RING RING RING! Oh no… here we go again.
As you wake up, the first thing that hits you is a feeling rather than a thought.
Maybe it’s a clenching in your chest.
A shortness of breath.
A demoralizing sense of being buried…of total powerlessness.
You roll over in a futile attempt to go back to sleep, knowing full well that isn’t happening. There’s nowhere to hide from what’s coming next.
A tsunami of stress washes over you – all the responsibilities of the day ahead come crashing into your consciousness, putting specific words to your panic and bringing the emotional tailspin into high definition.
One thought SCREAMS through your head:
“HOW AM I GOING TO GET THROUGH TODAY?”
The overwhelm has begun… and your eyes aren’t even open yet.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Does just reading the words cause a little tingle of anxiety to wash through your body?
You are not alone.
Overwhelm may seem like something that only you understand or deal with, but it’s actually a common problem for almost all of us. It can come from so many sources and be rooted in so many things, but there is a common theme – what is STEALS from us.
It takes our power, and puts us in a VICTIM state of mind.
Think of it like driving with the parking brake on. We are striving to move forward, but we are dealing with so much resistance that it’s making us slow and grinding us down. It’s draining our energy, and reducing our efficiency to a FRACTION of what it could be.
Overwhelm robs us of our life, our confidence, and even our identity.
The good news is that it CAN be managed, and its’ power CAN be taken away.
It all starts with understanding WHERE your overwhelm is coming from and WHAT is feeding into it.
Here are 5 helpful steps to understand your overwhelm and begin to take it on!
1) Get OBJECTIVE about what’s going on
Ask yourself – is your situation REALLY overwhelming OR are you just lacking effective coping skills/emotional management?
When we are in a negatively charged state of mind it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. Take a deep breath, leave your emotions at the door and be a scientist about HOW you are feeling and WHY you are feeling that way. Journal about it.
Bottom line: If you only have a couple reasonable things on your plate but are in total meltdown, overwhelm might not be the real issue.
2) Shift your MINDSET
Remind yourself that YOU created this situation, and no one but you can change it. You are the sole, uncontested author of your life.
So take responsibility, OWN the overwhelm, and let go of your victim story about what’s happening FOR you, not TO you.
Bottom line: It’s no one’s “fault,” but it IS your responsibility…and you have the power to shift at ANY TIME!
3) Identify MINDSET ISSUES that are adding to your overwhelm
Really take a LOOK at your habits and thoughts around addressing your responsibilities, and identify if you:
- procrastinate (“I didn’t have time to do it” is easier to say than “I don’t believe I could do it”)
- are a perfectionist (“I can’t let go of it unless it’s flawless)
- are easily distracted (shiny object/SQUIRREL syndrome!)
- have a fear of intimacy (needing to stay busy = intimacy avoidance)
- have fear of success/failure (as long as I’m overwhelmed I don’t have to reach a result)
Bottom line: All of these are rooted in PAIN AVOIDANCE and FEAR, and bog us down! We get to identify and take these patterns on.
4) See if TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS are part (or all) of the issue
Toxic, energy-sucking relationships can cause overwhelm on their own, OR drain so much of our resources that they make the other parts of our life unmanageable and overwhelming!
Remind yourself that sometimes, loving someone isn’t enough, especially if the relationship is damaging to your peace of mind and sense of self.
Bottom line: Eliminating these destructive connections is critical to your growth! Take a stand to either shift these relationships, or remove them altogether from your life.
5) Ask if HEALTH issues are contributing to your overwhelm
Finally, ask yourself some very important questions:
- How much coffee/caffeine are you drinking a day?
- Are you eating enough green, “live” food?
- Do you take vitamins?
- How much sleep are you getting?
- Do you exercise?
- Do you meditate?
Bottom line: All of these areas and MANY more can be impacting your ability to effectively handle your responsibilities. Make your physical and mental health your priority, and watch the world transform.
These 5 strategies will help you build UNDERSTANDING and AWARENESS of your overwhelm and how to begin taking this paralyzing force in a powerful way. In our next blog post, we will explore some effective action steps to eliminate overwhelm from your life.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What causes you overwhelm in your life?
What strategies have worked for you to manage it in the past?
Apply these strategies and share if they work for you!
Post your feedback in the Comments!
If you enjoyed this blog post and think others could find it beneficial, sharing is caring 🙂