Perhaps it gets worse during certain times of the year. Or, you have noticed that you are in a state of being overwhelmed more often than you are not feeling this way? It also may seem as if everyone else has their you know what together, and that they have somehow secretly tapped into figuring things out that are a mystery to you.
Don’t worry, you are not alone when it comes to feeling this way. Every day I hear this same sentiment expressed so often, I chose to share some of the suggestions I tell others who are experiencing this. However, I first want to talk about the reasons you might be feeling this way.
One of the reasons we feel overwhelmed is because we get caught up in thinking we have to do everything immediately. We don’t. As a matter of fact, when we take back control and realize this, it’s the first step to gaining back control of the sense you feel you don’t have any.
We are very fortunate to be living in a time period when we have so many choices. However, having so many choices can further add to being overwhelmed. Have you heard the concept that not making a decision is in fact a decision? Realizing this alone can help to notch down your sense of being overwhelmed. Conversely, when you do make a decision, it is in fact progress, and this can also help you to move forward.
Being overwhelmed can feel like you are stuck, either physically or mentally. Applying movement of any kind towards this feeling can in fact nudge you away from being in this situation. The sense that there is too much going on, can cause you to feel as if things are out of control. However, this is really only happening in your brain, and you do have the ability to change this narrative running through your mind.
Yes, in fact there may be a number of activities and choices for you to make, but when you step back and truly think of them and how to deal with them one at a time, you can in fact slow things down. Slowing things down also contributes to lessening the sensation of being overwhelmed.
Here are some other methods you can apply to reducing your sense of being overwhelmed to a much lower state. Or, perhaps feel this sense entirely evaporate for periods of time.
- Turn your thinking around by looking at your life as a journey. Versus it being a sprint.
- Get up, get out, and literally start moving your body around. It will take your mind off of obsessing what is contributing to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Listening to music can instantly put you into a different state of mind. Which type makes you feel happy? Turn this type of music on and listen to it until you feel like you are back in charge and not as overwhelmed. If you are a procrastinator, limit your music listening time to 30 minutes. Think of this as a reward.
- Do something which is creative, even if you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body. Actually, everyone is creative in some way. You may not have yet discovered what your creative outlet is yet. Now would be a good time to explore this.
- Sometimes we need to do something I call social weeding. What I mean by this is actually thinking about people in our life who contribute to us being overwhelmed. It is not always possible, but there are people I am certain you can take out, or weed out from your “social garden”. There are in fact people who are toxic to us, and you know who they are. At a minimum, reduce your interaction with them.
- Turn off your social media. Yes, all of it. Don’t listen to the news, and instead craft a list of the top things which are contributing to you being overwhelmed. Put the list aside, and come back to it in a few hours after you have done some of the other suggestions above.
- When you return to your list of what is overwhelming you, tackle one item at a time, and come up with one solution to make this list item less overwhelming. Breaking down what overwhelms you into a list format, and then applying solutions to it is one of the best ways to tackle putting you on the path to being less stressed. If you can’t come up with solutions on your own, ask someone you trust to help you.
- Rate each item on your list of what is overwhelming you on a scale of 1-10. Ten is off the charts. If half of your list ratings are over 5, work on the ones with a lower number first. Then tackle the higher number ones when your list amount is decreasing.
- Set a goal of completing half your list in a realistic timeframe (e.g., 1-2 weeks). You will be amazed what can be done if you break down your tasks this way, and perhaps only deal with one of them a day. In two weeks, you can potentially have knocked off more than twelve items on the list of things that overwhelm you.
It is possible you might in fact be depressed, and this will contribute to your feeling of being overwhelmed. Statistically, the majority of our human population experiences some form of depression in their lifetime. However, if you have severe depression, being able to do the suggestions above might seem impossible. If this is the case, please consider talking to a mental health professional, as they can help you towards not having to feel this way.
My Mom has a saying I adopted many years ago. Every day you have a decision to make about how your day is going to be. You can choose to be happy, or not. You have the power to do this too, and my belief is that choosing to be happy is always the right choice.
Happy New Year, and thank you for your support and for following my writing in 2018. See you in 2019!
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their revenue numbers and market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.
Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, corporate and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance strengths and talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”, or your very own Wisdom Whisperer.
If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (339) 987-0195.