OVERWHELMED

images 37 OVERWHELMEDAre you feeling overwhelmed?  I know that only this week I felt completely overwhelmed and not sure what to do next.  And the feeling of being overwhelmed does not seem to go away with age or experience.  It’s always right there, bubbling up as new problems and situations present themselves. And it appears that I am not alone.

Bobb Biehl, a friend, mentor, and a guy that just happens to also be a world-renowned expert in leadership, shared a few thoughts with me as to how he works himself out of the “pit.” I pass these helpful tips along because feeling overwhelmed is unavoidable, but knowing how to dig yourself out of the “pit” faster next time is where the wisdom and growth truly resides. Here is an abridged version of what he shared:

1. STOP … recognize it … admit it, “What am I feeling? Overwhelmed!”

2. ASK “Am I tired?” … Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

* Fatigue turns us introspective and negative

3. UPDATE / CREATE my “Life Milestones List”

* Remembering past accomplishment brings a sense of deep encouragement

4. SHIFT my focus from “What I lack to what I have

            * Moving from negative to positive     

5. UPDATE / CREATE my Visual Perspective Chart to re-focus my thinking

            * Visual Perspective Chart … a sheet of paper with an icon of you in the center and all of the pieces swirling around in your head somewhere on the sheet. This gives you a visual picture of all of the pieces of the puzzle you are trying to put back together!

6. STOP comparing myself to any other human being on planet earth

            * I never want to compare and start feeling superior or inferior!

7. REMEMBER heaven … it puts all of this life’s pressures / priorities in perspective!

 

Now, you and I both have a process to help us find our balance faster next time, especially when there is no one around to help “dig us out”!

Thanks for the help, Bobb Biehl.
You can find more information on this and other topics on his website

 

 

What is Mindfulness

soup girl Medium 257x300 What is MindfulnessThroughout counseling circles, the practice of “mindfulness” is getting a lot of recognition. For many of us, mindfulness may be a new term. I wanted to take some time to explain mindfulness and the benefits that it is said to promote.

Mindfulness is purposefully slowing your mind down to focus on what you are experiencing in that particular moment. So often in our modern culture, we are trained to multitask. We aren’t just walking from one building to another, cooking dinner, or even brushing our teeth- we are thinking about what’s next. In those moments we are making lists, processing emotions, and thoughts, all while accepting new information. Busyness runs throughout our culture. Anxiety is on the rise. Mindfulness- in contrast- is a tool counselors have been using to try and slow down the day. In this process, stimuli from the outside are processed piece-by-piece and filtered through a screen of pausing and relaxing.

Yoga and Meditation are often forms of Mindfulness that are taught through counseling to be intentional in helping bring Mindfulness about. Typically these exercises begin with focusing on breathing and slowly allowing yourself to receive the benefits of self-control, patience, reasoning, lessened anxiety, improved concentration, and increased flexibility and attention.

So take some time in your day to stop, notice your breathing and your surroundings.  Become attentive to the present moment and exhale the tension and inhale a full complete breath. Practice a mindful moment each day and you might find that it helps you slow down and experience life more fully.  You might also find that you enjoy your co-workers, employees, spouse and even kids a little more when you are more mindful of the moments. Living a slower and purposeful life is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself and the ones you love.

Maybe Teens Should “Just Relax” and Not Parents

I read a survey today of 340,000 Americans that said that after we turn 50, we are generally happier. The 30-50 age was less happy and the most stressed out group was 20-30. The study didn’t survey teenagers, but I wonder if the 13-18 group would top all the age groups on feeling stressed. Today’s teens especially carry a pretty hefty load of issues on their shoulders every day. Of course, the load is relative to the degree that we learn to be content. That’s why the older we get, the more at peace we become. But teenagers are just beginning to deal with life’s up’s and down’s.

images 5 Maybe Teens Should Just Relax and Not ParentsSometimes your teen may seem to be overly sensitive. And the more you try to help them, the more he or she may cry or sob. The guys will be better at ‘stuffing’ and will tend to funnel all their emotions into the one they know best: anger. Girls tend to be more expressive and deliberate in their emotions.

I remember one night when Elizabeth came home from cheering at a basketball game. She made it to the steps coming up from our basement and fell to her knees sobbing. I thought she’d broken up with her boyfriend or been in a bad accident. She announced that someone had backed into her car in the high school parking lot. I looked at her car and it didn’t even do much damage. I laughed and gave her a big hug. Another time she called home from college in tears and upset. As she cried, I figured she’d been kicked out of school or arrested. She announced, “Daddy, I dropped my cell phone in the fountain.” I just started laughing again. I was so relieved. It made her laugh too. “It’s OK darlin,” I said. “We’ll get you another phone.”

The point is that a part of being a teenager is feeling things intensely. I probably shouldn’t have laughed with Elizabeth because what may seem trivial to us as parents is huge to them. But I was so relieved. As parents who have dealt with heavier issues, getting bumped by a car is small beans. But to our kids, these events are huge.

We need to be careful that we validate our teen’s emotions. As parents, we tend to trivialize events and happenings in the lives of our teens. Though dropping a cell phone or struggling with a friend at school or having a bad baseball practice or having a zit may seem small to us, to our kids, it’s huge and we need to feel the pain with them. The danger, if we discard these events, is that our teens will stop telling us about events in their lives.

Yes, hormones are pumping and our teens may seem irrational at times, but show your teenager that you love them by listening to them in the midst of the drama. Don’t offer advice or minimize the problem, just listen and sympathize.

Yep, you may have a drama queen (or king) on your hands. But be sure you take them by the hand and show them you love them by being with them through the problem.