You probably can’t find anyone over the age of 10 that hasn’t felt overwhelmed at some point, and if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, it doesn’t take much to get overwhelmed compared to others, but the feeling and the impact are the same no matter how quickly you arrive there.
It can be very challenging to focus on solutions and take the necessary steps to resolve the situation when your mind is in overdrive and your nervous system has moved into stress mode. However, focus and action can solve most challenging situations in your life.
We all know that worrying about it won’t solve the issue… it just prolongs the agony.
10 steps to get from feeling overwhelmed to peaceful:
1. Take a few deep breaths. Before you can think clearly about solutions, you need to calm your nervous system down because it’s preparing to flee from a tiger so your rational brain is not being prioritized. You can trick your nervous system into thinking you’re relaxed with this simple technique: breathe in for the count of 4, hold it for 7, and exhale for 8. Repeat 3 times (or more if you need it).
2. Identify what is under your control. There’s little point to worrying about those things outside your locus of control. Determine what you can control and place your attention there.
3. Focus on solutions. Now that you know what you can and can’t change, keep your attention on finding a solution. Obsessing over the problem won’t accomplish anything other than driving up your stress levels. Time and attention spent on solutions is the best way out of a mess.
4. Create a strategy. Make a plan for putting your solution into action. Figure out what you need to do and put as much time and effort into your plan as you can. The more you do, the better your odds of overcoming your challenges.
5. Get your rest. Being overwhelmed is stressful. It’s important to get your rest to recover as much as possible. A good night’s sleep is highly under-rated! Sleep impacts your mind, body and performance. Without quality sleep, you’re simply not healthy.
6. Eat well. Many people stop eating when they’re highly stressed. Others resort to eating a lot of junk. Neither is going to be good for you or help you to deal with your situation. Maintain good nutrition during challenging times.
7. Remind yourself that there is good in your life. Be grateful for what you have. You probably have more than the vast majority of people in the world. Make a list of all the things and people you have in your life that you appreciate and remind yourself of just how lucky you are.
8. Blow off some steam. Exercise or an outdoor activity might be just what you need to burn up that extra energy. You’ll feel less anxious and have an easier time getting a good night’s sleep. Take the time to get your body moving and get some fresh air to recalibrate.
9. Celebrate your successes. Even a little progress is worthy of celebration. Be proud of yourself and get excited about moving forward. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This is highly motivating. One success leads to another and even the smallest steps count.
10. Get help. Two heads and four hands can accomplish more than just a single person. Ask for help and see what happens. The worst anyone can do is say “no”. You won’t be any worse off. If you find yourself living in a state of overwhelm quite often, help can also take the form of coaching or therapy. Get the help you need.
Overwhelm is an emotion everyone is familiar with. It can be debilitating if you fail to address it properly. Worrying only makes you feel worse and makes you less capable. Focus on solutions and put your time and energy into things that support your wellbeing.
To your High Vitality Life,
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