Sometimes I can sit down to my desk and just be hit with a wave of worry. Or sometimes I go to start a task but then I’m overwhelmed with all the things that I know need to get done. It can truly feel paralyzing. Then once I am in that feeling of being stuck, the worries can start flooding in.
“What if I cannot handle adopting kids?”
“What if I cannot balance it all?”
And the worries can go on but I recognized what was going on in my heart. I wanted to stop the negative thought train before it got more speed.
So here are a few steps I took to reign in my worry:
1. Turn on my praise music on Pandora. My favorite right now is my Lauren Daigle channel. Maybe you are in a cubicle and can’t rock loud music. If you need to, go sit in your car with a favorite CD or lap your building with earbuds.
2. I got out my gratitude journal. A friend taught me about this. It is a simple journal where I write the date and things I am thankful for. Some days I have to list the “wins” for the day. The things I accomplished, areas where I feel like I am winning/succeeding. So even if my house is a mess I can write as one of my wins- I encouraged a few people today through text and email. I will add more to my wins later. Wins- things my heart can celebrate 🙂 Today was a day to write wins because I can focus on all that I have not got done.
3. Get some quick exercise. I wanted to go for a 20 minute jog but I have blisters from new running shoes. So I put on my flip flops and ran to the corner with my lab. She runs so fast that my sprint does not even keep up so that helps push me. I was reminded from the movie, Happy that aerobic exercise releases dopamine in the brain. I don’t remind the science stuff- basically it helps with your mood. Sometimes I will run up our stairs a few times. Find creative ways to get your heart pumping. When at work I like to go walk around the building for 5 minutes every 40 minutes.
4. Journal. I decided to journal instead of pushing forward in an attempt to be “productive”. I knew jumping onto my blog to journal would be therapy for my soul. Writing/journaling is such a catharsis for me. Catharsis: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. Synonyms: relief, emotional release, cleansing, venting, purging.
5. Inhale Gratitude, Exhale “So what”– My friend shared this with me. Her therapist taught it to her. So for me:
- so what if my kitchen is a mess
- so what if my inbox is over 300
- so what if my desk is covered in papers
- so what if my to do list is HUGE
- so what if my toilet is growing orange stuff at the water line 🙂
I recognized that my mood was going south and I wanted to take control. I wanted to take action to help it because I hate to feel heavy with overwhelm and anxious thoughts.
It has really worked for me. I feel lighter. There is dancing within me that wants to come out.
I think it so cool how so many times when I need music to help my soul, the most perfect songs come on Pandora. I don’t believe it is chance. The Lord sees me. He is in the details of my life. He knows me more than I know myself.
Some of the songs and their lyrics that perfectly spoke to my heart:
Forever Reign – “You are peace when my fear is crippling.”
Need You Now by Plumb -“Everybody has a story to tell. A wound to be healed”
O Lord by Lauren Daigle (I love her stuff) “I will stand my ground where hope can be found.”
Another post on being overwhelmed