Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of life. It’s normal to feel like you have too much on your plate or that you’re not sure how to handle everything that’s coming at you. However, it’s important to remember that dwelling on these feelings of overwhelm and letting them consume you can be detrimental to both your mental health and your productivity.
If you find yourself saying “I’m overwhelmed” or feeling stuck with more than you can handle, know that you’re not alone. Here are 12 things to keep in mind to help you get through it:
1. Know That Feeling Overwhelmed is Natural: It’s your mind’s way of telling you that you need to slow down if you want to live a healthier life. Recognizing that overwhelm is your body’s way of trying to help you through difficult times and shifting the relationship you have with this emotion can help you work with it to improve your feelings in a healthy way.
2. List What’s Overwhelming You: Lists are very powerful things. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to lose sight of specifically what is causing you to feel this way. Make a list of what is making you feel overwhelmed and take a look at what you can influence and what you cannot. Take action to change anything you can, and if it’s something you cannot control, grant yourself permission to sit with it.
3. It’s a Breakdown of Thoughts, Not of Life: Your mind is a powerful thing, and feeling overwhelmed can feel like the end of life as you know it. Take a minute to find and clean out all your self-deprecating, negative emotions and thoughts.
4. Things Can Turn Around Quickly: Sitting on the couch and dwelling on negative thoughts isn’t going to make anything better. Chip away at a task and take small steps towards finishing it. Things often seem to fall in place as you work on them.
5. You’ve Felt This Way Before: Think about the number of times you get overwhelmed. How did you overcome it? In the end, was it really as bad as you thought? Learn from past experiences and understand that every experience, good or bad, is valuable.
6. Your Problems May Not Be as Bad as You Think: Volunteering at a homeless shelter or orphanage can help put your problems into perspective, and acts of kindness can produce oxytocin, which can help you feel better all around.
7. It’s Easy to Keep Doing Nothing: Your mind will do its best to help you keep doing what you’ve been doing, even if it’s making you feel overwhelmed. Those who overcome their struggles quickly are the ones who never give up, even when they feel that all is lost.
8. Gratitude Can Help Immensely: In a world of people who are constantly overwhelmed and obsessed with putting their best self forward, it’s easy to feel like everyone has more than you. Remember what you do have and use gratitude to combat feelings of overwhelm.
9. People Want You to Succeed: Your life touches so many others, and there are people out there rooting for you. Remember that there are people in your life who want you to succeed and who you can turn to for support.
10. Pick One Thing: Regardless of how much you have to do, you can only do one thing at a time. Focus on one task at a time and break it down into smaller steps if necessary.
11. Take Care of Your Mind and Body: Taking care of your mental and physical health is essential to managing feelings of overwhelm. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat healthy, and take breaks when needed.
12. It’s Okay to Ask for Help: You don’t have to do everything on your own. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, whether it’s from friends, family, or professionals.
Feeling overwhelmed is a natural response to having too many things going on at once. Recognizing it for what it is and taking steps to manage it can help you get through difficult times and improve your overall wellbeing. Remember, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, and there are always ways to manage and overcome it.