Have you ever felt like you have way too much on your plate to handle? When there are mountains of things to get done it can seem as though time speeds up when you want it to slow down.
Especially in today's busy world, it's important to take some time to ourselves to relax, get out of our heads and be in the moment. When we experience the present moment, we feel more relaxed and time may even seem to slow down. It's such an incredibly peaceful feeling.
So what does experiencing the present moment even mean and how can it help with feeling overwhelmed?
Being in the present moment basically means that we stop thinking and are absorbed in what's going on right here, right now. You see, the average person thinks thousands of thoughts every single day. Many of these thoughts are thoughts they thought the day before. In addition, many of these thoughts are thoughts about bad things that happened in the past or thoughts about things that they don't want to happen in the future.
This type of thinking not only drains us, but it also trains our eyes to notice things of similar energy (i.e. when you buy a new car, you start to see that car everywhere).
Our thoughts play a very significant factor in how we feel. So, in this post, I want to provide you with a technique that can help you enter the present moment on demand. Doing so can get you out of your head, help you relax and equip you with a little more drive to get what needs to be done, done.
This is the technique: When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to sit by yourself. When you're alone, I want you to try to concentrate on only one sound. Maybe it's the sound of the wind blowing through the trees. When you hear that sound I want you to really pay attention to it. Then, move on to another sound. When you hear the second sound, really put all your attention on that sound. Then, move on to a third, fourth and fifth sound, one by one.
When you give all your attention to a sound that you're concentrating on, guess where your attention is not. That's right, your attention is not thinking about what needs to get done and even if it only lasts a minute, that's a minute that you experienced out of your head and into the present moment.
Imagine if you were in a gym with your trainer and they said to you that you had to lift the dumbbell up fifty times without stopping. This would probably seem like an impossible feat. However, what if the trainer said that for every ten times that you lift the dumbbell that you could take a two-minute rest. That would make the feat more possible, right? In fact, it may easily become a very doable feat.
You see, your mind is like a muscle. It needs rest. When we are feeling overwhelmed we tend to think that everything needs to get done with the same amount of energy that we have while we are feeling overwhelmed.
Once again, imagine lifting the dumbbell ten times, feeling incredibly exhausted and then thinking that you have to lift it another forty times without taking a break. It would seem impossible, right? However, if you take a break after that tenth rep, suddenly the next ten reps seem doable. Make sense?
When we feel overwhelmed, it's important to step back and give the mind a rest. The mind, just like the body, needs a rest. What does it mean to rest the mind? It means to become present. It means to become aware of your surroundings. It means to become absorbed in what's happening right here, right now. When we are completely absorbed in the present moment, we are not thinking. If we are not thinking, we are obviously not anticipating everything that needs to get done.
These small moments of "mind rest", just like taking a break from lifting a dumbbell, can help provide you with the momentum to keep pushing forward.
The reality is, we do have the ability to get out of our heads and experience the present moment. It certainly takes practice but it is possible. It's all about baby steps. It's about consistency. It's about starting and making that first step.
Hoping this helps in even the slightest way.
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