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  • “Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a commentary.”
    Jorge Luis Borges

    OVERWHELMICS: The Science of Overwhelm, Its Causes, Symptoms, and Cures

    This pamphlet sets forth the causes, symptoms, and cures for the condition of feeling overwhelmed. Published by the Institute for the Overwhelmed. 50 pages.

    This short work on overwhelm contains several useful self-diagnosis tools which may be used by the reader to see if in fact he or she is experiencing genuine overwhelm, or simply faux overwhelm, also known as imagined overwhelm, phantom overwhelm, and pre-overwhelm.

    Genuine overwhelm is described in considerable detail, and is noted as presenting symptoms such as pervasive ongoing fatigue, loss of pleasure in one’s ordinary life, a desire to go on retreat in a Buddhist or Cistercian monastery, a sense of alienation from others, and the inability to deal with mundane chores.

    Overwhelm can have many causes, and this pamphlet helpfully lists several of these, according to current research. These include and are briefly discussed: Taking on more than one can reasonably handle, receiving an influx of communications 24/7, (all of which must be answered immediately), being part of an excessive number of dialogues simultaneously, watching several television programs at the same time to a point where all meaning is lost, experiencing unsolvable computer software problems for which personal tech support is not available, trying to work through problems in a relationship where every step forward creates six steps backward, trying to master several new skills at the same time (knitting, sky diving, and tax return preparation), and multitasking one’s personalities for different venues and audiences, often simultaneously (personal, professional, creative, familial) with no time outs to focus on just one personality at a time.

    Curing overwhelm usually requires the intervention of a trained counselor, therapist, or spiritual advisor, and the cures thus can vary considerably depending on the seriousness of the case. However, for those in immediate overwhelm crisis, a few helpful tips are provided, such as: planning a time out, spending time in nature every day, limiting the time one spends at the computer, reading only one book at a time, eliminating television, radio and any form of ‘news,’ creating within one’s living space “a room of one’s own,” which may be used for mindfulness meditation whenever the symptoms of overwhelm become acute, and focusing on writing only one book at a time, not the usual five.

    SUMMARY: This is a most useful Introduction to the science of Overwhelmics, and has been endorsed and recommended by the Association of Former Overwhelmeds, Professionals Against Overwhelm, and The Society for the Elimination of Overwhelm.

    Information on how to obtain a free copy of OVERWHELMICS is available on the website for the Institute for the Overwhelmed:

    (Posted by the Archives of Anomalous Anachronisms)
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