How to Avoid the Fog of Overwhelm Part II


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

A Simple and Effective Technique for Pain Relief.

If I showed you a simple and effective technique for pain relief, would you use it? How about if it worked for stress? Anxiety?

It’s called EFT or “tapping” and I’ve been teaching this to almost every one of my clients for years. I even posted a video demonstrating it. I use it, and it works for me.

When I was first introduced to this technique, I dismissed it. It looked weird.  But I kept hearing about it from other hypnotherapists, wellness practitioners, and thought leaders such as Joe Vitale, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra. I decided to learn it, and the first person I taught it to came back and said “Wow, that really works.”

In fact, tapping has become so popular there is now a Tapping World Summit!  The video above was produced for the Tapping World Summit but has really good info about tapping.

Check it out, and if your curiosity is aroused, then check out the official EFT website. You can also type “tapping” or EFT into YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of videos on this very useful and effective tool.

Hope this info is helpful!


Scribblings from Close to the Ground: Don’t be a Bootyhead!

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 Welcome to another edition of “Scribblings from Close of the Ground”, wisdom from the mouths of babes, namely, Rocky and The Chick, my two daughters.

R: Hi, Rocky here!

C: And I’m The Chick, we’re Ted’s kids and we’re going to tell you how not to be a Bootyhead!!

R: Ha ha! Bootyhead!! Bootyhead!!

C: Rocky! Stop!

R: Sorry! (hee hee!)

C: Anyway, sometimes when I go to bed, I can’t fall asleep because my mind is all filled up with bad stuff.

R: Like the monsters on Scooby Doo! Read more

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 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.

Insomnia: Are You Just Looking For A Little Deep Sleep?

I’m a pretty lucky guy, or so I’ve been told. I fall asleep quickly and easily and stay asleep unless Matrix Chick or Fingers (my 4 and 2 year old daughters) come crawling into bed us. It’s been suggested to me that I have a clear conscience. (True!) However, in my hypnotherapy practice, many of my hypnotherapy clients tell me that they have problems sleeping even if they are not coming to me for that issue.

Included in the definition of insomnia are sleep problems involving difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or having poor quality sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than one-third of adults have insomnia at some time, while 10 to 15 percent report long-term (chronic) insomnia.

There are many possible reaons for insomnia. Some may be due to other heath related issues, such:

  • prescription medication
  • pain
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • acid reflux (GERD)
  • pregnancy
  • menopause

Other causes of insomnia can be

  • Stress
  • eating too late before bed
  • drinking or smoking
  • a change in work hours
  • jet lag

Also, keep in mind that aging can cause sleep that is less deep, causing you to wake more often.

If you suffer from insomnia, then you know the toll it can exact. Irritability, anxiety, weight gain, poor immune function, poor work performance, even falling asleep while driving are some of the side effects of inadequate sleep.

So what can you do to improve your sleep? First off,  many people that come to me for hypnotherapy for issues not related to insomnia report getting a very good nights sleep the night of their first session. Better sleep is a by product of being hypnotized. This means of course that hypnosis and hypnotherpy can be very effective for dealing with insomnia.

Here are some other things you might try that can get you back into the habit of deep and restful sleep.

In my experience, the most common reason that people give me for not being able to fall asleep is the inability to turn off their brain.  Anyway that you can create mental relaxation can be helpful. This can be as simple as taking deep breaths before sleep or a regular practice of meditation or yoga. Working out before bed can actually stimulate you and keep you awake, so keep it slow and gentle. Regular exercise can help you sleep better, just try to be done 3-4 hours before bedtime. Writing down your thoughts in a journal can be helpful too. This can help to identify  challenges in your life or things bothering you in the background of your mind that you may not even be aware of. 

Be aware of dietary habits that can interfere with sleep. If I drink red wine before bed, I’ll won’t sleep as deeply. If I have coffee later than about 3:30 or 4, I’ll notice it in my quality of sleep. Sometimes a sleep diary can be helpful in identifying how your daytime diet on any particular day  can  create sleep disturbances. Eating to close to bedtime can challenge sleep. Again, 3 hours before is better. On the other hand, some folks have blood sugar imbalances that wake them up in the middle of the night. Some people sleep better by having a little protein before bed. By little,  I mean some cheese, milk, yogurt, etc, not a huge steak.

Try to have a regular schedule for sleeping.  Sleep is not only a physiological need that should be taking care of itself, but your relationship to sleep can either a good habit or bad habit. Oftentimes simply sticking to a regular sleeping schedule can result in better sleep relatively quickly. It helps to be aware of how much sleep you need. Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

Be aware of associations that you are creating in your bedroom. Do you have a television in your bedroom to watch the news at night while lying in bed? Umm…try not to do that. Do you discuss heavy issues/marital challenges or financial problems with your partner while lying in bed? Go do that in another room. Paying bills in  bed, or similar types of activites? Ditto. If you find you can’t sleep in 15-20 minutes, get out of bed until you feel a little drowsy again.

Create a relaxing environment in which to sleep. Make sure it feels  comfortable to be in your bedroom, including mattress and pillow. Temperature, humidity, and noise level can all affect how you sleep. Insure that these work for you instead of against you. Use eye pillows, ear plugs, humidifiers or white noise generators to help.

Sleep is one of the basic requirements for life, yes? Doing what you can to make sure it is of good quality can add quality to your life. If you need help sleeping, give me a call and I’ll give you 20% off my regular fee for one hypnotherapy session for better sleep.

Good night!