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smiling woman in PIN 8 powerful ways to stop feeling overwhelmed

Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? Keep reading to find out practical ways to stop feeling overwhelmed when you feel stuck in a rut.

In our fast-paced society, it’s clear feeling overwhelmed is a universal struggle. With the long drawn out pandemic and restrictions, it will come as no surprise if your mental health becomes affected.

When we feel overwhelmed or fear, our brain interprets this as danger. What you’ll probably discover is that most of your fears are internally created. You may be afraid because of what you think will happen rather than what is actually happening. What you may feel is real but the circumstances you may be imagining are not.

How many times have you worked yourself up just before an event? You do your fair share of pacing back and forth, pupils dilating, sweat dripping down your face, rehearsing the conversation you are about to have with your boss, only to walk into your bosses office to find out that it didn’t go half as bad as you thought it would. You may have an endless to-do list, with no end to your tasks in sight.

If everything compounds and goes on long enough, you might start experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety (such as breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, headaches and body pains), as well as increasingly low mood and energy.

The great news is that there are tools to help you stop feeling overwhelmed at any given moment.

Ways To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

Pause and take a deep breath

When in a state of overwhelm, the heart rate goes up as a result of the biological ‘fight or flight’ response.

Taking a deep breath slows down the heart rate and helps stimulate relaxation, which would calm you down and help you start to think rationally.

When you inhale, breathe in slowly through your nose, until your lungs are almost full. Exhale slowly through your nose, not your mouth, until almost all the air is expelled.

Each breath in and out should feel comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable, then you are inhaling or exhaling for too long.

Events are not overwhelming

Realise that the tasks you may need to do in themselves are not overwhelming but what causes overwhelm is the energy, focus or attitude you put towards the tasks.

For example, I have often found that the attitude with which I start my day massively influences the rest of my day. It can influence how busy, overwhelmed I get, and even how I perceive people’s attitudes towards me sometimes.

Have a positive mental attitude

A positive mental attitude is a belief that you can increase your achievements through being optimistic, and that you will be alright in the end, because your Creator will never steer you incorrectly.

Having this type of attitude helps you not to stress or worry because Your you will better listen to your intuition and make better decisions.

Having a positive mental attitude will help you to deal with things when you feel overwhelmed.

Surrender

Surrender things that you cannot control and focus on the things that are within your control.

In this instance I’m not referring to delegating, but to surrendering in your mind.

Overwhelm begins in the mind before the nervous system instructs the body to release stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.

Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People refers to this as your ‘circle of influence’.

If we put our time and energy into worrying about the things that are in our circle of concern (things we have no control over), we will continue to feel out of control and more overwhelmed. But if we put our time and energy into our circle of influence we will feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

Before events can grow in your mind and cause you to feeling overwhelmed, make the conscious decision to only give attention to what you can control, and surrender what you can’t control.

Hands up if you have heard the term “faith without works is dead?” I believe it; it’s true! The following are practical ways to help you stop feeling overwhelmed, and complement the internal ways to help overwhelm, mentioned prior.

Brain dump

A brain dump is a simple technique to help you declutter your mind and thoughts. It helps you gain focus on things that need doing. Brain dumping also helps you organize your time and efforts. Meaning you usually are much more productive and calmer too.

Get a sheet of paper and a pen and transfer everything from your brain unto the sheet of paper.

Maybe there’s a bill you need to pay, someone you need to call, or an important email you need to send. Everything needs to go on this list!

Do this for as long as it takes until you feel you have gotten everything out of your mind and onto the paper.

Do it! Delegate it! Dump it!

Decide on the tasks that should be done by you and the tasks that should be done by someone else.

Put aside those things that you’ve decided should be delegated or done by someone else and focus on the tasks that should be done by you.

If you delegate tasks correctly, it will help free your time to work on the more important duties and reduce your overwhelming feelings.

Prioritize

From the list of things that you’ve decided only you can deal with, highlight the most important three things in that list and sort them out in order or priority.

Prioritizing helps you to complete the most important and the most urgent tasks first. It helps you to stay focussed.

When you prioritize, you are less likely to become distracted and you will gain more of a sense of purpose.

Focus on one thing at a time

In order for you not to get overwhelmed and to ensure you work to your full capacity, focus on one thing at a time.

Once you finish THAT one most important thing, you can focus on the next most important thing on your list, and so on, until you finish all the tasks you set for yourself.

Conclusion

It’s important to see the whole map when you’re planning your life.

You need to know what you want, but overthinking all the tasks you need to do at the same time will only fill your brain with unnecessary information and lead you to feel overwhelmed.

On the contrary, if you think too small or focus most of your efforts on minute details, you can easily overwhelm yourself.

It’s important to have the right balance, so break down your tasks into manageable chunks and focus at the most important things first.

What do you do to help you reduce your stress?

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Please share this post if you found it useful, and stay elevated.

Ngozi Signature Elevated Mum

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