How to Defeat Your Overwhelm Monster in 4 Simple Steps
You know how it goes...
...one minute you're flowing through life, the to-do list is actually getting done, everyone is fed and watered, there's time to breathe and you feel epic!
Until suddenly something unforeseen and unscheduled trips you up, leaving your to-do list cowering with fear in the corner. It knows it doesn't stand a chance poor thing.
Let's be honest,
as a modern day soul, it would be something of a miracle if you didn't regularly find yourself tripped up by that sneaky pest I call the Overwhelm Monster. It is part and parcel of life.
This doesn't mean you have to let it take control however; so if you're in the grips of the Overwhelm Monster, you can now breathe...
Your freedom from him (sorry he has to be male!) is about to be granted... and it is easier than you might think!
The overwhelm monster is a cunning beast and an expert in sneakily trapping you.
It's easy for anyone to fall into his trap, because before you know it, he has tied you up in worry knots, he's made you feel smothered, and you've lost your way out because he's blocked your exits.
You find yourself stuck in a pattern of waking up feeling you're behind before you’ve even started and you worry that if you don't hold it all together the sky will fall down on your head.
The overwhelm monster has you firmly in his grip and you can't move forwards because you've no idea where to start.
I know that feeling – I've been there many times and used to be such a slave to the overwhelm monster that I thought it was just the way life was meant to be. We’re human – we all get entangled sometimes in the chains of our 'stuff', our heads get all crowded with lists, and we struggle to gain perspective.
But it is ok - there is good news!
Between you and me, the overwhelm monster only 'thinks' he’s enslaved you. It turns out that because he is so big and can’t see very clearly, there are lots of sneaky little ways that you can fool him and wriggle out of his grasp to reclaim some space and clarity.
I’m going to give you four easy steps to make a start.
So easy in fact, that once you’ve taken them you’ll wonder how you managed to get all wrapped up in those chains to start with!
At the start of each day, take a few minutes to mentally stand back and breathe for a few moments to clear your mind. There is no need to do anything or be anything – keep it simple and focus JUST on your breath for a couple of minutes, observing your belly rising and falling with each inhalation and exhalation.
This will not only return you to the present, it will also calm your adrenaline down. The overwhelm monster will be affected by this calm and will start dozing in the corner
Whilst he is still sleepy, grab a piece of paper and a pen (the old school way!), and give yourself TEN minutes to write down everything that is in your head right now (Your Brain Dump!). Don’t hold back, don’t judge, don’t worry about what or how you write – just get it all offloaded out of your head.
There is something about the act of physically doing this on paper that helps clear the mental clutter… and that makes the overwhelm monster even more sleepy..
This step really knocks him out – take a fresh bit of paper or use your gadgetry to create a new to-do list based on Your Brain Dump and create FOUR sections.
First section: write the things you can change that are vital (stop the house from being repossessed, keep you well, keep the family fed, keep the money coming in etc). Limit this list to no more than 4 things a day.
Second section: write the things that you can change that are less vital (the stuff you have assigned importance in your head that actually isn’t as important as it likes to think it is).
Third section: write the things that have been hanging around for weeks and never get near the top of the list.
Fourth section: write the things you can’t change but keep fretting about anyway.
Dump the third and fourth sections. They are useless. They do not serve you, they waste your precious energy and you either can't do anything about them, or they’ve been there for weeks and nothing has changed – either way they are redundant and you have my full permission to let them go. Do it – the monster will significantly reduce his grip on those chains… because he's fast asleep..!!
You are now going to completely ignore all the items in the second section and prioritise those in the first section. The things in the second section do not need to be revisited until the first section has been cleared. They are there to distract you and encourage procrastination.
The first section includes all the things that are important and have value in your life. They are the things that matter and will change something. The only way to reduce the hold of the overwhelm monster on you is to clear the deck and take action. You have cleared away all your other background stuff, so your way forward is much clearer now – prioritise the things in this section and visualise yourself working your way through each thing on the list systematically, with clarity and focus. This is one of the key areas I address in the final step of my MAGICAL Process and it makes a massive difference to how you feel at the start of each day :-)
If you do ALL of these steps, you won't even know who the overwhelm monster is any more.
He'll have briefly woken up, seen there's no fun to be had by trying to engage with someone who isn’t playing the game, and sloped off somewhere else in a sulk.
You are now an Overwhelm Monster Master and your way ahead is clear. Hurrah!
Keep him at bay each day with these simple strategies:
- Never allow there to be any more than 4 things on the list for any day.
- Do not allow scenario-building or worry about the things you can't change and enjoy all that time and extra energy you’ve saved as a result.
- If you want to get 'in credit' and you've done your 4 things really easily, feel free to allow yourself an extra thing on the list to help you feel extraordinarily awesome!
Over to you!
Go forth and conquer! Remember to stop and breathe whenever you feel the monster lurking. These steps can be repeated every single day to keep him at bay!
My upcoming book, The Magical Unfolding is out now
. It gives you lots of mindset readjustment strategies you can use to defeat the Overwhelm Monster before he takes hold - as well as empowering you to create magic in your life.
Gift yourself or a friend a copy by clicking the image :)
I would love to know how you get on with defeating your overwhelm monster - let me know in the comments below!