How to Avoid the Fog of Overwhelm Part II

Overwhelm

In my last post, Avoiding the Fog of Overwhelm Part I, I discussed the state of overwhelm, what it is, how it happens and how it affects us.

To recap briefly, overwhelm happens when there is too much information (message units) coming into our conscious awareness. Our minds only have a certain capacity, like a cup that you can only pour so much water into. When are minds are filled to capacity, and stuff keeps pouring in, we lose the ability to cope.

At this point, our ancient survival mechanism, that good old fight or flight, gets triggered. When that happens we become what is known as “hypersuggestible” which means that we are susceptible to whatever is coming into our minds. We are actually in a state of hypnosis, but the suggestions we are giving ourselves are not positive, like the positive suggestions you get in a hypnotherapy session.

Usually, when we are overwhelmed, there is an accompanying state of stress; the conversations we are having in our heads are usually negative conversations. So, when we are overwhelmed, we can literally be programming ourselves for negativity and fear and we end up with a reinforcing cycle of overwhelm.

Each persons’ response to the state of overwhelm varies, ranging from a complete shutdown where someone might just slump into a chair and begin to cry, to irritability or anxiety, or to a feeling of being disoriented or “spaced out”, which I call the fog of overwhelm.

The end result is the same: we become ineffective in dealing with the challenges of life. We may lose the ability to be focused and on task, turn to avoidance or procrastination, or begin to feel anxious or depressed.

It’s important to note that for many of us, the modern American lifestyle lends itself to consistent feelings of being overwhelmed.

So what can we do to avoid the fog of overwhelm? Most of the things we can do involve basic self care.

  1. Get adequate sleep and take naps if you need to. Remember how your mind is like a cup? Every day it gets filled up with tension, pressure and the stress of living. Sleep is the time for your mind to empty the cup. Strive for a healthy sleep schedule and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, electronic devices, and working out just before bed.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Some people are prone to anxiety and overwhelm due to low blood sugar. Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main fuel for your body. Your brain uses more glucose than any other organ in your body. Do you ever get that feeling of lethargy or lack of focus in the late afternoon? Take a break and eat something with protein.
  3. Take breaks. Taking regular breaks throughout the day allows your mind to process incoming information more effectively. Breaks are scientifically proven to boost productivity and focus. Consider working in hour or 90 minute spurts, then taking a short five or ten minute break. This includes taking regular vacations and days off.
  4. Exercise. I know, you’re tired of hearing it, but exercise allows our body and minds to release tension and stress. If nothing else, get up and walk around.
  5. Meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices. Powerful ways to feel more calm and more focused more often.
  6. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking can create overwhelm. Your focus is sharpest when it’s narrow and concentrated. One thing at a time: first this, then that.
  7.  Keep your vices in check. Alcohol and marijuana are hypnosis inducing drugs, not only when you are under the influence, but the next day as well. Check in with yourself to see if you need to make some changes in these habits.
  8. Count yourself out of hypnosis/overwhelm. When you find yourself overwhelmed, and starting to stress out, count yourself out of that negative state. Say out loud to yourself, if you can, “12345 Eyes open wide awake!” Clap or rub your hands together to get back into your body and out of your head.  This really works.

Take some time to go down this list and see what you can tweak and make better. You’ll find that you’re happier, more focused and productive, and a lot nicer to be around.

Having trouble sleeping? Challenged by anxiety? Need motivation to exercise? Click here to contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. 

Photo by Sb2s3

How to Release Negative Emotions Quickly and Easily

In an hour hypnosis session, the hypnosis part is only about 20 minutes. The remainder of the time I’m talking with my client, getting information, setting goals, and teaching them various techniques to add to their transformation toolbox.

One of the most valuable tools that I teach almost every client is EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is in my experience  quite effective for quickly letting go of negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness. It can also be used for physical problems as well.

In this short video I teach how to do EFT. It’s simple, easy and effective. To learn more about EFT go to www.emofree.com.

