How to Deal with Overwhelm

Share

Learning to deal with feeling overwhelmed is an essential part of an empath’s tool kit.

The secret to reducing overwhelm is to notice it quickly. Many empathic patients have come to me saying, “I’ve felt overwhelmed for years.” They live in the persistent, uncomfortable state of sensory overload or else have become exhausted, burned out, or sick. Happily, you don’t have to let this experience get the best of you.

Each day, treat yourself with kindness. If too much is coming at you too fast, make time to decrease stimulation. Notice when you first start feeling overwhelmed. Did a colleague or family member ask too much of you? Did you overcommit yourself? Most importantly, catch the feeling as fast as you can before it gathers momentum. Then take at least a few minutes to unplug from stimulation. I often retreat to a room without sound or bright light. I rest or meditate to recalibrate myself to a more balanced state. You can use these strategies too.

When you are feeling overwhelmed or if your thoughts are scattered, practice this visualization from my book Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People to center yourself:

Red Rock Canyon Visualization

Take a few deep breaths. Relax your body. If thoughts intrude, keep breathing deeply and let them float by like clouds in the sky. Do not attach to them. Let the rhythm of your breathing help you completely settle into your body.

Picture yourself walking in a huge, majestic, red rock canyon filled with all shapes and sizes of noble stones and boulders. Some are thousands of years old, strong, wise, and omnipresent. It’s a beautiful day with the perfect temperature, just right for you to wander around this enchanted place. Notice which rock formations you are drawn to.

Then, place your palms or your entire body on them. Feel their strength and let them ground you. You can sit on a boulder, too, to feel its stability, warmth, and sustenance. Let the grounding life force of this canyon and all its natural stone formations bring you back to center and in touch with your highest, clearest self.

Set your intention. To prevent or decrease overwhelm, I will plan short or longer periods to reduce external stimulation. I will visualize the red rock canyon of wonder when I want to ground myself. I can go there whenever I like. It is always welcoming my return.
 
(Excerpt from “Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People” by Judith Orloff, MD)
 

Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her latest book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive HealingExplore more information about her Empath Support Online course and speaking schedule on www.drjudithorloff.com.

Connect with Judith on  Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

2 thoughts on “How to Deal with Overwhelm

  1. It is amazing that you send us all this information and offering your support in these very difficult times, without requiring funds!

    During this pandemic I have learned how to be alone, how much I need people and to be social, to pay attention to that gentle voice giving me advice and the pain when I did not take it, how important self care is and a daily connection to God. I have taken several of your classes and reading your books including “Thriving as an Empath…” . Your Facebook page has been especially helpful to learn how we are not alone and have experienced many of the same occurances, even though we are apart; I have learned from this FB group that what I felt was real, to believe my feelings and my knowings, to hear suggestions and support from like-minded people and a place to safely share when I feel I want to share.

    I need to work on meditation more and will study about what to do when overwhelmed, which is a lot less often than it used to be.

    All this information offered is a great library to access when I need it! Thank you Dr. Orloff for reaching out to help people who are very sensitive or empathic, not crazy, and how to learn to live and hope to thrive and be of service in this world!

    May we share this email?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll Up