So. I have quite the busy mind. It’s a blessing and a curse. And I’m sure I have many readers who can relate. I have various different approaches to existing with this condition; some are less destructive than others. This is less my recommendations and more a sharing of my reality. User discretion is advised.
Of course there are ongoing broadly helpful things like nourishing food, hydrating, movement, rest, fresh air, sun, gratitude, inspiring company, calming surrounds, investing in your passions and aligning your reality to your ideals but sometimes the overwhelm still finds you and in those situations, I do the following…
I think this is probably the most effective process. Feelings are present for a reason. Lean into it as much as possible. Perhaps I will have an afternoon rolling around in bed. Maybe crying. Definitely cocooning into my blankets. Essentially constructing the safest possible space to feel the entire weight of the crushing world. This is obviously most ideal when you have somebody else to fulfil the adult role in your life.
This is like a meditative process of watching my thoughts as though they are a separate entity from me. So I am not my thoughts, I am an observer of my thoughts. My thoughts might be a rushing stream of terrifying rapids but I am safely on the bank looking on. And I just casually think about them as though I am studying them. Oh that is interesting, oh look that thought is floating past a lot. Sometimes this is a constructive process: I look for patterns, connecting threads, consider their origins by chasing them down the river. Sometimes this is like wearing a life jacket: a means to survive.
Just as some mail is junk and a lot of the internet is spam; some thoughts are really just not worth my time. When I do not want to think about something, I imagine myself closing its tab and clicking back into something more valuable; like videos of adorable cats. I have to admit sometimes they are persistent and keep popping back up but you just keep hitting that x button until it stops. Even just that visualisation can be very therapeutic.
Enable robot mode.
Sometimes you really do not have the ability to lean into the overwhelm you are feeling because you have other obligations to meet, in these moments I focus only on what is physically occurring in this very moment. I do not have a past, I do not have a future, I am just cleaning this plate. I am just washing my hair. I am just driving, just turning left, just turning right; no why, no what next, no where am I going, no what will be required of me when I get there. I am just doing one isolated task after another.
Sometimes you really do just have to turn it off and on again or in the case of humans; sleep. Let your subconscious process things for a while, sleep is the ultimate autopilot where you are at no risk of doing harm to your reality. Another bonus is that thoughts are far easier to tackle when you are well rested so even if they return upon waking, you should be in a better position to handle them.
None of the above.
This choice usually will result in a blue screen situation also known as a panic attack. It is similar to a manual reboot but non-consensual and you feel like you’re in the active process of death. I strongly do not recommend this option. If you are having a panic attack, I find it reassuring to remember that adrenalin will eventually be processed by your body; you just need to wait out that occurring, which for me is generally around 20minutes. Watch a low investment show, listen to music, concentrate on the sensory input around you, talk to someone or do a combination of them all and your body will in time reset itself.
And that’s a window into my process. Do you have some other suggestions?