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Tips on Avoiding and Managing Negative Overwhelm

Do you know what I mean by negative overwhelm??

For me its when I listen to to much radio news, see too much TV news or simply see too much negativity on social media. Or when something or someone is causing hardship for me or my family.

I start to feel sad, anxious, angry and generally quite low in mood. Its almost like a cloak of mist around my heart and I can feel as though I have been crying for days even when I haven't.

I didn't notice how deeply I felt the force of negative energy until recently. When I worked in my corporate job I was caught in that wheel of eat, sleep, work, repeat and whilst I knew it wasn't where I wanted to be any longer I had to plod on to pay the bills. I was consumed by negativity from the waves of redundancy, the mind blowing beaurocratic decisions made by my superiors and the constant wall of NO I faced when trying to bring light and positivity into a crumbling world,

I felt caged by fear of change, and I sat back to some degree to accept this as my lot in life. I was low in mood, overweight, tired and suffered from lack of focus and drive.

When I began my journey with Holistic health it soon became clear that I needed to make some big changes to how I was living my life. Some changes were massive and took time, but some were quite simple and gave fairly instant results.

Now that I live a life I have chosen freely, that I can say is filled with happiness and light, when too much darkness comes in I can see and feel it instantly.

In the last few weeks I have noticed a shift in the way social media is creating a lot of negative space. It started with the tidal wave of what I see as blatant propaganda on the EU referendum. I would read an article that was weighted either for or against, and nothing that was balanced or fair. Posts on FB shared by people in what came across to me as quite an aggressive way to stay or leave. It left me feeling confused, and anxious. The Presidential race in Amercia is being filtered through FB in a similar way, with lots of negative comments from one or the other candidate's following.

This week I have scrolled through several harsh and critical posts on the unfortunate incident of the Gorilla that was shot to save a young boys life. I have read so many negative and highly critical comments from people that left me feeling such sorrow for the world we live in today.

What is it about the human ego that wants to be so critical, to point the finger and blame? Its so unfortunate that the little boy fell into the animal enclosure, and its equally unfortunate that the only way to save him was at the expense of the gorilla's life. But why point and blame so much. Can we not as a human feel empathy for both sides and perhaps give thanks that the ending was not a loss of life on both counts? Can we not simply acknowledge lifes events and move on without finding a cause, or a thing to make responsible? It happend and it was unfortunate but it still happened with or without blame.

Unfortunately all of the above and further heart tightening moments being created closer to home with diffiuclt family issues to deal with have left me suffering with fatigue and a low immune system and the desire to share my experience to help me and hopefully you too.

So how do I identify when something is causing me overwhelm and what do I do about it?

I said earlier I made some small changes early on in my journey. The most basic of these was to stop listening/reading or watching the news. In the last 3 and a half years I have not suffered any loss whatsoever in not paying attention to the media being reported. In fact I have only benefited. The news as we know it can be filled with hatred, violence and negativity that is only slightly lifted by a local good news story now and then. Not subjecting myself to this onslaught of pain means I am lighter and less sad. I don't feel ignorance when I say ''I'm sorry I have no idea what you are talking about'' and to be honest the people I surround myself with are likely to be in the same media blackout boat as me. So we shrug our shoulders and move on. If something is pertinent to my life then I will look into something or have a conversation about it with someone I trust and love. But I won't subject myself to stories that leave me feeling desperately sad and anxious.

One of the biggst changes I made was to stop using negative language. Its not easy and the odd don't or can't creep in, but on the whole I choose to use uplifting words, and ones that fill me with joy. What is interesting is how quickly I pick up on a person using damaging language and how it makes me feel anxious. For example when ever I am faced with a potential conversation that is gossipy (which makes me very uncomfortable) I choose not to be drawn in and either change the subject or if I am feeling quite put out will often say ''I wouldn't know, perhaps they are facing their own stuggles in life''

The biggest and by far the hardest thing I have done and still do is to choose my relationships even the ones with family. I make a very consious effort to surround myself with positive and like minded people. People who nourish me, uplift me, inspire me. People who cheerlead for me, support me and love me.

Cutting out the negative people in your life is hard. It feels harsh, and can come with some nasty repercussions but if you want to live in a positive place its often the best choice you can make. The love and light you feel when you lose the drama is worth the initial difficulties.

So how can you identify what is causing you negative overwhelm and what can you do to change it?

  1. If watching / hearing / reading sad, hard, violent stories/films leaves you feeling anxious, upset or despondent - make a choice, you don't have to take in the news or watch the movie. Turn the TV over, stop reading the papers or simply choose which radio channel reports the least offensive news (for me Classic FM has a perfect balance - quick news reports and the least gossipy or violent)
  2. Do you feel upset or sad when having some conversations? Be concious in what language you use with yourself and those around you. Do you start conversations with '' I am so fed up... I can't do this anymore... I won't be able to do that I'm not ..... enough'' instead try phrases like '' Today I'm feeling ok... I am going to keep going no matter what... I will give this a go and see how I get on because I know I am enough''
  3. Sometimes conversations leave you feeling really uncomfortable. Think before jumping on the train to Gossip Central. Does it serve any purpose to make negative or detrimental comments about someone or something? Perhaps consider if the subject may have their own worries or toubles and instead send them loving thoughts and prayers. This not only makes you feel better, it puts it out into the universe and creates positive energy.
  4. Do you dread seeing some of the people in your social circle because of the way they make you feel? Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who will offer a hug when you don't even know if you need one. Be with the people who ask you how you are instead of launching into an hour long monologue as to why their life is so awful.
  5. Finally be the person you want to be, do the things that you want to do even if they are different, off the beaten track or not the norm. The only person who can chose how you feel is you. Choose Happy, choose Positive, choose Light.

If anything here resonates with you please let me know. I would love to know how this article has touched you,

And if you want a healthful hand in moving away from the negative world and creating your positive, bountiful life just drop me a line and we can have a chat.

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