The path from realization to thriving is quite a journey, and it can definitely leave you feeling overwhelmed. With each aspect of your experience you figure out, every redundant behavior you shed, more seem to pop up. There may be days that you feel you will never truly recover from the abuse. Feeling overwhelmed is understandable, but not conducive to your healing. So how do you get back in the driver’s seat?
1. Stay in the Moment
Sure you are on a journey, and you are trying to heal from your past experiences. But spending too much time thinking about your past or worrying about your future is counter-productive.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past
If you are anxious, you are living in the future
If you are at peace, you are living in the present
Staying in the moment, and dealing with what is in front of you will reduce stress and make you feel more in control. All the little steps that you take in the present, will still propel you along your healing path. Want to learn more about living in the moment, or being mindful? Why not have a look at BeMindful.co.uk or even try out their online course.
2. To Be or Not to Be Overwhelmed
While on your journey, you may have certain expectations of yourself and the process. No two journeys are the same, and it may be hard to live up to your own expectations. Allow yourself to journey at your own pace and work on the aspects that are most relevant to you. When you do feel overwhelmed, remember two things.
Firstly, it is okay not to be overwhelmed. Give yourself permission to stop feeling this way.
Secondly, it is okay to be overwhelmed. Sometimes you need to give in to that feeling and maybe have a good cry. You are on a difficult journey. Be proud of yourself for making the effort. Don’t loose yourself in the difficulty of it, but at the same time don’t be too hard on yourself for struggling sometimes.
3. Keep An Eye On Yourself
When it comes to that balance described above, it can be a good idea to monitor yourself a bit. If you feel that feeling overwhelmed happens too often, try and keep some notes. Are there certain triggers that you can discover? Is the feeling triggered right after conversations with a counselor? Maybe it is time to find another professional. Do confrontations with your partner leave you overwhelmed? Try to have a conversation with them during less turbulent times.
These types of feelings really can have roots in all sorts of triggers, even certain foods may leave you feeling more emotionally raw. Figuring this out can be a real help in managing your emotional well-being.
4. Don’t Expect the Unexpected
Preparing for trouble ahead is great when you know a stressful event is coming up. When you are joining your toxic family for a party or holiday celebration, it is very helpful to plan and strategize. On a daily basis however, constantly planning for disaster to strike is debilitating.
Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life.
It is not meant to be how you live.
The constant worry is often a sign that you feel inadequate, a very common result of suffering emotional abuse. Trust yourself to deal with difficulties when they arise, you are far stronger than you give yourself credit for.
5. Think positive
This really is about believing, truly believing, that you are going to be successful. Believe that you will recover from your past experiences, and will in fact thrive in this life. When you trust your journey, it will stress you out much less.
Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.
6. Do a Reality Check
Whatever you are worrying about, is it real? This is the time to switch off the emotions, and listen to your rational brain for a bit. Not only will you be able to figure out whether you are worrying about something real. It should also help you to figure out the steps to take to deal with that worry.
Are you overwhelmed by house work? Maybe you can ask your partner, you children or a friend for a hand? Or perhaps it is just a question of prioritizing and steadily working your way through your to do list.
7. Don’t Try to Control Things
Consider what it is you are feeling overwhelmed by, is it something that you can influence? Even though what is upsetting you concerns you, it may be beyond your influence to change.
8. Embrace Your Imperfection
Life in general, and recovering from emotional abuse in particular, is a bumpy ride. It is not all going to be smooth sailing, and you are going to slip up from time to time. That’s okay. You do not need to be perfect, nor do you need to have all the answers.
On your journey you are inevitable going to have bad days. Embrace those as part of your journey. You are not going to move forward without dealing with dark and upsetting memories and triggers. Without doing that, you cannot move beyond the toxicity. Do you see where I am going with this?
9. Don’t Keep It All Bottled Up
Even though there is a need to experience the dark and overwhelming days of recovery, does not mean you have to do it alone. Even if, perhaps in fact especially when, you want to curl up in a dark corner and pretend the world does not exist. On those days, come find your peers here at SwanWaters. Talking through the dark feelings is what will transform them into lessons and opportunities for growth.