Austin Chronic Overwhlem

A Simple Method to Deal with Chronic Overwhelm – Counselors in Austin

Everything is coming at us so quickly these days. Emails. Voicemails. Twitter. Facebook. Texting. Everything you ever wanted to know—and everything you didn’t know you wanted to know—can be found on the internet. We take work home with us by responding to messages after hours, then spend our weekends in much the same way—shuttling our children around to various events and activities and catching up on house chores from the week.

It sometimes feels like we can’t slow down and get a minute to just breathe. In fact, many of us are walking around breathing so shallowly that we are fueling anxiety and panic as well as fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension.

I encourage all of you who are feeling overwhelmed and tense, who constantly feel like there’s not enough time to get everything finished, to take just five minutes to sit quietly, close your eyes, and breathe.

Just take five minutes. Five minutes. Breathe. No, probably not the way you usually breathe. Be aware of every breath you take. Focus on your abdomen and feel it move in and out. Take a little longer to exhale than inhale. Count your breaths if you’d like, but just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how much calmer you’ll feel.

How Breathing Can Impact Chronic Overwhelm

How do you feel after breathing deeply? Just a bit calmer, a bit more relaxed and able to handle the day? Erik Peper, a professor at San Francisco State University at The Institute for Holistic Health Studies and a pioneer in the field of biofeedback, calls breathing “the boundary between the conscious and the unconscious.” The way we breathe affects our physical and mental health. Just five minutes of conscious breathing can make a world of difference in how we perceive our challenges and how we perceive our ability to meet these challenges. Conscious breathing also gives us a little more space between us and the hustle and bustle around us. And that can be quite a relief!

Oh, yes…and it wouldn’t hurt to step away from technology for a day here and there, too.

Technology and Chronic Overwhelm

Technology isn’t the only factor in chronic overwhelm, but it is a significant contributor. Think of your phone for a moment. It pings and dings all day long, alerting you to text messages, emails, social media alerts, calendar appointments, and maybe even an actual phone call—or a dozen. Often, we feel we can’t ignore any of these alerts, because many of us use our phones for personal and professional use.

Unlike years past, we don’t leave our work email at work. The majority of Americans check that email at least a couple of times after-hours, which means we never really get a day off—and that’s without considering our various activities. Between professional commitments and our over-booked personal calendars, plenty of folks eat meals standing up, rush their kids through getting ready for bed, and have minimal downtime in the evenings or weekends to simply sit quietly and reconnect with each other.

To take things a step further, being separated from your phone causes anxiety in 70 percent of women and 60 percent of men (Archer). Constant contact with our phones has become so ubiquitous that it’s almost like having a friend in our back pocket all day—and losing that friend is cause for major panic. Speaking of contact with friends, it wasn’t that long ago that our work and personal lives were somewhat separate. Without cell phones, it was common to go an entire work day without speaking to your spouse or friends. Now, to go even a few hours is a rarity, at least for some.

Interestingly, those with “…high levels of technostress act much like addicts—they have to get their tech fix. When they are not plugged into technology or when the computing system crashes, they are irritable, angry, and their productivity suffers. But when they get plugged into all of those high-tech gadgets, people with high levels of technostress feel compelled and anxious to work faster and produce more” (Johnson). In other words, if you’ve got a problem with technology use, it’s a lose-lose situation. Without it, you’re like an addict going through withdrawal, and with it, you’re anxious.

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, some of the above probably sounds familiar. In fact, just reading about it may have caused a bit of stress. And that’s why it’s so important to seek counseling. Taking five minutes away from all the alerts and gadgets and constant connectivity to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and close your eyes is a great first step, but it’s important to seek counseling for chronic overwhelm. Thriveworks Austin counselors can help you develop strategies for interacting with technology and all of its demands in a healthier, calmer way. If it’s not constant connectivity that’s overwhelming you, but the pile of life demands you’re dealing with, Thriveworks Austin counseling can still help.

Thriveworks Austin Counseling for Chronic Overwhelm

Aside from technology, family commitments, including care-giving for children or the elderly, can cause significant anxiety, as can moving, switching jobs, getting married, challenging work projects, even buying a house.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, even if you don’t know why, and you have no idea how to make everything feel manageable again, please don’t hesitate to contact Thriveworks Austin. We don’t have a waiting list, so we can usually see you within 24 hours and would welcome the opportunity to help. You don’t have to live your life stressed and overwhelmed. Peace is possible.

Further Reading
Erik Peper.
Ernest H. Johnson, PhD. “Is Technology Stress Overwhelming Your Life?” February 2015.
Dale Archer, MD. “Smartphone Addiction.” July 2013.

Thriveworks Counseling West Lake Hills

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margie : can you do the gold on the black? aston

Amazing!!! I am beyond happy with the services provided by Dr. Nunez. She has been so amazing with my children and I am beyond grateful for her and ThriveWorks. I’d recommend her to anyone. She is incredibly talented and listens without judgement. If I could I’d give her a zillion stars for having the most positive, profound impact on our lives!
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I needed someone who was strong, kind, listened and was action oriented who had the experience to deal with the trauma I was struck with when I experienced severe loss of a loved one in 2016. Linda was and is present, intelligent, professional, human, warm and kind and at every session she has offered me practical solutions to face my life and my day to day activities. I highly recommend her. She Is so good it is very hard to get an appointment with her but if you can get one keep it. She is fabulous and will heal your spirit and soul in a safe and loving place. I love her strength more than anything and her optimism that anyone can get to a better place and not be stuck in pain and hopelessness. She is healing my heart and I feel like I have found a person who truly cares. This is a very good place.
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I am gonna cry as I write this review... I have been working with Linda M. since I was married to my abusive ex husband and through my single time and my time meeting and marrying my current very wonderful husband. She has pushed me to be the very best person I can be and literally saved my life on several occasions. I'm moving to VA so I can't see Linda anymore and I'm telling you, this is my hardest goodbye. This woman is beyond amazing. She has forced me to take a good hard look at myself and work on everything: anxiety, borderline and PTSD to make me be a better person. You CANNOT go wrong with Linda. It's amazing how much one person and one session can change your life. I've tried therapy before, many times, with no luck until I got dragged to Thriveworks by someone close to me who wanted therapy to fix me! Well it didn't "fix me" it made me a totally new person. A happier, more confident person willing to take on the world. I even wanted Linda to come to my wedding, but knew she couldn't as she is very professional and this is against policy. But I would have had her there in a heart beat!
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The office is quiet and peaceful. It is hard to beat an appointment within 24 hours and no waiting once you get there.
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Lisa McCafferty

Sadly, I was in at vulnerable time and felt taken advantage of with Lisa. She was late for appointments and cut appointments short with no apology. I had been charged for full appointments. If the patient is late or misses, we are charged regardless of the circumstances. Unfortunately, it doesn't go the other way with the therapists. I felt she was defended by Thriveworks for her actions. I can only hope that for the sake of the patients this will change.
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Therapist dumped my teen daughter

My teenage daughter with diagnosed social anxiety and anxiety and depression was dropped because your counselor could not meet at times that worked for the patient. No other doctor was recommended. A nice note was written but now I’m empty handed with a serious situation. And you all dumped us.
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