The all consuming overwhelm…….

Essence and Soul, Holistic Therapy in Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand

It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, it shows no mercy and most of us have experienced overwhelm at some stage of our lives, it is just the depth that varies!

Overwhelming thoughts can manifest into anxiety, panic attacks, stress, physical pain, depression and confusion to name a few, it can come on and leave you in a flash or stick around and set up roots in your inner self and be a nightmare to shake.

Why? Why must we feel this and where does it come from?

Overwhelm can start from too many situations to list and is much like the chicken and the egg debate, which came first, the anxiety or the overwhelming feeling deep down inside?

My view is that it stems from our Nervous System, our freeze, fight or flight (FFF) system that is designed perfectly to help us unconsciously make choices and fast, one slight problem with this is we are human, we are complicated and sometimes we don’t allow this moment of freeze, fight or flight to just happen and then we move on, we stay here, we set up camp in this FFF state and that is where all these other symptoms manifest from, the overwhelm begins here I believe and hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released into the body.

The sympathetic nervous system drives the fight-or-flight response, while the parasympathetic nervous system drives freezing. How you react depends on which system dominates the response at the time. In general, when your ANS is stimulated, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormone.

Over the years I have experienced feeling overwhelmed and as I mentioned some have been fleeting moments like when someone does something kind for you and you are feeling all that kindness and love, and then it can swing to moments of tragedy or when you are grieving – Now quick chat here, I am a firm believer that grieving is an individual’s journey, we can grieve from loosing someone, ending a relationship/marriage/job/friendship, it is all very unique, so PLEASE be mindful of others, they may be at a different pace to you and that is okay – or life is just to bloody FULL! We are so busy being busy these days.

I have had a full life, many different situations have played out but when I look back on the moment I lost my brother Charlie in 2007, this was the point in my life where FFF kicked in and it did not want to leave! I would say it was a mix of flight and freeze responses for me in this moment, I wanted to escape but also froze as I was so overwhelmed in my own grief and the loss of those around me, so those hormones kept coming and my body was overloaded.

After being stuck here for many months, this manifested into anxiety, panic attacks and depression, the most simplist things would set me off, I was a mess! BUT I was able to reach out for help and tried medication, group therapy and seeing a counselor but nothing really seemed to get deep enough down, one more shot with a different person who taught me RTT (Rational Thought Therapy), for me this was a huge turning point in dealing with my overwhelm, as I was able to dig deep and really rationalize my thoughts, especially for every day tasks, even as simple as going to the shops! I still use it to this day, a mental wellbeing tool that I highly recommend to others to try.

I have experienced adrenal fatigue, which is thought to occur when the adrenals have been overworked to a degree that they can no longer secrete levels of cortisol that are adequate for optimal function. Potential stressors include environmental and dietary influences, as well as anxiety and emotional stresses. Check out this article from BePure to learn more.

Over the years, life happens and these past two years have been exceptionally hard for most of us, with so much added pressure, so this is your reminder that you are not alone, you can have that clear mind and strength to push through when you are feeling overwhelmed with life, this is your reminder to say NO when you need to prioritize your needs first, this is your reminder to know that it is okay to be not okay sometimes…just don’t stay there..grab a tool! 😉, this is your reminder that life happens and it will always change and evolve, this is your reminder to gather your own tools to help you move forward and live the most joyous life that you deserve!

I still have days with the OVERWHELM but they don’t have a chance to stick around for long as these days, I have loads of tools in my mental wellbeing toolkit and I love sharing them with others, not everything works for everyone and sometimes it will work for one situation but not for another, so we really need loads of options to help get us through.

What’s currently in my toolkit?

RTT – Rational Thought Therapy

Essential Oils


Sunshine and sand

Meditation & Sound Therapy

RTT – Rapid Transformational Therapy





If you are wanting to learn more about what might work in your toolkit or you want to share what works well for you, I love hearing from you.

Love & Light,

Milinda X

A little progress each day adds up to big results…

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