8 steps to overcome overwhelmedness!
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
This is a very usual complaint in this ‘try to do everything and be everywhere’ life we lead. You’ll be pleased to know that there are some quite simple things you can do, which will make a great and positive difference in how you cope and therefore feel.
There are three main causes for being overwhelmed: information, stuff to do and emotional issues. You have already taken the first and most important step and that is recognising that you are feeling overwhelmed and now here are some more easy things you can do which can make a big constructive modification in your life.
One thought is that the root cause of stress and lack of wellbeing is frequently ‘not feeling in control’ – this addresses many issues to do with lack of time; poor / difficult relationships; overwhelmed and always tired. So, an issue can be – how can I regain the feeling of control?
Some top tips to regain control over YOU are:
1. STOP! Breathe (use the Mind Chi square belly breath)
Gets oxygen to the brain, so the response you give is a considered action not a re-action.
2. Re-frame – I do not HAVE to do this. Now, what do I want to do?
Upon reflection you quite often decide that you do actually want to do it! (To keep your job; to please someone; to get that report off your desk.)
3. Put on a different emotion.
The environment can influence your attitude and emotions, but you are always the one choosing – so ask yourself, is being short-tempered helping me (or anyone else) at this moment? If not, what emotion would serve me (and others) better.
4. Do or think of something crazy and if possible funny.
Completely remove yourself (by thought) from what is causing the lack of feeling in control. Cultivate a few favourite vignettes where you can be there in a multi-sensory way in a second.
5. Stop the ‘chicken circles’!
‘Chicken circles’ are where your thoughts go around and round and go nowhere.
It makes it feel that everything is even worse than it is! To stop these chicken circles, you need to do a ‘brain dump’. Take a (preferably brightly coloured) piece of paper and write down ALL the stuff that is crowding your head. Keep this piece by you and add to it as another item comes into your head. Then you can look over it and select the few where you can make an adjustment.
6. Write it down!
When you have selected your priorities for the day, WRITE THEM DOWN SOMEWHERE! Then as you do them you can tick them off – yea! Feelings of great satisfaction and you can see (and show people) what you have achieved.
7. Toss it out of your boat!
A very quick way to underwhelm yourself is to ask yourself, ‘Does (fill in the blank) go inside or outside of my boat?!’ There really is only so much space and weight that can fit into your boat before it will sink! So, this is a really good way to stop lots of extra stuff crawling into your mind/life/boat – just toss it out (better still, never let it even come in!)
8. Moment of contentment
Cultivate several relatively ‘little’ things you can do which you know you enjoy: make a cup of tea; listen to a piece of music; quickly phone a friend; look at a tree / flower / shell… and relish that moment of quiet contemplation and relaxation, just for you! It is quite amazing how you can return feeling as though you can manage after all.
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