Our world is an overwhelming place today. Our climate, government, and society are in a dire state. Not to mention, the inequalities and injustices that women, minorities, and LGBTQ individuals face every day can cause tremendous mental, physical, and emotional distress.
Feeling overwhelmed can be extremely frustrating and can make you feel completely out of control. It can leave you feeling defeated, exhausted, like you’re drowning and you just ate too much. It blurs your vision, both literally and figuratively, casting a dark tinge on the world around you. It can affect your work, relationships, and even the things you enjoy. When this kind of stress hits, it’s important to give yourself some time and space to reset.
Having a few tools to turn to when you feel overwhelmed can be very helpful in overcoming and overcoming the overwhelm. Chronic overwhelm can lead to mental health issues, so it’s important to start addressing these feelings. Through my own struggles with anxiety, I have tried and found many different practices to be very helpful in grounding and connecting back to my body. If you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed, today’s post is for you. We’re sharing some practices to help you reconnect and center yourself when you feel out of control.
Looking for more mental health advice? Check out our posts: The best thing I’ve done to deal with anxiety.
10 exercises for when you feel overwhelmed
As many of you know by now, yoga is my holy grail. I am a yoga instructor and it has completely changed my life. I feel so lucky to be able to share this passion and lifestyle with others every week. Yoga is a unique practice that gets us out of our heads and into our bodies. This ancient practice, originating from India, synchronizes movement with breathing. Although yoga has been Westernized in many ways, the traditional practice of yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice. Taking an exercise class like spin or barre is physically challenging and releases endorphins into your body, but it doesn’t achieve the same spiritual connection with yourself that yoga does. Yoga has a really lovely effect that I call a “yoga melt”, it makes you feel soft all over and feels good. There really is nothing more overwhelming than this! If you’re not sure where to start with yoga, try a local class or an online platform.I love Glo!
Journaling is another transformative practice that can be very beneficial for relieving stress, stress, or anxiety. We often keep a lot of things locked up in our heads. Our thoughts run wild and over time it becomes overwhelming.Look for Daily diary writing What works for you may change your life. What’s more, you don’t have to be a “writer” to journal! Just jot down notes, pictures and words, write down your stream of consciousness – whatever works for you.
i have found Use journal prompts It really helps, and poetry always provides a really beautiful release and sometimes some epiphany. morning paper This is a simple practice created by Julia Cameron that has changed my life. I don’t do this every morning, but when I’m struggling with something or feeling particularly anxious, it really helps get rid of all the crap in my head and get to the core of what’s really bothering me. I highly recommend it!
Taking a walk is a very simple thing we can do to reset ourselves when we feel overwhelmed. There are many benefits to being outdoors, especially early in the morning. In fact, getting some morning sunlight has been shown to improve mental health, increase energy, and improve sleep. Don’t listen to anything through your headphones while trying to walk. This gives free space for your thoughts and ideas. You can even practice walking meditation by focusing on your senses and integrating into the nature around you.
Things that were commonplace to our ancestors now have fancy names like “grounding” and “forest bathing,” but our ancestors practiced them for good reasons, and they improve our health. Earthing is the simple practice of grounding your bare feet. Step into the grass or dirt and feel a deep connection with the earth. Forest bathing is all about walking in the woods and feeling the nature around you. All of these practices help us reconnect with the world around us and disconnect from things like cell phones and technology that can cause us to feel stressed and disconnected.
The movement of dance can provide such a beautiful release for our bodies. When we dance, our movements are very different. We fluidly and gracefully open parts of the body that are not often opened. This is an intuitive and therapeutic practice that can help release stress. Sometimes stress gets trapped in our bodies and we need to really shake and move to release it. So, pump out your favorite jam and feel it through your body! Dance like no one is watching and let the beautiful release happen.
Meditation can be one of the most challenging things to actually make a habit of and make time for in your life. But the benefits are many! Meditation brings us back to the present moment, it increases our self-awareness, lowers our heart rate, reduces negative emotions and increases positive emotions. I think meditation is hard to justify for some people because you’re not doing anything, you’re literally just sitting there. You might think that stillness and quiet would be attractive to most people, but it’s actually terrifying.
We often avoid our thoughts and feelings, and the thought of having to live with them makes many of us uncomfortable. Many people also feel the need to constantly be productive and get things done like working out or getting fit.I like to use calming app Because meditation is guided and focused. It helps me get out of my shell and gives me something to focus on. Throughout my life I have often returned to these themes throughout the day or week. You can choose to meditate for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even 20 minutes, depending on what you can make time for. Start small and you might surprise yourself!
cold water therapy
This summer I gave cold water therapy a try. It’s definitely easier when the weather is hot! Cold water therapy has been shown to be very helpful for mental health. The shock of cold water to the system causes a sharp inhalation of air that resets the body. Cold water actually increases blood flow in the body, which can heal the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. You don’t have to jump into an ice bucket for cold water therapy. You can turn the water cold for 30 seconds to a minute at the end of your shower. You’ll find that you can increase the time as your body’s ability to recover increases. The key is to focus on your breathing and the fact that any discomfort from the cold is only temporary.
Talk to a friend or therapist
Some of us just need a good outlet when we feel overwhelmed. It can be helpful to have a loving, supportive, and trusting friend or therapist to talk things through with. When we feel overwhelmed, we may just need someone to sympathize with us. If life feels hard, sometimes having someone validate your thoughts and feelings can help you overcome them. Sometimes we just need someone to give us some advice and help us take steps toward action. It’s hard to think clearly when we’re stuck, and having a grounded person to bring us back to ourselves can be extremely helpful.
Jesse and I are both big three® Fans! We were introduced to this practice by a friend of ours who holds classes in town. three® stands for Tension Release Exercises, a series of exercises that help the body release deep muscle patterns of stress, tension, and trauma. Think about how the body naturally shakes when in fight or flight mode. For example, many of us will naturally tremble if we are nervous, which is a healthy mechanism that unfortunately we have given up on.
three® is a practice that returns your body to this natural state to release any tension in your body that has been stored for years. Once released, you will feel this beautiful feeling of relaxation and calm. three® is an amazing form of release that is easy to practice on your own once you learn the exercises from a trained instructor.Learn more about TRE® is here!
Incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily life can be very beneficial to your mental health. When we feel overwhelmed, we tend to forget all the positive aspects of life. Gratitude practices help remind us of all that we have to be thankful for. It’s the little moments in our lives that we forget can make such a big difference. Gratitude can change your perspective and create abundance in your life.i love mine Habit Nest Diary. Even on those more challenging days, doing this before bed is a great practice to end your day on a positive note. I found these prompts to be so thoughtful, insightful, and perspective-changing.
Start a morning or evening ritual
I’m in and out morning and evening ritual But I find that my days are always better when I make time. With kids and work/life demands, it can be really challenging to make time for these things, but I highly recommend it, even if it’s just 15 minutes. When my son is still out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, I try to wake up and take my dog for a 15-minute walk, do a short meditation and do some exercise (Pilates or yoga). Sometimes I wake up a little scared and need this time to ground myself and reconnect with my body. I always feel more relaxed and content as I go about my day, and then able to deal with any problems that come my way in a more relaxed manner. Again, start small and lower your expectations! See what clicks and make it work for you.
The most important thing you can do for your health is to find the tools that work for you. Don’t be afraid to try some new strategies and notice what works. Explore different classes, teachers and notice which ones click. Connect with those who make you feel fulfilled and follow the path that feels right deep within your soul. I hope you can find some practices that bring you some peace when you feel overwhelmed and know that you are not alone.
What practices help you when you feel overwhelmed? We hope you’ll share in the comments below!
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