Author Topic: emotional overload  (Read 1316 times)

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
emotional overload
« on: July 25, 2021, 04:28:38 PM »
I am in a bad way. I can't go into too specific details. Basically some recent events have caused my life to very suddenly be flipped upside down. My view of my self has been shattered (but not in a good way, at least for now). I am not the person I thought I was. I've had revelations about myself that have put me into a total emotional overload. I haven't been sleeping well. I am often sick with nervousness. Difficulty focusing at my job, at home, while relaxing, trying to have fun... Old fears and habits are coming back to haunt me, like anxiety in public places, around strangers.

What's worse is that it's not only myself but other people are involved and I feel like I could easily hurt them if I make one wrong move. I know I've already made some mistakes; because of the initial shock and confusion I wasn't thinking clearly. Then upon trying to improve things I think I made them worse. Now I'm just trying to maintain some level of baseline calmness but it's very hard. It's very hard to meditate cause I'm so tried, due to lack of sleeping properly.
I need some advice, any advice, any techniques to help. At times I feel on the verge of insanity. My aunt, years ago, had a nervous breakdown when her husband left her... it was not pretty.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

dharma bum

  • Member
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2021, 05:19:48 PM »
I think you should get a good nutritious meal and try to get a good night's sleep. Do whatever routine you know from experience makes you sleep well. Go for a walk (even if you don't feel like it), listen to a dharma talk, read a book etc (These help me sleep well. It might be different for you).

When you don't eat properly or don't sleep well, the emotions tend to be wild and exaggerated. You can deal with things better when you are well-rested.
Mostly ignorant

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2021, 12:44:37 PM »
Hi mobius,

I second everything dharma bum has written above. A sleep routine is incredibly helpful - and preferably one that gets you in bed at about 10pm with no screens in sight. Keeping regular helps with sleep as much as it does with taking a shit.

It comes down to grounding yourself. At the moment you are clearly getting tied in knots by self-doubt and a lot of negative self-talk. This is often indicative of having an external locus of self-esteem, "how am I (and my actions) being perceived by others?". To embody your power and gain healthy control it is a good idea to shift to an internal locus of self-esteem, "am I making wholesome choices in line with my own morals and ethics". This is a common dividing line between anxiety/worry and a more peaceful existence.

You might wish to consider sharing what you are going through with a cognitive behavioural therapist and, if that's not an option, with a truly trusted friend or your partner. Some external feedback can be really helpful at times, even though one goal is the internal locus I've described: it's about expedient means to get there.

You aren't your aunt. You have awareness of what you are going through, something people who break down are usually missing. Find some faith in yourself and your basic goodness: the ground on which both a happy life and good practice rest.

Don't be shy to keep pushing if reflections offered here seem inadequate or lacking practicability. You can find your feet, however deep a hole you find yourself in.

Forget about meditation for now. Take a few deep breaths a few times a day and remind yourself you are a good person with good intentions and deserve happiness and contentment.

M
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 12:46:57 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 06:23:51 AM »
Doctors recommend melatonin for sleep which can become addictive and does not help as much with longetivity.

Dr. Andrew Huberman based on significant and solid research suggests a cocktail of : magnesium threonate, apigenin and l-Theanine (200mg) for better sleep quality. all three are available at amazon without prescription and are non addictive - i.e. you can start and stop at wish. consult your physician in case you have heart related issues.

what they primarily do is they reduce activity in the frontal part of brain for some time which is what is stopping someone who is anxious or dealing with uncertainty from sleeping. good sleep also helps in regulating diet. when the body hasn't slept it feel it is threatened and needs to conserve energy. as digestion takes up significant energy, body reduces appetite to save energy for immediate threat..

anyways, these 3 will cost you about 80 dollar for a 2 month supply and help immediately I have been told. in some countries where significant people watch andrew huberman's talks, amazon will show a package of all three when you search for any one.

I hope it helps and you come out of this phase of life with more grace, maturity and understanding, no matter the physical consequences.

With metta,
Siddharth
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 07:01:42 AM by Siddharth »
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Alex

  • Member
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2021, 03:56:47 PM »
Hi Mobius,

Over time the significance of these revelations will become more clear… but now… it is not easy to have long-held illusions crushed, quite the contrary, it can be very hard.

The distress and desperate attempts to make it better only seem to make it worse (both internally and externally) and fuel a fear of having a breakdown.

So, I agree with what’s been said: go back to basics. Food, sleep, grounding exercises or light physical work or activity. Be in the body. Any relaxation exercise you know. Every daily decision oriented towards selfcare.

