In the days we live in, everyone seems to get to experience a ‘meltdown’ at least once in a lifetime. I can’t say that having a meltdown is normal, because it should never become a norm, but I can say it’s a common experience in this modern world. Many people suffer in silence, others start using social media channels to vent it out, and only a few others decide to ask for professional help. I think the healthiest way to go through a meltdown is by seeking a professional and caring person who knows how to create a compassionate and safe psychological place for you to address everything that needs to be brought to surface. I also know though that such decision is scary, sometimes overwhelming, and often requires a financial investment that people who need most can’t afford.
Based on all this, one thing I love doing is to think, design and materialise alternative ways of providing support without first asking a person to sit down on a chair next to me and to blindly share their heart with me. That’s why I’ve recently created the e-book ‘Start Living Today‘, but today, however, I wanted to bring you my take on how to overcome a meltdown, a state in which we are so anxious and overwhelmed that everything about life seems to be too much to handle. Although life usually bring us signs to help us prevent this, our lives are so fast paced these days that we rarely stop for a second to breathe consciously and get some perspective over what we have been feeling, thinking and doing. We call it being in automatic pilot or mindlessness, the opposite of mindfulness.
Hence the reason why so many of us have ‘meltdown’ experiences nowadays is exactly because we lead our lives without mindfulness, without conscious awareness. We are ‘set up’ to rush through life, because time is money and the world doesn’t wait for you. These are common beliefs that subconsciously mine our attempts of living a fulfilling and meaningful life. We may say that we don’t think this way but we were led to believe that it’s how life and others work. Therefore, the first thing to do when having a meltdown is to slow down or even freeze in time, so we can reconnect with ourselves. In fewer words, the first thing to do is to become mindful. Now don’t think I’m recommending you to go open a mobile app or listen to a guided mindfulness meditation. I’m talking about becoming mindful, aware, conscious, by taking a couple of deep breaths, relaxing your shoulders and your stomach area. I’m talking about of reminding yourself that you’re only human, a living, breathing organism who has the power to step back and connect with the best part of you once again.
The best part of you knows the natural principles of life. It knows what the natural rhythms are like. It knows that a fast-paced life can easily become an enemy of good health and wellbeing. The best part of you knows that you need to give yourself permission to reprioritise your to-do list and to redesign your life in way that suits your personality, dreams, and needs. However, to reach out to the best part of you, you need to move from the overwhelming experience of a meltdown to a state of mind and being in which you can access your inner wisdom. Here are three ways to help you with that:
Connect With Your Breathing
One way that will help you move from overwhelm to a calmer state is to connect with your breathing. This means that you will focus your attention not only on your breath, but also on how your breath moves through your body. You will observe the rippling effect of your breathing and notice how your body responds differently when you breathe in and out. Be curious and investigate how many different layers of your body move as you breathe consciously. The more you do this, the calmer and clearer you will become. Only then your inner wisdom will pop out like a lotus flower.
Practise Mindful Movement
Another way to reduce overwhelm is to leave your mind for a second and get into your body by practising mindful movements. Yoga can be a good option to put this in practise but you can simply perform a couple of stretching exercises instead. The important detail here is to switch off our mind and start paying attention to what is going on in our body. This said, what you have to do while performing these exercises is to solely focus on the movement and your body’s response. Is it aching? Do you feel itchy? Is your body warm? Cold? Can you reach your toes?
Immerse Yourself In Nature
This can be the easiest way to access your inner wisdom. When we immerse ourselves in nature by walking in the seaside, in a forest or strolling around in an urban park, we automatically tap into a deeper and natural part of ourselves. You might have already experienced this: while walking in the woods or around the park, many people start having ‘spontaneous’ and creative ideas for how to solve specific problems. Being in nature allows us to almost automatically reach a more relaxed mood and state. That’s when solutions and insights can arise.
If you already tried these options and you are still struggling to reach a balanced state, I strongly recommend you to work side-by-side with a professional. Sometimes when we have been through too many unhealthy and harmful situations, we need someone by our side that can act as an impartial third-observer. Often, we might even need only a few couple of sessions to disentangle our overwhelming experiences. Please consider talking either to a therapist, counsellor or life coach that you resonate with. I’m currently offering Psychology + Coaching sessions to people from all over the world through Skype and WhatsApp. If this is something you would like to explore further, do get in touch to discuss what’s the best and more suitable option for you.