Yesterday, in my post The Day I Stopped Breathing, I promised you the first 3 of 6 great tips for overcoming overwhelm. Let’s dive right in…
1. Assess ~ You know your body well enough to assess if you need immediate medical attention. I was able to resolve this one time panic attack within a few minutes. I then put appropriate support tools in place and, thankfully, didn’t have a recurrence during Gary’s illness. If you are having significant breathing problems, seek medical help. Steps 2 through 6 will not be appropriate.
2. Hands on Help ~ Where do you feel the tightness or panic in your body? I felt it in my chest. Where is a peace of place in your body? Focusing is a great technique that can be self-directed. Identify a place that feels grounded. For some it may be the stomach area near the solar plexus or it could be the knee, the thigh. There is a part of you that you can rely on to support you.
Place one had on that part and the other hand on the area where you are feeling the tightness. Imagine breathing first into the area under the hand you’ve placed on the area of peace. Then, breath into the area under the hand where you are feeling the stress. Breathe back and forth between the two with the intention of infusing the peace into the area of stress. Allow the part of the body that knows how to support you to teach the area that is tight to relax and let go. This is a creative visualization, not a medical resolution to breathing problems (see #1 above).
3. Take a Quick Inventory ~ when I have those heart stopping moments, I stop myself by asking, “in this moment am I safe and do I have everything I need?” Taking a quick inventory and knowing that my immediate needs are handled helps ground me. I create stress for myself when I start to look too far out and dive into worrying about a future I don’t even know will occur. It is a waste of time and energy so I’ve learned to curtail this by doing my inventory.
Obviously, if there is an area where everything is not okay in that moment, I then must turn my attention to applying tools and resources to getting that handled. Stress then becomes an opportunity to get into integrity and handle something that needs my attention.
Check back in tomorrow for the final 3 tips to overcoming overwhelm & feel free to post comments and experiences below. It helps to know we’re not alone when facing our fears.