All this in the spirit of acceptance. Whatever the judgements you yourself or other people make, you have the right to be exactly where you are right now. Really, it’s okay, you are allowed to be exactly where you are.
Also accepting that having your life thrown upside down has stirred up a lot of stress and that the mind-body needs time to unwind… on its own rhythm. Accepting that certain thoughts, images, judgements or external words or triggers will hit you like bomb again, and you will need to start over, again and again. It will happen, and it’s not your fault. Trying to control or speed up the process, will only create more stress.
Maybe you need to remind yourself of this accepting quality… maybe a word or an image on a piece of paper can do just that, you can then put it somewhere visible in order to remind you of the direction in which you want to move.

I also often find taking a different perspective helpful: what if the person you hold dearest in this life was in precisely the situation you find yourself in, what would you tell him/her? Or inversely, what would your kindest or wisest friend say to you (can even be an imaginary entity, like a deity)? Take your time to do such an exercise, allow yourself to take this in.

And as suggested, don’t be afraid to ask for more help to unwind in whichever place you find suitable.

Kindly
Alex

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 02:33:32 AM »
thanks so much for the love, all. I will take these pieces of advice to heart.

As a brief update/clarification; while I'm still reeling from this, the initial super intense obsessive dark cloud that hung over me for about a week; vanished just as quickly and mysteriously as it came. And while things aren't great; I think I haven't damaged my reputation or others too terribly. I know things will improve and all these feelings will pass, but it will take time. I'm a different person now and I have to take the time required to adjust to that.
In a way it's a good thing; it's something actually that I wish I would've known a lot sooner.

Even on difficult days I try to meditate for at least 5 minutes; when it becomes impossible I get up.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

dharma bum

  • Member
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2021, 03:49:22 PM »
Quote
As a brief update/clarification; while I'm still reeling from this, the initial super intense obsessive dark cloud that hung over me for about a week; vanished just as quickly and mysteriously as it came. And while things aren't great; I think I haven't damaged my reputation or others too terribly. I know things will improve and all these feelings will pass, but it will take time. I'm a different person now and I have to take the time required to adjust to that.

I think it is helpful to meditate on past events - how anxious one gets and how it passes - as preparation of future events.

Whenever I do something that causes me embarrassment, I try to look at it from a positive side - it will help to dissolve my ego. When I am feeling pleased with myself (usually when I think I did something well), then I try to remind myself of the time I was embarrassed with myself. In this way I try to come to the centre. I think it helps over a period of time. Over the course of time, I have become better at both these feelings - of shame and pride, which are basically the same thing.
Mostly ignorant

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2021, 03:38:10 PM »

 get a good nutritious meal.


Hi Mobius,
I too advocate for a nutritious meal and also meal to avoid. Some of my relatives thought i am crazy when i said i avoid drinks/foods that contain caffeine to avoid feeling depressed and anxiety.

I know it is hard to read about food intake when you have the world turning upside down for you. But it really can help minimise roller coaster mood which affect how you think and feels.  Few days back i got a very bad anxiety after drinking Maxxxxxx Yogurt drink with nata de coco. , just half a cup and that day evening i thought i am going into some deep trouble in some exchange policy stuff and like i am going to loose the game for sure, a couple of thousand dollars worth of stuff.

With leaky guts and irritated bowel symptoms ((IBS)) . I have to be very mindful to keep an eye on the food i took.  Milk , beer and spicy foods can drive me very cranky and irritated after consuming and sometimes i snapped at my close one easily.

Do read up on vitamins to take. I myself took b complex to relieve stress and concentrate better. When my eye lids twitched a lot i will take calcium. Hope you didn't avoid taking eggs everyday.

You have been here for quite a long time and probably know how to meditate so i don't want to touch on that further, and the rest of members are always giving good advises on that portion.

  I just want to say keeping our body and mind healthy( by mean of exercise, healthy food, healthy life style as much as possible )) is necessary even if we meditate.

Hope you get over the dark days quick.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2021, 09:44:20 PM »
How are you doing mobius?
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Vajrayana/Qigong/Theravada
    • Everything is somehow just fine!
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2021, 12:07:33 AM »
How are you doing mobius?


I would like to know how mobius is doing as well.


And dear Matthew, how are you? I think of you from time to time.


Peace and enlightenment.
May we see the emptiness of all phenomena

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2021, 05:17:27 PM »
And dear Matthew, how are you? I think of you from time to time.

