How to stop feeling overwhelmed

So, right now life seems to be moving at 100mph (or km/h for my metric friends). Big changes are on the horizon and just a few days ago I was trying to mentally organise the increasing number of things ‘to do’ and miserably failing. Very quickly I was experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed like cresting waves over my body and I realised I needed to slow down in order to get anything done. I needed to tap back into my usual ‘zen mode’.

So here are my top tips for dealing with those feelings:

Ask for help

Remember that saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’? There’s definitely some truth to it. You don’t have to handle this all by yourself, call in the big guns. Get your support network out and let them blaze a trail for you. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the people in my life right now helping me out, you know you’d do it for them so why not let them help you? They don’t mind, just imagine the situation in reverse. They are in your support network for a reason- let them support you and delegate any tasks you think you can offload.

Breathe

Seems like a no-brainer. But I noticed my breaths started getting shallower the more overwhelmed I was feeling. As soon as I was aware of that I could focus on getting big healthy doses of oxygen back into my body. It has an immediate effect and oxygen seems to dissipate all that random gunk floating around in your mind clouding your thought processes- the fresher the air the better. Go with it… nice deep breaths now.

Be present

What do you mean? I’m always present?! Well no, you’re not. Unless you are a trained Tibetan Monk my guess is that 90% of your thoughts are either thinking about later on today or some other time in the future, or thinking about things you should have done yesterday or sometime in the past. Hold ya horses will you?! Bring yourself into this present moment. I like to do this by actually touching something near me. I focus on the feel of the object and realise I’m not hurtling forwards at unimaginable speed after all. Another way to simply be present is mindfully eating which I have written about in a previous post.

Give yourself a break!

I mean it. I know you probably think that is the worst idea ever, I mean you’ve got so much to do, so many people to see, no time to think- stop! Take some ‘me time’. I went into the gym with a brain brimming with several uncontrollable trains of thought making me feel a bit giddy. I came out of there with a clear head and renewed confidence in my abilities to take on anything. Funny how a good workout makes you feel that way. But if a workout isn’t your thing then just do what is right for you, the key is no guilt!

 

Write a list

If you are lying in bed with thoughts tumbling around and around and around your mind with seemingly no end. Just grab a pen and paper, write them down until you have none left to think about and that is your plan of action for the next few days. I absolutely hate that jolt of panic when you’re just about to doze off and you remember something you haven’t/need to do or think about. Just write it down and get back on that sweet journey to the land of nod.

 

Bonus tip: If you are lucky enough to live near the seaside, go and put your feet in the water. For me, it is a truly humbling feeling to feel that gigantic body of water overflow my little feet and drain back with it some of my worries into the sea.

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