Mindfulness techniques for overwhelm and frustration

Ever feel like you are stuck in a rut? You have an idea or vision but no clue as to where to start. Or perhaps you have an endless lists of things to do – work deadlines, school projects, family commitments, bills, chores, admin, the list goes on. Or maybe you find yourself so confused and can’t seem to make a decision and the more you try the more overwhelmed you feel.

Overwhelm and frustration are common feelings people face particularly in this fast paced, rat race world we live in. I for one struggle in this area, especially as I am such a doer, there’s always things to be done. Sometimes I find myself feeling so overstretched, that it makes me even less productive, and yet I still want to press on and do more. During times like these the best thing for me to do is nothing. Here are four mindfulness techniques to manage feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

1) Stop. Like a car screeching to halt, just stop.

Time to stop doing, stop trying to fix, trying to do.

It's easier to keep doing and running ahead of ourselves. It's time to just stop.

 2) Start listening. Get in tune with you.

Whilst we spend our energy and time reading all the self-help and "how to fix you" books, looking for answers here and there, chasing this and chasing that, the answers lie within us.

The reason we do not look within is because we tend to focus on doing rather than being.

Doing is the easy part, being is tough. Looking inward means acknowledging and facing up to painful, uncomfortable feelings. So of course we want to run! Your defences will push you to run, to protect you from perceived pain. But facing up to those feelings, processing and owning them, will bring you liberation and deeper self-awareness. The more self-aware you become, the more answers you will find.

3) Ask yourself - what do I need?

When I ask this question I am always amazed at the similarities in answers people give.

"I need peace"

"I need to be quiet"

"I need to shut out the noise"

"I need to be me"

Yet many times we do the exact opposite of what we need.

We tend to go with what "we should" do. I call it the "I should versus I need" challenge.

Should is driven by our perception of what others, society and the rest of the world expect of us. I need is driven by you. Who is in your "I should" list?

I always ask the question "who says you should?" "who says?" The more we lean towards "I need", the more authentic, courageous and confident we become. I believe that for many of us, our purposes are hindered by the voices of our "I should".

4) No man or woman is an island. Don’t be afraid to seek help. I have experienced most profound changes in my life when I've sought help through counselling and talking through my problems. Having a support network helps with accountability and knowing you are not alone.  

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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