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What to do when you're going in too many directions at once.

Updated: Jan 3

There are a handful of things I hear from women when I'm in discovery sessions with them. Near the top of the list is feeling overwhelmed.

Think of a young child screaming and thrashing, resisting the nap they so desperately need, and you'll have a good visceral sense of how overwhelm feels. Young children's developing nervous systems are easily overwhelmed. As adults, though we don't throw ourselves on the floor and scream, the inner feelings of overwhelm are still deeply distressing.

Signs of overwhelm include:

  • Inability to stop moving

  • Decision fatigue

  • Feeling immobilized

  • Anxiety

  • Panic

  • Irritability

  • Lost perspective

  • All or none thinking

  • Survival fears

  • Insomnia

In Ayurveda speak, we're talking about vata dosha. Dosha means "fault." Vata, refers to a set of functions in the body connected to the cohesive movement of impulses through your nervous system. Vata can be in a state of balance, and it's more like, prana, the "life-force," which flows smoothly and in the core of your body.

Vata dosha, an excess of vata, is a kind of waste product of your nervous system that masquerades as real energy. You can feel jacked up, but that false energy lacks calm and ease. When vata is high it can feel like your mind is on overdrive, while you're more than a little disembodied.

Here's the thing: Vata dosha underlies 80% of all disease! Learning to recognize and then calm this dosha is foundational to reversing and preventing diseases of all kinds. Said another way, minimizing the impact of habitual overstimulation and overwhelm is dangerous to your long term health. If you could really get this truth, and train yourself out of the culturally normative habits of pushing past your real limits, and overstimulating yourself, you could learn to live with more calm and ease, and stay healthy in the process.

My Ayurveda teacher, the great Vaidya, Dr. Vasant Lad, teaches that Ayurveda is the expansion of awareness. This means that seeing that there's a problem is the first step. Training yourself to notice the signs that you're getting amped up, is what will allow you to begin to regain your composure so you don't need to go all the way there. Like anything new, it gets easier with practice and the payoff is so absolutely worth it.

Here's a practice I like to do before or after lunch. Try a 20 minute lie down with a timer and be in savasana. If you want more guidance, try this 30 min. reclining breathing and somatic meditation practice. it will support you in resetting your body energy. Taken as a regular daily practice, it will reset your nervous system, support your self-awareness throughout the day, and over time it will transform your life for the better

Let me know other ways you're finding to successfully treat overwhelm.



P.S. If you recognize the signs of high vata in your life, and you want to resolve it, I'd love to talk with you. Schedule a complimentary 30-min discovery session here. and lets see what clarity we can bring to your situation.


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