8 Steps to deal with Overwhelm
1. Step Out
You can’t get away from feeling overwhelmed from a place of overwhelming confusion. You have to step away to be able to view your circumstances from a fresh perspective.
Move to a different room, get up from your desk, sit in a different chair, go out for a walk or go sit in a café. Stepping out from the current situation and changing your physicality will help you gain clarity, and shift you away from the overwhelmed state of mind.
2. “What is Most Important?”
When we are feeling overwhelmed, our mind becomes clouded by the task at hand, and by the thoughts that cause us to feel stressed in the first place. When you step out, ask yourself, what is the most important thing for me? How do I want to feel?
Many times, we get so caught up in the doing, that we forget why we are doing it. Instead of being busy doing and then hoping that it will lead us to what we want, start with asking, “How do I want to feel?” And then focus on feeling that way. Then ask, “What is important to me?” And then focus on doing things that are important to you, instead of lots of unimportant tasks that overwhelm you.
Another technique to figuring out what is important is to start asking the question of why we are doing something and following the answers with another why. Asking ourselves the question of Why, and following each answer with another Why can lead us to the trail of wisdom and self understanding.
For example, “Why am I working so hard at this job? So I can make lots of money. Why do I want to make lots of money? So I can provide for my family. Why do I want to provide for my family? Because I want to make them happy. Why do I want to make them happy? Because I love them and they are the most important people to me, etc. In this example, maybe the discovery is that your family is the most important thing, and perhaps, there is another way to make them happy, like spending time with them and spending less time stressing about work.
Whenever we are feeling overwhelmed, there is likely a lot going on inside our head. Ideas and thoughts swimming in our minds, cluttering up our mental space. The best thing to do is to dump these thoughts out through writing what’s on your mind.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or a notebook, and start jotting down everything that is in your mind. Write without editing, and write out every thought. If you have a bunch of to-dos running in your head, list them out. If you have an idea, brain storm on paper.
Remember to not worry about keeping things looking neat and perfect. This will limit our freedom to dump whatever we want onto paper, both junk that’s keeping us feeling overwhelmed and helpful creative ideas.
4. Giving Up Control – The Quickest Way to Cure the Overwhelmed
We can try to do everything by ourselves, or we can do just the parts we enjoy and spend the rest of the time doing something important to us.
Accept that you can’t do everything perfectly. Allow others to help you out, delegate at work, give the children little jobs to do.
5. Asking for Help and Allow Help
You’d be amazed at how many people are willing to help. Often, we are the problem that is disallowing help from happening through our limited. We think they will say no, and so we don’t ask.
Just give it a try. Ask for help, and be prepared to be amazed at the generosity that others are willing to provide.
People are amazing. Just ask, and be open to receiving what others are willing to provide. You never know what will happen. Just think, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no. Not a big deal.
6. Creating Boundaries
Time is our most precious commodity. It is the only resource that is un-renewable. So spend it wisely and consciously. Because we have a limited number of hours per week, per day … if you could design your life (and you really can), how would you spend it in an ideal situation?
Start with what is most important to you and how you want to feel? Then figure out what activities will support those feelings and things of importance. How long and how much? How much alone time do you need to re-charge? How much time do you want to spend with the kids, and doing what? How much do you want to engage in creative pursuits? Etc.
Once you’ve decided what’s important and how long you want to spend, create boundaries around important activities and do not budge with any incoming distractions. Do not allow unimportant noise and activities to creep in.
7. Shut Out Noise
When we feel overwhelmed, it feels comforting to do something mindless to unwind and relax, like watching TV, reading the news or browsing the Internet. I personally like to watch reality TV shows when I feel this way. What we forget during this time is that the extra information that comes in becomes noise that further clusters our already overwhelmed state of mind.
The best thing we can do for ourselves when we come home feeling overwhelmed is to leave the TV and computer off. Do something that slows our mind down. Consider reading something that expands our conciousness, or close our eyes for 30 minutes in silent meditation. Sit back and listen to some smoothing music, or engage in a creative project that is meaningful to you.
8. Bedtime Ritual
The state in which we go to sleep is the state in which we wake up. Doing things that quiet your mind instead of cluttering it will help you sleep more settled and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Article taken from thinksimplenow.com