 

Are You A DIY? Attend my Self Hypnosis Class Starting 10/23 at PCC

 

If you are a DIY (Do It Yourselfer) then you might be interested in taking my Self Hypnosis for Success Class at PCC starting October 23rd and continuing for the next three Saturdays: October 30th and November 6th from 9 am to 10:30 am. Click here to register!

All hypnosis is self hypnosis, so in this class you’ll learn to use this valuable tool to address a variety of concerns including: overcoming bad habits such as procrastination, gaining confidence, increasing motivation, releasing limiting beliefs and business success. We’ll cover what hypnosis is and isn’t, how to do a hypnotic induction on yourself, crafting suggestions and how to put it all together to reprogram your subconsious mind for success in just a few minutes a day.

You’ll receive a course syllabus as well as my Guide to Self Hypnosis and my Self Hypnosis Conditioning CD, which also includes my studio produced “Peaceful Place” relaxation track as an added bonus.

This will be the third time I’m offering this class, and so far I’ve recieved great response. Here are some comments from the course evaluations I received from the  class held in January 2010:

  • Ted is very knowledgable and enthusiastic about his field. It really helped me a lot.”
  • “It actually works!”
  • “Professional, organized and informative. The instructor was engaging and knew his subject well. I’m glad I took the course!”
  • “Clear and easy guidelines to follow. Instructor is knowledgable and well experienced.”
  • “Ted is dynamic and makes an effort to engage the students. The content was well delivered.”

Remember, you’re being hypnotized daily, through advertising, the media, and the people you spend time with. In addition, you’ve been hypnotized throughout your life to believe things about yourself and the world that may or may not work for you anymore. The good news is, you can take control of your own positive programming. If you have habits of thinking and behaving that are holding you back from the success and happiness that you want, then you can learn to use the power of your own mind to change. Click here to register!

If you’re not interested in learning self-hypnosis but believe that hypnosis can be of help to you, give me a call and I’ll give you a free half hour consultation to discuss how you can benefit from working with me as your hypnotherapist or personal/small business coach. Call (626) 826-0612, email hypnosis@tedmoreno.com or click here.

A subconscious mind is a terrible thing to waste! Put it to work for you with self hypnosis. Click here to register.

Good Grief! The Holiday Blues

I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.

When I was in 6th grade I was chosen to play Charlie Brown in my school’s production of  “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  Unless you are from another planet, then you know that Charlie Brown is the lovable loser of the famous comic strip “Peanuts”. In a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed with the approach of Christmas despite all the decorations, cards and presents.

As fate would have it, I was chosen in the 7th grade to play the Grinch in our school’s production of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” Unless you’ve been living in a cave all your life, you may be familiar with the story of the Grinch, a bitter, cave dwelling creature who lives on the top of Mt Crumpit and who looks down on the residents of Whoville with distaste and envy as they prepare for Christmas.

I don’t know whether it was my incredible ability to transform myself into any character (probably not) or my own somewhat cynical nature even as a kid (probably), but my experience in the past with the holidays has been similar to those two characters. I’d either get annoyed by the commercialization of the season or I’d look with disdain on those that started to scurry around right after Thanksgiving, gathering gifts and decorations like squirrels gathering nuts. In other words, I would pretty much get a case of the Holiday Blues each winter.

Like Charlie Brown, I’d muddle through each season with melancholy and/or aggravation, or like the Grinch, I’d simply refuse to participate. Maybe I thought I would be able to steal Christmas and stop it from coming by staying perched on my mountain of cynicism. But come it did. Either way, I simply did not enjoy the holidays or look forward to them coming.

There really wasn’t anything in my life to be depressed about. I almost always managed to get home to be with my parents and 7  siblings,  never had anything tragic happen during the holidays, and always had enough money to buy some token gifts. However, I knew many people who could not say the same.

Anyway, it was in the last few days of the 90s, December 25th, 1999, that I found myself sitting  in the Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, Arizona.  It was one of those few years that I didn’t make it back to LA. I had hiked into the desert on that  clear, sunny morning to sit in the warm sun and just be by myself. At first, it felt strange that I wasn’t  hanging out with some friends, or maybe even in church. But you know what? Sitting there in that magnificent desert felt more peaceful to me than any church.

