Have you ever had a day or days when you feel completely overwhelmed by your life and work? There are many intense emotions associated with feeling overwhelmed. These may include irritability, anger and anxiety; maladaptive thought processes, such as helplessness or doubt, and behavior including panic attacks and crying. It is important to manage these emotions, and here are some helpful ways to fight overwhelm.
When stressors are imminent, unpredictable and unfamiliar, then it is normal to experience some degree of anxiety. When you accept that this is normal, instead of fighting it, you take control.
When you are multitasking, you are doing too many things at once. This results in an overwhelming feeling. We have to shift our perspective and change this behavior of expecting that everything has to be done right now. Having singular focus on each activity will limit your distractions and confusion.
When you are always worried about what may happen in future, you will never enjoy the present moments. It becomes impossible to appreciate what good things are happening now. It is essential to schedule time to plan for the future, instead of worrying about it. By doing this, you can have space to breathe in the present moment.
Our body’s relaxation response is boosted with deep breathing. Additionally, there are many stress-reducing and calming activities which use deep breathing in conjunction with other activities, such as yoga, Tai chi, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation.
To get over the overwhelming feeling, you should engage yourself in an activity that you enjoy the most. For example, taking a walk, reading a book or listening to music. Also, consider what stressors are triggering overwhelm and which ones you can control, and which ones you can’t. By realizing the level of control you have, and letting go of worries you can’t control, you can reduce the feeling of overwhelm.
Thoughts of unpredictability or uncontrollability are the backbone of overwhelm. It is the unreasonable and unrealistic thoughts that lead to a stressful reaction. Therefore, it is necessary to learn to create helpful thoughts. Focus on what you can do, instead of things you can’t
Each of these ideas should provide you with some freedom from feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be anxious about implementing them all at once but instead try them one at a time and see what works best for you.