Sometimes it happens suddenly, sometimes gradually, but we’ve all been in a situation where we can’t focus because there’s too much going on.
This morning I was trying to learn and understand a new project and suddenly it was like my eyes crossed and my brain blanked out. I just could not make heads or tails of what I was looking at. Thankfully my inner voice spoke up and said, “this is too much Mike, put it away.” It was like I had blown a fuse.
The point is, I’m very familiar with what it’s like to become overwhelmed. It happens pretty regularly for me, mostly from being out in public or from being in places where there’s a lot of noise. Sometimes it’ll even happen if I’ve just spent too much time looking at twitter.
I think most everybody can relate when I say it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are things you can do to ease that feeling though and it’s important to realize that it’s not permanent and most times, all you need is a little rest to get your mind right.
This may seem elementary but one of my favorite ways of easing a blown brain is to take a nap. You don’t have to sleep, just lying down and closing your eyes for fifteen minutes creates a nice reset and helps you better collect your thoughts.
I realize that napping in the midst of a work day is a luxury I have being a writer, and is not something most people can do but taking a small rest is definitely doable for most.
If you’re at your desk, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Breathe deeply and think about the breath going in and out of your lungs as your thoughts pass by. Congratulations, you just meditated.
After that, it’s probably alright to get up, walk around a little bit, go to the bathroom or get a snack and come back to your desk. Chances are, things will be a little clearer and you’ll be to focus more cogently on the project you’re working on.
Even if you aren’t in an office, this method can still help tremendously.
Say you’re in a loud public space with lots of people talking and you start to blank out a little bit.
Firstly it’s ok to escape for a second and go find a quiet area, but even if you can’t, just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths as you focus on your breathing can calm down even the most extreme cases of being overwhelmed.
It’s ok to get overwhelmed, it’s ok to blank out, and it’s ok to lose yourself for a moment or two. Just remember that it’s a normal human reaction and it happens to the best of us.
Again, as I’ve said many times, you are not alone in this experience.
Millions of people feel or have felt the way you feel.
Just remember to take those moments for yourself when you can and you’ll be alright.