What to Ask Yourself When You Feel Overwhelmed, Stressed, or Anxious

Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments

Image Credit: Tiny Buddha

By Kamsin Kaneko | Tiny Buddha

“Clear your mind. Your heart is trying to tell you something.” ~Unknown

Words have incredible power. I’d like to share three little words that can unlock your inner magic. They can help you cut through the layers that stand in the way of your inner truth and help you get in touch with your highest self. The peaceful, compassionate, loving self that knows what you need in any given moment and wants to bring goodness to the world.


But I better tell you now that they are simple words that may not seem earth shattering at first.

These words have become part of my life in the last few months. When I am feeling tired, stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed I ask myself this simple question. It forces me to stop and listen to myself. Then I can take action from a calm and peaceful state.

What Are These Three Words that Can Unlock Your Inner Magic?

So what are the simple words I have found that help me to stop in the middle of stressful situations? How can I tune into the reality at the heart of every circumstance? With three little words, which form a simple question:

What is so?

Isn’t it often the simplest things that have the most profound impact? Allow me to share why these words have been so powerful for me.


I am the mom of one high-energy and very curious four-year-old boy. We also happen to live in Japan, where I am a foreigner. Japan can be a stressful place for a foreign mom. I get overwhelmed. I misunderstand things. I feel out of control.

I am a writer, but procrastination and the struggle to find the time to write kick my butt over and over again.

Maybe you have those feeling too, whatever your circumstances.

Learning to Make Choices to Respond Wisely

There are key moments in the day when I have decisions to make. To be honest there was a time, not long ago, when I didn’t believe I could make those choices.

There are moments when I would give in to procrastination when I should be taking action. Or moments when I would force myself to push through and do things when I need to sit and rest.

Moments when I would get angry with my son when he needs me to be calm and help him process his own difficult emotions. Or moments when I would get stressed out by overcrowded places when I have no choice but to take my place among the crowds.

There are voices that run through my head in those moments. They tell me things I should be doing or things other people shouldn’t be doing. I have a litany of judgments about how things should be different to what they are in the moments of my day.

In those moments when I’m struggling, those voices come from somewhere other than my own inner wisdom. When I react poorly, it is often because I am more worried about what other people will think. My mind gets caught up in a million thoughts that do not serve me.

I snap. I react. I get mad at people pushing me on a crowded escalator and push back. I become the thing I hate and judge myself along with everyone else.

So I am learning to stop and take a deep breath and ask myself “What is so?”

What Is So?

These three words cause me to slow down long enough to listen to what’s going on with me. I may just be hungry or tired or distracted by something I read online that continues to run through my mind.

If I am procrastinating on a writing project, for example, I need to listen through the fear and the doubt to the voice underneath. The voice that says, “You’ve got this. You are good enough. You are safe. Everything is okay. You have everything you need right here and now.”

If I’m getting mad at how other people are behaving, perhaps it is because, as my husband always says, it’s their first time being human. Hell, maybe it’s my first time being human. We are all still practicing this humanity thing.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE…….

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