Thank you for asking Dhamma. I'm OK - and prefer not to derail mobius' thread, so will answer with an update in my ongoing "procrastination" thread soon :)
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2022, 05:47:49 PM »
thanks for asking about me, and sorry for not responding in such a long time.

I'm doing mostly okay, in regards to this issue at least. I might make a separate topic for this, if I go into this, which I'd like to but am embarrassed about. Still in a lot of denial and aversion about it though. My biggest problem is I keep thinking; things were going so so, improving slowly in my life until this happened and while in some way it feels like nothing happened and everything's the same as it was, in some ways it feels like I've been set back in a major way.

This may be completely unrelated but I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, I know I should go to bed earlier and every single night for months now I just don't. I stay up later for no reason, often I'm not even doing anything important or fun. And I still now for about a year have completely lost my decent meditation habit that was going well. Now I can't seem to stay focused for a minute at a time, and it seems obvious the sleep issue has something to do with it. I noticed from the very beginning that the more tired I am the harder it is to focus. I've gotten into a stupid habit that is only hurting me. And I'm also now apparently plagued by migraine headaches every weekend (when I sleep later), another common thing that runs in my family.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 05:50:57 PM by mobius »
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: emotional overload
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2022, 06:00:35 AM »
Hi mobius,

Good to hear from you.

Quote
This may be completely unrelated but I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, I know I should go to bed earlier and every single night for months now I just don't. I stay up later for no reason, often I'm not even doing anything important or fun.

It doesn't seem unrelated. You mentioned in the original post you were having trouble with sleep.

It sounds from your description that you are showing signs of anxiety. The kind of sleeping pattern you write about is often brought about by this. It's been a growing problem for many people over the last couple of years as the world got turned upside down. You aren't alone.

I found myself suffering similar issues earlier this year. Listening to a podcast that touched on mental health issues, I recognised I was going through what was being described. Maybe it's different for you, though I'll sum it up as it may help.

I was overloading on internet use, social media, and news: it was causing anxiety and sleep problems. The solution was to set limits for myself and be disciplined about it. I deleted Facebook last year, but was reading a lot of news still. So, I set limits for myself: I decided to listen to the news once a day, and spend 15 minutes looking at a newspaper online. When I put this into practice, my anxiety levels dropped and my sleep improved very quickly.

Maybe for you the trigger is different? It could be this negative self-esteem you seem to be suffering from. It doesn't matter too much, the basics always work.

Sila/self-discipline is really helpful in negotiating hard times. It applies to everything you describe as problematic for you. It's also related to what I wrote above about having an external or internal locus of self-esteem.

If you are worrying about the world or other people's opinions this will lead you to an unbalanced way of life: all coming from an external locus of self-esteem.

The antidotes to this aren't rocket science - and are simple to put into place.

Ground yourself in your own experience. Walking in nature helps if that is possible..

If you struggle with formal meditation, you can try just laying flat on your back with one hand on your belly; breathe in deep and long, breathe out deep and longer; feel your belly rising and falling; let yourself feel your feelings. This changes both the way your brain chemistry works, by increasing blood oxygen levels and releasing positive neurochemical transmitters, and connects you to bodily feelings and emotions. The effect on anxiety happens very quickly: within a week or so there is a noticeable release of tension.

Try sitting without judgement; there's no such thing as good or bad meditation really:  however disturbed, however short, just sitting - even for ten minutes, and even if it feels your mind is wandering - will also kickstart feeling better in yourself.

The basics always help: eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, getting into a good sleep routine, exercising (even a 20 minutes walk), and being honest and compassionate with yourself, and with those around you.

It really is all very achievable. The path is there and you only have to walk on it. One step at a time, accepting not everything will be perfect, but realising that each aspect you choose to take control of will make the next one easier.

I wish you success in reclaiming power over your experience of life. Find peace with yourself by choosing right action.

Matthew


~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
7161 Views
Last post December 06, 2007, 07:16:55 AM
by Matthew
12 Replies
6691 Views
Last post March 31, 2011, 06:24:20 AM
by Vivek
7 Replies
4762 Views
Last post December 08, 2012, 08:22:03 PM
by Quardamon
14 Replies
6538 Views
Last post July 01, 2014, 07:50:29 PM
by Matthew
2 Replies
1865 Views
Last post June 29, 2014, 02:22:54 PM
by Stanislav
2 Replies
1784 Views
Last post September 22, 2014, 06:23:47 PM
by Obol
5 Replies
3572 Views
Last post September 10, 2015, 05:23:55 PM
by Vivek