Recognizing how we become overwhelmed and some flower essences that can help


  1. to be overcome or taken over by something; swamped; engulfed; inundated
  2. to be deeply moved or stirred
  3. to defeat, trounce, or conquer

What creates a state of overwhelm? What is the process that happens that results in feeling that everything is too much? The process of becoming overwhelmed is not the same for everyone. Even the thing or things that lead to overwhelm for you one day might be totally fine the next. What makes the difference?

When you are overwhelmed, you usually lose touch with the awareness of your inner state of being. How can you recognize signs of overwhelm?

First of all, when you are overwhelmed you find that it is difficult to take in more information. It’s hard to process or evaluate an experience you are having and then respond appropriately. When you are overwhelmed, you may feel inundated by information, fast-moving experiences, and input from others. It’s as if you have bitten off too much and you cannot chew and swallow the events of life fast enough.

Second, you usually begin to have emotional reactions to things that are out of proportion to the actual event happening in the moment. When someone requests the smallest thing, you might feel angry, as if they are asking too much of you, or you might snap at them. You may easily feel victimized or like people are taking advantage of you, even when they are not.

Third, you usually will feel as if you cannot handle things very well, and indeed, you cannot. Simple tasks that are normally easily manageable are suddenly monumental chores. You feel as if you “have to” accomplish something and the concept of choice has suddenly left the equation.

Fourth, you may begin to measure your success in terms of what you have accomplished and not in the quality of the experiences you are having. How many things you check off your to-do list is more important than the way in which you accomplished them.

Fifth, your mind usually keeps trying harder and harder to handle everything but without success. No matter how determined your mind is to control yourself, you are unable to function with the necessary amount of focus or accuracy. You may feel that to admit that you are out of control or unable to continue to function in your usual way means that you have failed, so there may be unconscious or subconscious beliefs that may make overwhelm an even nastier thing to experience.

Sixth, the word “No” leaves your vocabulary. It becomes difficult, or even impossible, to make appropriate boundaries because you don’t have the capacity to evaluate and state your needs. You may take on more and more responsibilities because you can’t say no.

These are just a few ways to recognize that we are overwhelmed. As inundated that you are, it is often difficult to know how to stop. Probably the most difficult thing to grasp when you are overwhelmed is the realization that you must surrender to the fact that you are overwhelmed.

It’s important to know that everyone gets overwhelmed at times. We live in an age where there is an abundance of information available. Added to that, we are targeted by others and by commercial interests to gain our attention. We need to cultivate choice when we are bombarded by attention seekers in all their forms. How can we turn the distractive attempts of others into choice-making opportunities?

The Gift of the Present

The first strategy to use when you realize that you are overwhelmed is to stop. Take a deep breath. Come into the present moment where things really can look differently. Crisis – Desert Emergency Formula is for precisely that. This most popular flower essence formula brings us into the present moment where solutions can be found. Many folks, myself included, carry this essence with them all the time for just such help.

I am reminded of the fact that the present really is a gift. Maybe that is why it is called the present. When you can allow your awareness to focus on yourself and where your body is, anything can change. When your breath can deepen and lengthen, you calm down. A calm state is one in which you can clearly evaluate and make choices.

It can be helpful if you are overwhelmed to use the Crisis – Desert Emergency Formula continually throughout the day. You can use seven drops in a large glass of water and sip it every few minutes. Or, you can continuously use four drops directly from the stock bottle.

Integrate and Evaluate


Usually, using the Crisis – Desert Emergency Formula is enough to support you in coming out of overwhelm. However, if you are still having a challenge in integrating enough of the backlog of information that created the overwhelm in the first place, you can use Dyssodia.

This yellow flower helps us to assimilate and clarify information, knowledge or wisdom. It helps us to bring things through into consciousness that are felt or sensed but not yet known, so it can speed up the process of dealing with the backlog.

Make Choices

Once you have integrated and evaluated enough of your present situation, it’s time to make choices based upon what you need. If this is a challenge for you, use Making & Honoring Boundaries Formula. It can help you put yourself first and make the choices and decisions that will help you out of overwhelm.

This flower essence can restore a consciousness that it is possible, and often necessary, to say no to situations or people that are creating the state of overwhelm. This flower essence helps empower you, put your needs first, then communicate them to those around you. This is most often the way you can give yourself enough time to process all of the events and situations that lead you into overwhelm.

Overwhelmed by Details


Some folks automatically feel overwhelmed when they are faced by a myriad of details. Pencil Cholla Cactus is the essence of choice for feeling this type of overwhelm. This cactus flower essence supports you in remaining focussed continually in the specific direction that will help you make sense of something.

When there are many details, some of us see them as an overabundance of information or choices and become distracted by them. It’s as if the mind wants to fully integrate and understand them all at once and it bounces from detail to detail attempting to take them all in at once.

Pencil Cholla Cactus is like an inner compass that can help you see details for what they are: detailed bits of information that can be integrated one at a time, in a specific order, that ultimately can lead to full understanding of the greater picture. You can use this flower essence to mitigate your overwhelm with all the details and make friends with them.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person’s specific needs. Different people have different issues. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for you.

Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]

For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

Recommended Flower Essences

Crisis-Desert Emergency Formula
helps bring you into the present moment, supporting calm, clear thinking and body awareness
aids in processing unassimilated information and experiences
Making & Honoring Boundaries Formula
assists you in evaluating your needs, making choices that support your higher good, and communicating them to others
Pencil Cholla Cactus
for feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by details