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Feeling Overwhelmed? Four Tips for Women to Find Peace of Mind by Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D.

» Introduction
Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend, a marketing manager for a real estate company. Judy travels on business and has a one-year old daughter. In 2 minutes, she quickly shared the following: her nanny unexpectedly quit, she's negotiating complex business deals, she's building a house, selling her condo, and her administrative assistant recently died. She felt her husband did not understand the time commitment involved in mothering. She was worried about losing weight and looking beautiful.
» Step 1
Take Charge of Your Own Behavior

As a consequence of today's pace, women do feel overwhelmed by responsibilities at work and home. We're often torn by our innate desire to nurture everyone, but want to express our gifts in the form of professional work. How can we develop a more robust connection with spirit, especially on the days it seems to be going down the tubes? And what can we do to stop feeling overwhelmed?

Life seems to be getting more stressful by the day. Women need to multi-task their multi-tasking just to keep up with a career, family, and social life. Often women are too hard on themselves because society trains them to be “woman-helper extroverts.” Praised by what we do for others, and rewarded accordingly, we put our own needs last. Societal messages encouraging women to “over-achieve” can reside in unrealistic media images and the nuances of close relationships.

Problems with this type of cultural or family conditioning can result in choosing the wrong career to please parents or spouses or having a lack of confidence in decision-making. Take charge of your own behavior by affirming your innate capabilities are enough. Find a moment to appreciate YOU and be receptive to appreciation from others.

Many women are not taught from a young age how to spend time cultivating a sense of self-worth. Lack of self-esteem can spill into marriage and the workplace later in life and affect relationships at all levels. Here is an affirmation for self-appreciation that can help you get on a positive track to a self-image of success and worthiness:

“I am a unique and beloved individual who has already changed the world by being present. I am filled with joy knowing I have offered the world my gifts. I shine no matter what my family says; my talents reach far outside of this realm. I now focus on what my talents can do for the greater good. I love what I can do!”
» Step 2
Be Aware of Your True Self

Empowerment comes from awareness of your true or authentic self. Our natural state of being is unlimited spirit. Harnessing that idea through conscious awareness takes effort. It's about having the mental discipline to create your day before you put on your pantyhose. It means knowing, from the core of your being, you already own that power. You are, in fact, an individual spark of the Divine. That’s a pretty big thought. We are already important, loved, and appreciated by being in this enormous, unlimited equation. Focus on that more often and you won’t create negative self-talk or self-criticism that often drives overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and worry.

Make sure your work life resonates with your spiritual needs. “Work” at the fundamental level must nurture the most closely held set of values and ideas of what your gift to humanity is. Remember, overdoing and managing unrealistic expectations reinforced by the media and our culture of perfection – anything from having perfect body to managing a Fortune 500 company while single-handedly raising 5 children – is not a divine idea. It’s a collection of human ideas bordering on the bizarre that might have been designed to sell more consumer products like day planners and diet pills.

Take a breath and separate what’s important and what isn’t. Love who you are and generate positive feelings about what you already contribute to the world – not what anyone else may expect. You already have the ability to transform life. You can give birth to creative ideas by your very presence. Your life is a sacred expression of your soul put into motion. Value being female and your expression on this planet. That is a very powerful belief!
» Step 3
Stay in the Powerful, Present Moment

You most powerful moments in life are spent in the present. Getting stuck in the past holds you behind. True empowerment stems from living now, not reacting to now from a mindset of the past or living with worry about what might happen tomorrow, next month, or next year. Every day, no matter what has happened to you in the past, is a new opportunity to begin painting your life on a new canvas.

Over the years, I've experimented with ways to release the past and move forward with a positive attitude, living life joyfully in the present moment. I've noticed when I start my day without any clear direction of how I choose to think, I don't get the results I want.

Instead of spending time regurgitating old problems, choose to move loss, disappointment, and feelings of non-success far from your mind. Make your perception of reality pleasant and meaningful. Don’t spend time dredging up ancient family history or old problems that occurred years ago. Practice forgiveness daily until it becomes automatic. You will feel lighter!
» Step 4
Learn to Say No

Saying “no” is about mental strength, self-value, and positive expectation. If we’ve learned anything at all from watching “The Secret” is the power of our own intentions to attract lives of balance, prosperity, and joy.

If you spend time wondering what everyone thinks of you after you say “no” you’ll never choose any life situation that truly meets your needs. Before you say “yes” ask:

• Does this task bring me joy?
• Does it move me toward a future vision of where I want to be personally, professionally, or emotionally?
• Does this task serve my higher self? Does it serve humankind?
• If I choose this task, will I feel good about my contribution to my family, friends, or a cause? Will I feel good about myself?
• Can I do this task with a full heart and not resent anyone afterwards?
» Step 5
Use affirmative thinking to stay on track. Say:

“I commit to doing at least one thing for myself today. I generate more power when I give to myself. Goodness in my life is well-deserved because I am worthy of all goodness. The universe is showing me that my first responsibility is to take care of myself. When I do that, I have a bigger capacity to love.”

Experiencing peace of mind is a daily discipline. It’s reached by prioritizing and setting boundaries, but also by cultivating a spiritual connection. No matter what your wisdom tradition, remember to love the Divine presence within. Revisit those qualities and ideas that spirit represents. And learn to let worries go more easily and find ways to live lightly by choosing to play more often or simply slow down to enjoy the view. You will find life is a more authentic expression of who you are -- your female inspired, spirit-powered self!

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