Be careful what you wish for, they say. Poof! A wonderful new burden has arrived, in the form of a promotion, a new job, a baby, or planning an elaborate trip. Or perhaps the two tons of stress you’re lugging about comes from a darker place, such as a toxic work environment, caregiving for someone with dementia, or facing your own medical challenges. But the sensation is the same: I can’t breathe. I am buried. I am being swept out to sea. They call this “the Overwhelm.”
In their book Organize Tomorrow Today, authors Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow discuss human mental “channel capacity”—that is, we can only handle so much information at a time. There’s a reason, they note, that phone numbers are seven digits long. Any longer, and people can’t remember them. When we are overwhelmed, whether it’s by a flood of data, or trying to take care of a million details, or facing many choices, we have exceeded our mental channel capacities, the authors explain. “Saturating people with information actually paralyzes action. Think about it: When people are overwhelmed, they typically freeze. Self-doubt slows action.”
Doesn’t that make so much sense? That’s why we feel buried. That’s why we feel like we simply cannot breathe. We have frozen in place, our poor brains frizzled to a crisp.
Now that we know the why, let’s use the powerful tool of affirmations to deal with the Overwhelm.
- Today I am strong and healthy.
- I choose carefully what goes onto my calendar.
- I release the need to dwell on bad feelings.
- This too shall pass.
- One task at a time is enough.
- I draw on the support that surrounds me, in whatever form.
- Peace and joy are filling my life.
- I am doing the best I can.
- I release the need for perfection.
- I choose to be calm and centered, regardless of the situation.
- I exude strength, grace and flexibility.
- Today I allow time for self-care and rejuvenation.
- I have faith that this will all work out.
- I am living in grace.
- The right decisions are coming to me easily now.
- I don’t worry about other people’s acceptance or opinions.
- Today I choose joy.
- I can communicate my needs and feelings.