Many of us are feeling overwhelmed because we face a profound sense of uncertainty. We tend to deal with that uncertainty by trying to cover all our bases and go in lots of different directions, i.e., “throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what will stick.” When I used to coach financial advisors to help them figure out their niche we used to call this the ‘spray and pray’ approach! In some ways it makes sense given that none of us can predict what products and services will best appeal in a changing landscape. But beware that it is causing you to pile on work and cause yourself overwhelm.
Of course it would be better to be really clear about your priorities than to overwhelm yourself. To do this, you have to be able to think clearly and creatively and come up with an innovative idea, See the big picture, have an open mind to the possibilities, Stay focused on your purpose and goals, then trust yourself and stay the course. Whew, I’m exhausted!
Would it be ok if i showed you a way to have all these benefits in 1-3 minutes?
Here is some cool information about how your body handles stress that will help you come up with the right money making idea and pursue it til it succeeds.
The answer is that you need to balance your nervous system.
You have two parts to your nervous system, there is the part of your nervous system that helps you focus (its called the Sympathetic nervous system). It was originally developed so we could be alert for the ‘water buffalo’ and large predators who were charging at us. It causes us to focus all our attention on the particular problem at hand, it provides short term solutions, it helps you muster the energy to do whatever it takes to get out alive in that dangerous situation. It causes you to overfocus on “me, me, me” and protecting yourself.
This is the part of your nervous system that is active when you are pushing yourself all day long – more client opportunities, more presentations to finish, more trains to catch, more obligations to fulfill, etc. Another interesting thing about the sympathetic nervous system is that it works based on comparisons with things that happened in the past. It always keeps you focused on how things have been, on what has happened in the past and whether it is happening again now.
You need your sympathetic nervous system to give you that “get up and go” but you can probably appreciate that it does not provide you with the full set of skills you need to have creativity and thoughtfulness that will allow you to survive for the long term. You need to balance it with the other part of your nervous system.
The Parasympathetic part of your nervous system was developed so you could have a restful alertness. It allows you to sort through a lot of information, put your emotions aside, and think clearly. It allows you to have perspective to see the big picture, so you can see overall trends. It allows you a state of well being that reminds you of what your true purpose is. It enables you to have recovery so you can go out and push again.
If you feel overwhelmed, like you are ‘running on fumes’, it is because you are being run only from your Sympathetic Nervous System. If this is the case, you are depriving yourself of the access you need to your intuition and cutting yourself off from your creativity. You are focused on tasks rather than seeing the all moving parts in context and determining how you can do things in new ways.
Give yourself the gift of using the full set of resources you have available to you so you can have clarity about the best 1 or 2 directions to pursue to their completion, rather than feel like you are going in a million directions at once.
Your mind follows your breath. Here is a reprint of my last blog post in which I described a breathing technique that will help you balance both parts of your nervous system. Note, if you want to just quickly access your parasympathetic nervous system abilities, one way you can do that is to breathe in only through your left nostril (cover your right nostril) for 1-3 minutes. Three Part Breath:
The idea is to breathe in, hold your breath, and breathe out for an equal amount of time. Try 3 or 5 seconds for each at first, and try over time to get up to 8 or even 10 second cycles.
For example, Breathe in and count in your head to 5, hold for the count of 5, and exhale for the count of 5.
When you do the breathe bring your two hands together so that all 10 fingertips are touching, and place them in front of your belly. (This may be done under the table if you are in a meeting)
Try this at least once a day for 3 minutes (though you will notice the effect in under a minute).
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