From my relationships, conversations and personal experience, as well as reading about others' experiences online, I fear that we are battling an overwhelm epidemic, although accepting this state of being as the status quo means that it is hardly a fair fight. We are exhausted and run-dry, ever-aspirational but ever-chasing. We are distracted, disjointed, and desperate for life, but drowning in living.
We are parents, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, daughters, employees and employers but SELFLESS. We are so caught up in the hustle and the bustle, the doing and the getting, that BEING feels like a luxurious indulgence with guilt snapping at our heels.
Overwhelm has become so paramount that it is, for many, a constant state of mind. The physiological triggering of the flight/fight response from where the amygdala screams "HELP!" And so help comes, with a burst of stress hormones to pump our muscles so that we can run, hard and fast and AWAY. But away from what? A saber toothed tiger? From THAT at least we could run, but the ever-present fear and danger for many today is the constant, slow, cruel repetition of all that is. The feeling of needing to do more, to be more, to expect more. More. More. More.
Our clever, brilliant, masterful brains have not caught up since our evolutionary programming that protected us from danger. We cannot run for we have nowhere to run. We have no cool, dark cave in which to hide so that the surge of adrenaline in our veins can ease before we go outside to hunt and gather again. Instead, our bodies and our minds are bathed in a hot soup of stress and escape feels futile.
This is a place, a feeling, that I know all too well. It is so familiar to me that I can feel it coming. The tight, suffocating grip of my chest and the mental commentary that reinforces the fear and the feeling that I am under attack. But I am learning. My masterful mind need not be my master, but a tool that I employ. Lately, I've been telling my mind where to go, by using visual cues that I can rely on for a no BS approach. The result is less self-doubt, less questioning and less second-guessing because my written word is my command.
Visual cues are one strategy that I use to keep my son and I on track and away from overwhelm. Hello Better Day is about sharing those tools, and discovering others, that can be used to reduce overwhelm.