As our collective world seems to spin from one traumatic crisis to the next, an incredibly tender question along the healing journey is:
What happens in our brains and bodies when life feels like too much for us?
Too much fear, too much grief, too much change, too much aloneness?
This sense of "too much," or overwhelm, occurs when we seem to be drowning in the enormity of existence, when what life brings is exceeding the available resources we have to deal with it.
Indications of overwhelm can include:
- Experiences of ongoing stress or a state of ongoing exhaustion
- Feelings of panic if you imagine stopping work or activities
- Sleep or attempts at rest that do not feel restful
- Palpitations and/or headaches
- High blood pressure and/or digestive issues
- Living on the edge of depression
- Hearing yourself say: "It’s too much," "I can’t," "I’m so tired," "I have to get out of here" or "I can’t cope"
Overwhelm is a natural response to living through a barrage of inputs and experiences our nervous systems aren’t designed to handle.
So what can we do to regain a sense of inner peace and equilibrium?
How can we increase our capacity to navigate the waves of challenge and crisis that wash over and around us?
First, by understanding how and why brains respond to overwhelm in the ways they do.
Next, by exercising resonance to gently build our system’s capacity for rest, release, and a sense of being accompanied in life (not feeling chronically alone).
While experiencing a state of overwhelm can often feel intractable and insurmountable, movement and healing is possible with persistent resonance and practice at developing self-warmth.