It’s not difficult to get overwhelmed in a world that often asks too much of us. A good many of us are stretched far too thin financially, emotionally and with our time. We own too much stuff and have too many obligations. Our lives are too big for us – of course we are overwhelmed. One of the underlying values that permeates the approach I take to mental health is the idea of sustainability. Sustainability was a topic introduced by ecology and address how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For example, using fossil fuels for power is not sustainable in the long-run as there is a limited supply and it harms the environment, which leads to damage in all living creatures. If we take that idea of sustainability and apply it to humans, we quickly see that much of the way we live is not sustainable. If we have too many expenses and not enough money, we are not financially sustainable. If we constantly give emotionally, but don’t receive enough support, we are not emotionally sustainable. If we do not take care of our connection to the Something Bigger, we are not spiritually sustainable, and so on. When we live lives that are not sustainable, overwhelm is often the result.
Lack of sustainability is not the only reason we get overwhelmed. Oftentimes we have unresolved trauma that makes it difficult for us to manage our reactions to life events. In such cases, life feels like it’s too much and we don’t have the internal resources to manage. When this happens, we seem to lose the place in our Self that is grounded, calm, capable and feels like an adult. I work with people to restore their sense of Self as a grounded and capable entity, while helping to ease the parts of them that are worried, anxious, traumatized and overwhelmed.