Avoiding the Fog Of Overwhelm Part I

fog of overwhelm

An example of overwhelm: driving in the worst fog I’ve ever encountered, many years ago. I couldn’t see anything except the two red brake lights of the car ahead of me. I couldn’t see the lines of the road, and I dared not pull over to the side of the road for fear of being hit by another car. All I could do was keep my hands on the wheel, pray that the car in front of me knew where he was going, and hope that I would be able to see the sign for my exit.

I had no point of reference. I was overwhelmed by the fog and unable to do anything but hurtle through the mist, wishing for some clarity.

It reminds me of the time I was at IKEA, the furniture store, for the first time. They had the coolest stuff I’d ever seen. I wanted to see everything but apparently so did everyone else because the place was packed with people. However, after 2 hours, all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there. I literally wanted to run for the door, shove aside anyone in my way, and go find something to eat. I was getting more and more irritated by the minute and I felt like I wanted to scream, but I also felt like I was going to shut down at any minute. Ever felt like that?

I was overwhelmed. If you’ve ever felt this way, then you have experienced the fog of overwhelm.

Are you saving enough for retirement? Are the tires on your car in good shape? Have you called your mother yet? Are you ready for that event? What about taxes? Have you returned that phone call? When are you going to clean your house, fix the faucet, call the insurance guy, talk to your boss, pay that overdue bill, and schedule a physical? What are you going to fix for dinner tonight if you ever make it off this damn freeway?

This is the overwhelm of modern life.

From the time we wake up, to the time we manage to lay our heads down, we must think, remember, plan, manage time, deal with people, get lots of stuff done and hopefully, eat three meals and try to breathe.

There’s a potential cost to this: we spend our lives in a haze, irritable that we can’t see our way out, lost in a fog, stuck on a track with no scenery, with little choice to pull off because we’re too tired, too confused or too uncertain.

Here’s why: your mind has a certain capacity; like a cup, it will only hold so much. Continue to fill it past it’s capacity and you’ll have a big mess.

From the time we wake up, our minds start getting filled up. Our minds are designed to handle many incoming messages. Let’s call each bit of incoming information a ” message unit.” Your mind also has a filter (critical mind) that is designed to disregard things that don’t matter.

What determines how many message units our minds can handle? Many things: how much sleep you get, what you eat, your health, your level of organization, your level of confidence, your past, your genetics, to name a few.

Let’s say you went to bed too late, and woke up late for work. Now you are rushing around, no time to eat breakfast. You’re running late, and traffic is terrible. You try to text your boss but you almost hit the car in front of you. You arrive at work and there’s an important meeting that you are supposed to be in. You need a cup of coffee but there’s no time to get one. You end up working through lunch and now you are starving, tired, and headache cranky. That’s a lot of messages units coming into your mind.

What happens when you are in overwhelm? 

Your mind cannot take in more information because you are incapable of dealing with the onslaught of message units. You are experiencing the fog of overwhelm.

At this point, your critical mind, the part of your mind that is designed to deal with incoming message units,  is failing. You no longer have the ability to critically deal with what’s coming at you. You are now running around like the proverbial chicken without a head. Message units are flowing into your mind unchecked, like a dam that has burst. Guess what happens next?

Your flight or fight response, that ancient survival mechanism designed to prepare you to run or fight, kicks in. Congratulations, you are now in hypnosis. 

The technical definition of hypnosis is: an overload of message units, disorganizing the critical mind, triggering the fight/flight response, creating a state of hyper-suggestibility, creating access to the subconscious mind.

However, this is not the good kind of hypnosis where a nice gentlemen like myself is speaking to you gently using positively wonderful suggestions while you recline in a comfy happy chair.

Nope. This is the bad kind of hypnosis where you can’t think straight, can’t see straight, can’t make a decision to save your life, and you are giving yourself positively dreadful suggestions like “I can’t stand this, how did I get here, I want to kill someone, I’m so tired, I’m so angry and irritable, I hate this, and all I want to do is run screaming out of here before I punch someone out.” (Did I mention that in this state you’re hyper-suggestible which means super open to suggestions?)

It’s quite difficult to be effective in the fog of overwhelm because there is no clarity and you are like a zombie. Difficult to make the right decisions, difficult  to keep your cool when someone gets snarky with you, because you are now reactive rather than pro-active. But it’s easy to forget stuff, let things slip through the cracks, and easy to allow negativity or anxiety to overtake you.

Think about how many people are in this state on a daily basis. 

So what can we do? How do we handle the fog of overwhelm when we are so turned around we’ve lost our bearings and there are no signposts available? I’ll talk about this in my next post “The Fog of Overwhelm Part II.” Stay tuned. 

p.s. Check out my podcast Ted In Your Head Episode 21 “Are You a Zombie?”

Also, check out the podcast of this blog at my podcast Ted in Your Head Episode 40


Ten Radical Steps for Freeing Yourself from Insane Stress


Do you ever get the feeling like you are being carried along by circumstance, expectations and habit over the stress cliff and into the overwhelm pit?  Have you recently looked around you with the sneaking suspicion that insanity rules the day? Well, desperate times require desperate measures. Here’s 10 radical steps to help you avoid going over the edge even though it seems that everyone around you is. Read more

Self Hypnosis for Fear and Anxiety


Did you know that the most powerful skill you will ever learn is the ability to control your own thoughts?

