugly with your boss?  You were tired and in a low mood, you felt like a failure, and it looked like your circumstances, boss included, were to blame.  From that state of mind, of course it didn’t go well.  And I’m willing to bet that a little voice in the back of your mind was trying to tell you to back off, but you didn’t listen.

     So what’s the takeaway?  Life is always an inside-out experience — the day of the week has nothing to do with your state of mind.  It’s another misunderstanding that we’ve adopted as truth.  What is true is that the human mind is designed for success – it will always give us what we need in the moment.  Wisdom and common sense are built in to every one of us.