A Simple Method to Deal with Chronic Overwhelm
Everything is coming at us so quickly these days. Internet. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Snapchat. Texting. Everything we ever wanted to know—and everything we didn’t know we wanted to know—can be found in an instant on the internet. Add homework, jobs, family, friends, and getting ready for life after high school or college, it can be quite overwhelming. It sometimes feels like we can’t slow down and get a minute to just breathe. In fact, many of us are walking around breathing so shallowly that we are fueling anxiety and panic as well as fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension.
I encourage all of you who are feeling overwhelmed and tense, who constantly feel like there’s not enough time to get everything finished, to take just five minutes to sit quietly, close your eyes, and breathe.
Just take five minutes. Five minutes. Breathe. No, probably not the way you usually breathe. Be aware of every breath you take. Focus on your abdomen and feel it move in and out. Take a little longer to exhale than inhale. Count your breaths if you’d like, but just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how much calmer you’ll feel.
How Breathing Can Impact Chronic Overwhelm
How do you feel after breathing deeply? Just a bit calmer, a bit more relaxed and able to handle the day? Erik Peper, a professor at San Francisco State University at The Institute for Holistic Health Studies and a pioneer in the field of biofeedback, calls breathing “the boundary between the conscious and the unconscious.” The way we breathe affects our physical and mental health. Just five minutes of conscious breathing can make a world of difference in how we perceive our challenges and how we perceive our ability to meet these challenges. Conscious breathing also gives us a little more space between us and the hustle and bustle around us. And that can be quite a relief!
Oh, yes…and it wouldn’t hurt to step away from technology for a day here and there, too.
OC Teen Coaching for Chronic Overwhelm
If your teen is feeling overwhelmed, even if he or she doesn’t know why, please know that getting a coach can help make everything manageable again. They don’t have to just “deal” with it because peace is possible.
Erik Peper. Biofeedbackhealth.org.
Ernest H. Johnson, PhD. “Is Technology Stress Overwhelming Your Life?” February 2015. Linkedin.com.
Dale Archer, MD. “Smartphone Addiction.” July 2013. Psychologytoday.com.