I realized then that I had a choice, that I could make the holidays mean whatever I wanted them to mean, or ignore them completely if I chose. I also realized that if I wanted to feel cynical or depressed, well, that was my choice as well. The reality was that I was indeed very fortunate to be sitting there in that desert in the first place, that I had someone to call if I wanted to, and that I really did had nothing to complain about. I made the decision then and there to quit playing the Holiday Blues and find a new tune.

Perhaps you are out of work. Maybe you’ve lost someone dear to you at this time of the year. Perhaps you are suffering from other challenges, either emotional, physical or financial. If so, try to realize that there are many different ways you can play it, if the song you are hearing is doing nothing for you.

You can create your own meaning about this time of year, one that resonates with you. You can create your own traditions. Or not. It’s your life, play your own music, what you hear deep down inside. Get some alone time, get yourself some peace. If you need help, call me.  Or click on this link and dance the Snoopy Dance, if nothing else.

Ted

The #1 Thing You Should Do When You’re Down

I really don’t like to complain. Especially about my health. I guess I’m kind of stoic in that area; I figure people have enough problems of their own,  so unless they’re a doctor, they really don’t need to hear about my health. I must say that I’m fortunate, as a pretty healthy fellow, I really don’t have many health issues.

However, I’m dealing with a health problem now that results in a significant decrease in my energy.  In addition to that,  my kids were generous enough to pass along the runny nose virus they surely picked up from day care. Suffice to say that I’ve been moody, irritable, and somewhat of  a drag to be around. With the exception of my wife, I haven’t really been  interested in sharing that with anybody.

I come from a big family, 7 boys and 1 girl, including myself. I’m fortunate that we are all in close proximity, including my mom and dad, so we  are able to gather quite regularly at my parents house for food and drink. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my parents, and since they’ve seen my two girls, their grandkids. In spite of my stuffy nose, lack of energy, and sour disposition, my wife and I chose to pack up the kids today and drive out to East LA to visit the folks.

Sitting at the kitchen table with my parents, wife, and a couple of brothers, the conversation quickly turned to my haggard appearance and less-then-jovial demeanor. It didn’t take much for me to let them know about my health challenges. They were interested. They asked questions. Of course, they gleefully gave me grief as well, (“He can’t handle living with three women!!”) as is their nature. Later, three of my brothers and I packed into a Subaru and went to get some food. When we got back, my sister-in-law asked me, “Why did all of you have to go to get the food?” I replied, “Because they are my brothers and I like being with them.” She didn’t believe me but it was the truth.

When it was time to leave, I said good bye to my father. He gave me a big hug (and he’s not really a big hug kind of guy), put his hand on my forehead and said “Be healed, I hope you are feeling better.” And I was. Much better.

The number 1 thing you should do when you’re down, depressed, out of sorts, and really challenged by life, is to reach out to someone who cares. Give yourself permission to ask for help if you need it. Put aside your pride and call or visit a friend or family member. Let them know what’s going on with you. Tell them how you are feeling. Sometimes, just talking to someone can be healing. If you don’t feel you have someone in your life who cares, then contact a mental health professional, priest or minister, whoever you feel most comfortable with. If you are so inclined, go to church, temple or  mosque and talk to whoever is your Deity.   Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, get them out of your head and onto paper where they will be much less scary. Get a massage. Get out into nature, and let the trees, wind and water nurture your soul.

Nobody does it alone, so don’t feel like you have to. It may sound corny, but we really do need each other, because we are all in the same boat, floating on a little blue ball though dark and empty space, trying to make the best of it. If you are alone and  feeling isolated, and have been for some time, consider that perhaps that  is what you’ve chosen, on some level. You can choose different. Of course, you will have to take responsibility for how you are feeling, it does no good to keep complaining to everyone unless you are willing to take some action. But perhaps reaching out would be the first step in doing that. Letting someone know that you are not well does not mean you are weak, it just means you are human.

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Tman

 Ted A. Moreno
Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist
Specializing in Your Success
www.TedMoreno.com                                                                       
 (626) 826-0612