In our busy and hectic lives, I know we can all feel rushed and panicked at times.

So, when we’re feeling overwhelmed, what can we do?

I came across advice on this article from a Zen philosopher that I think can help us all.

Here’s the practice:

  • Take a step back and notice when you feel rushed, overwhelmed or anxious. The sooner you develop an awareness of it, the more likely you’ll be able to stop it. Simply play a game and see how often you can catch it.
  • When you do catch yourself feel rushed, pause. Don’t let yourself continue with this habit of rushing and rushing. Instead, try rewiring your brain with a new habit. Simply pause, accept and relax with the feeling within your body. Then focus fully on the task in front of you. Enjoy even the mundane aspects of this task.
  • When you feel anxious, observe yourself and pause. Notice your reaction to it. If it’s a negative chain of reaction of continuing to worry, don’t let yourself waste time with that habit again. Instead, rewire your brain for a new mental pattern. Pause, accept and relax with the feeling that’s in your body. Then trust that you can handle whatever is put in front of you. Smile at the uncertainty.
  • When you are feeling overwhelmed, observe yourself and pause. Notice your habit of having do everything and feeling anxious about it. Try building a new habit: pausing, accepting and relaxing with the feeling within your body. Take one task at a time, and enjoy even the mundane aspects of it. Trust that you’ll be able to do everything that you do and even enjoy it.

As you can see, these practices are largely the same. Don’t worry if you mess up, it’s bound to happen for all of us. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to develop new mental framework to deal with any confronting emotion you encounter.