Overwhelmed? 3 Useful Ways to Find Harmony / by Amy DeRosia

CC Photo by Danist Soh

Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.
— Paulo Coelho

Balance isn't possible. We usually don't have control of the timing or pace of events around us. 

The past couple of months have been pretty overwhelming for me. I'm having fun but burning out. I feel busy and tired. But, my solution isn't to cut out all of the good things happening right now. I've got to manage my energy better. Striving for harmony feels more achievable.

Harmony, unlike balance, is not about keeping everything calm and controlled. You can teach yourself to embrace the crazy but switch gears easier. Uncertainty is something we have to deal with everyday. When you learn to react from a more conscious place, you can face any problem with steadiness and wisdom.

Here are a few suggestions to cultivate harmony:

1) Get out of your head.

Feel the feelings. Drop the story.
— Pema Chodron

We torture ourselves over events from the past that we can't change or situations from the future that may not even happen.  Negative feelings are useful. They point us toward what we truly desire. But, we can get stuck. Our thoughts and interpretations of these problems rob us of our peace in the present moment.

When you allow yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions then let them go, you can find clarity about steps to move forward.

Exercise: Take 10-15min. Write down all of the issues that are bothering you. Cross out the ones you have no control over. Then, get to work on your list.

2) Being, then doing.

Taking action is important. But your decisions are more effective when you're grounded in who you are and what you want. There is an obsession in our culture with DOING something, anything. But without space for reflection and contentment you waste a lot of energy.

If you're overwhelmed, consider taking a break first. By enjoying experiences in real time, you have the energy to handle the more difficult situations.

Exercise: Take an hour off everyday to recharge. Nap, play, create something, spend time with friends, exercise, or explore. Your to-do list can wait. OR If you've been goofing off too much lately, complete the first 5 minutes of a task now. Feel the relief of accomplishing something on your list. Then, go play.

3) Embrace the mess.

Sometimes BEING isn't an option. You barely have enough time to get the work done. The best you can do isn't pretty or perfect. Whatever happens or doesn't is okay. 

Elizabeth Gilbert agrees:

Unpredictable circumstances happen all the time. The better we get at accepting uncertainty and failure the easier it'll be to take the necessary risks to live an incredible life.

Exercise: Take a breath and celebrate whatever is good right now. That's enough.

How do you find peace when you're overwhelmed? Let me know in the comments.