What you think becomes your life. If you think worrisome, fearful thoughts, you will be worried and fearful. Think about anxious things, and you will have anxiety.

Do you feel like you are controlled by thoughts of anxiety, worry and fear?

If so, you can begin to take back control using  self hypnosis!

My Self Hypnosis Class is being offered again, this time to help you deal with fear and anxiety. 

It starts October 10th, Saturday  and continues on October 17th and 31st. (The class will skip the week of Oct. 24th)  The class starts at 9 am to 10:30 am. Click here to register!

Learn to use self hypnosis to release anxiety about things that are fearful to you such as 

  • Driving
  • Flying
  • Public speaking
  • Taking test and exams
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias

…and gain confidence in all these areas!

In this class, you will learn:

  • What hypnosis is and isn’t
  • How to do a hypnotic induction on yourself
  • Crafting suggestions to put into your subconscious mind
  • How to put it all together to reprogram your subconscious mind for calm, comfort, ease and confidence in just a few minutes a day

You’ll receive 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. In addition, you’ll get handouts at each class containing the material presented. Click here to register and learn to take control of your mind!

I’ve been offering this class since 2010. Here are some comments from the course evaluations I’ve received from previous classes:

  • “Has really motivated me  to improve from day one. Very well organized.”
  • “The whole class was wonderful!”
  • “…so much motivational talk -that was great!
  • “The class is perfect! Ted is a great teacher.”

If you have ongoing fear and anxiety, you are keeping it in place through your own self hypnosis, based on what you think, say and do.  

The good news is, you can take control of your own thoughts, feeling and reactions. If you have a habit of fearful, worrisome thinking, then you know this can hold you back from doing the things you need and want to do.
Why not use the incredible power of your own mind to change? Click here to register so you can get started!

A subconscious mind is a terrible thing to waste! Put it to work for you.  Click here to register for Self Hypnosis for Fear and Anxiety.

Hope to see you there!


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


A Time Tested Technique for Stress Relief

 I believe that the most powerful force on the planet is the human mind. However, instead of using our minds to create, many of us are controlled by our own minds. The most obvious result of being controlled by your mind is stress.  I’d like to suggest one technique to help you get control over your mind and that is meditation or awareness practice.

I won’t bore you with statistics regarding how stress can kill you or how stress related diseases are the number one killer of Americans. And you know that we cannot avoid stress. A certain amount of stress is good and needed to keep us alive.

In our modern culture, though, the amount of stress we experience can be crushing. Much of our stress comes from thoughts of fear and worry:

  • How am I ever going to..
  • I have to….
  • I really need to..
  • This sucks…
  • I can’t believe this is happening…
  • I hate this…I can’t stand this…I’m sick of this…
  • Why does this always happen…
  • I can’t deal with this…
  • What if (this bad thing happens)

Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to  deal with stress. When you read the word meditation, you might think of someone sitting in the lotus position chanting “Om”. You might think meditation refers to a particular religious belief system. It is much more than that. I have sat in Zen meditation alongside Catholic  nuns and priests.

Meditation means awareness. Awareness of what your mind is thinking. You are present to what is going on now.

When we become aware of what our mind is thinking, then we can have detachment. Detachment allows us to see our stressful thoughts for what they really are: stressful thoughts making us stressed. This gives us the opportunity to choose what we think. This is the beginning of true freedom. We can learn to stop worrying ourselves or scaring ourselves to death, or at least, ill-health.

A daily practice of meditation can be profound and life changing. You may not have time nor the desire to develop a daily practice. That’s fine. What I’d like to do is give you a few simple things to do that can be very helpful when you are feeling stressed out.

  • Basic technique: close your eyes and take some deep breaths while focusing on your breathing. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. This can be done just about anywhere, anytime. Try it right now. You’ll notice a change right away. You can say something to yourself, such as “I’m ok”  or “calm” or “relax”. What you are doing is taking your mind off of what is causing you stress and focusing on NOW. Just for a few minutes, let go of the outside world.
  • While driving: … please don’t close your eyes! See if you can let go of wanting your traffic situation to be different. Be present to what is. Most people drive unconsciously, their minds a million miles away. Try driving consciously. If you are stressed, turn off the radio or music. Notice the color of the car in front of you. Notice your surroundings, where are you? Notice the sky, the trees, the landscape.
  • A more formal way to meditate: before bed or right after waking up, sit in a chair. Try to keep you back straight. Breathe deeply and count your breaths, starting with each inhale. Count to 10, then start over. Do it for 5 minutes. If you can’t do it for 5 minutes, do it for 3 minutes, or 1 minute.
  • Focus on an object. It might be the flame of a candle, or a flower in a vase. Sitting on a bench in a park, it might be a tree.Breathe and simply focus on an object without trying to describe it, categorize it or have an opinion about it.
  • Devotional meditation. It’s said that when you pray you talk to Spirit and when you meditate you listen. You can focus on Divine Love, simply allowing yourself to feel it. Or you might focus on a religious icon or a picture of a divine being.

Don’t worry about doing it right. The point is to get in the habit of letting go of the stressful thoughts, going inside and getting centered and grounded.

If you are interested in creating a regular mediation practice, I encourage and support you. Hypnotherapy can be helpful in developing the determination and motivation to practice. If you have questions or would like some coaching regarding meditation, feel free to call me or a free half hour consultation.

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