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Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This...

09/21/2018 01:45:38 PM


The challenge each of us face now is:

How to channel all the inspiration and energy built up over the High Holy Days into our daily practical lives throughout the coming year?

I recently read an amazing study about how to deal with feeling overwhelmed:

Many of us face moments when we are feeling completely overwhelmed by a myriad of tasks that need to get done, and we don’t know where to begin or how we’ll ever accomplish it all. We have calls to make, emails to send, things to organize, relationships to nurture, issues to address, deadlines to meet and errands to run.

“Oy, it’s too much!”

So how do we respond? Typically, these feelings paralyze us. Since we don’t know where to begin, we become lethargic and procrastinate. We raise our hands in defeat, give up, and in the end get nothing done.

Researchers have discovered that these moments create a brain-fog, where we can’t think clearly and instead react irrationally.

So, what is the solution?

The solution is simple yet counter-intuitive. Locate the smallest and easiest task on your list and do it. “But what’s the point? That task is the least important, and it won’t help to achieve all the important things that need to get done?” The argument sounds logical, but it’s incorrect. When we get up from our paralysis and do one small action item, we actually reset our brain. Our brain-fog is caused by the overload of tasks, which in turn clogs our neural pathways. When we push hard to do the one small task, we break through the clog and cause the brain to reorganize itself. When the brain processes how one task was successfully accomplished, it shifts into a solution-oriented mode. The feeling of success – no matter how small – allows the brain to recompute your agenda, and to help you navigate through the rest of your to-do list.

I know that this study is correct because I’ve tried and tested it with great success.

The same solution can be applied to our original question:

True, it is hard to figure out how to channel the wellsprings of inspiration we have just experienced. We want to do so much, but where to begin?

The answer is – do one small thing. Once you succeed in applying your inspiration into one small deed, you will discover a new flow of clarity. Things will start to roll out naturally. You will quickly find the ability and the wisdom how to channel the inspiration to enhance and enrich your life.

So, dear friends, the first Shabbat after Yom Kippur is approaching. What small thing can you do differently this Shabbat? What small thing can you do to enhance your Sukkot celebrations next week? What small kind deed can you do for someone else today?

Remember, start with something small. Creating a small opening in your life will lead you into a much larger space of growth and change.

Shabbat Shalom!

Fri, December 3 2021 29 Kislev 5782