Why You’re Feeling Constantly Overwhelmed
Life can feel like a hamster wheel sometimes. Like an endless loop of rushing to be on time, working, running errands, doing chores, and sleeping (poorly). There’s often barely enough time to gather your thoughts and take a breather. Living in this state can destroy your motivation and morale making you not want to do anything other than curl up in front of the TV all day. But, of course, you can’t do that. You still have roles and responsibilities, people still depend on you and it’s not always feasible to take a sick day from life.
But what if there was a way to feel more at ease through all the chaos? There may be no way to avoid your busy schedule, but you can learn to thrive in the midst of it. Learning how to overcome that feeling of overwhelm can get you back to feeling fresh, alert and motivated. It can help you get a much better handle on life allowing you to feel less anxious, less depressed, more productive and better able to juggle all the demands work life and family life throw at you.
Let’s go back in time for a bit. When your caveman ancestors were feeling stressed their bodies went into fight-or-flight mode. In this mode the heart rate speeds up, muscles contract, blood pressure increases, and the body is completely revved up. The human body was designed to respond to stress this way – it’s how our caveman ancestors survived the dangers around them. In order for the body to get into this survival mode it has to amp up the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Our ancestors would be in this mode for short intense bursts like during animal attacks or tribal battles and these bursts were followed by time to rest and recuperate.
Fast forward to modern life. We still have the fight-or-flight response wired into our bodies. According to scientists, the key difference is that our fight-or-flight mode is being activated way more often at a constant low or high level with way less time to rest and rejuvenate. It’s being activated by things like bills, work deadlines, traffic, daunting responsibilities and sleep deprivation. On a biological level, this survival mode is being activated by inflammatory foods that stress out our bodies, toxins in the environment that burden our bodies, gut dysfunction that makes our bodies vulnerable to inflammation, hormone imbalances that confuse our bodies – I could go on forever. We’re relentlessly revved up both mentally and physically with no time to recover.
The end result is a constant feeling of overwhelm.
Stopping the Hamster Wheel
A lot of your schedule and responsibilities may be out of your control but there are still powerful, natural things you can do to reduce overwhelm. When you can master overwhelm it can transform your life. Not only do you feel better but health conditions like anxiety, depression, IBS, irregular periods and obesity become easier to manage. If you want to go through life with more ease and enthusiasm, don’t ignore this feeling of overwhelm. Don’t accept it as just a fact of life. Get help and treat it like you would any other health condition. Reduce the feeling of overwhelm and watch yourself excel at work, at home and in all areas of your life.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected].