Managing overwhelm...Pause....

Wednesday 01 April 2020


This blog, the fourth in a series of mini blogs by Maggie's Lead psychologist Lesley Howells focusing on managing when you feel overwhelmed looks at  pausing.....

Pause to anchor yourself in the here and now, rather than get swept away by troubling thoughts and feelings. Our minds can feel like a shook-up snow globe in tough times, so pause let the swirling blizzard in your mind settle so you have clear space to decide how you want to respond helpfully to whatever you are up against, rather than feel completely overwhelmed.

Feeling fearful when in the middle of unexpected change is normal, the trick is to pause, expect and allow these natural worries to ebb and flow, without getting entangled in them. 

Research says that a difficult emotion will only last 90 seconds if you don’t fuel it with added thinking and self-doubt – try it and see!

Pauses take all shapes and forms, share ideas with those around you

For example

  • Simple mindful breathing exercises – check out the Natia cares app
  • Try the Russ Harris dropping the anchor exercise.
  • Visit  the relaxation and breathing exercises section  of our main website for more  relaxation ideas and exercises.
  • Get fully absorbed in your senses by stopping to notice – five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can smell, two things you can touch and one thing you can taste.
  • Pause with poetry, prayer and song lyrics.
  • Meditations for managing undermining and sabotaging thoughts (e.g. waterfall or leaves on the stream)
  • Pauses can be 10 seconds or 30 minutes

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