16 Aug 23 / Blog

Just 60 seconds – how to deal with overwhelm

It’s summer and I hope that you’ve been able to unplug from work and get away from the overwhelm and relax. The summer break can be a great opportunity to gain perspective. When we are freed from the pressure of work, there are times when our own families hardly recognise us.  Why is that we seem to only be able to do that by stepping away from the daily grind?  It’s amazing how distance from the pressure helps us to clear our heads.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel this grounded all year round?

The Overwhelm Conundrum

In the fast-paced world of work, the pressure can often feel relentless. With high-stakes presentations, team management responsibilities, ambitious targets to meet, and personal demands from family, it’s no wonder that overwhelm is a common companion for executives and leaders like you.

However, there are effective strategies that can help you not only manage but also thrive in the face of these challenges. In this blog, I’ll explore powerful tools that you can use for a clear head and a balanced perspective to conquer overwhelm all year round!

The Power of Presence

One of the most effective remedies for overwhelm is the practice of presence. Being fully present in the moment allows you to shift your focus away from the myriad of tasks and responsibilities that await you. Being in the moment allows you to drown out other distractions, to prioritise and to focus. The art of presence not only enhances your effectiveness but also cultivates a sense of calm amid the storm.

Meditation: Your Mental Gym

Meditation is like a mental gym for leaders. Just as physical exercise strengthens your body, meditation strengthens your mind. A few minutes of daily meditation can work wonders in reducing stress and improving focus. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and focus on your breath. When your mind inevitably wanders to the tasks and pressures awaiting you, gently guide it back to your breath. Over time, this practice trains your mind to stay centred, even in the face of challenges.

Practical Tips to overcome overwhelm in your daily routine

  1. Morning Mindfulness Ritual: Start your day with a brief mindfulness exercise. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and set an intention for the day. This practice can help you set a positive tone for the hours ahead.
  2. Mindful Breaks: Amid a busy schedule, take short breaks to practice mindfulness. Step away from your desk, close your eyes, and take a few mindful breaths. This practice can refresh your mind and boost your productivity.
  3. Mindful Communication: During conversations and meetings, listen attentively and give your full presence to the person speaking. Practice breath control to keep your mind from wandering. This ability to tune in and really listen is a key leadership skill.
  4. Just 60 Seconds:  If a 10 minute mediation seems like too much, then just find 60 seconds.  At the start of the day, before an important meeting, when you’re feeling completely stressed.  Here’s a 60 second mediation just for you, set to the calming sound of the waves, that you can use whenever you want to gain a moment of calm. 

How can Presence and Mindfulness really help?

It’s just sitting still right?  When there is a never-ending to-do list, that can seem like a waste of time. But the scientific benefits have been proven. Our brains are wired to prefer things that instantly make us feel better.  Like ticking things off a to-do list. Or procrastinating because we don’t want to tackle a difficult task.  But taking a few moments in silence can short-circuit those thought patterns. A moment of mindfulness can help us to gain perspective and make better decisions.  

In a busy world, overwhelm can seem inevitable. However, with the practices of mindfulness and presence, you can be effective, focused, and ready to give the best of yourself to those around you. By prioritizing your mental well-being and embracing these transformative practices, you can navigate the complex landscape of leadership with grace

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