How to Overcome Overwhelm | Three Actionable Steps
If you’re reading this post, then odds are that you’re feeling:
Overwhelmed by life
Weighed down by your emotions, or
Stressed out and under pressure by the expectations placed on you.
The looming question of “how on earth is this going to work itself out?” lingers around in the back of your mind.
And you try not to think too far ahead because you truly have no idea how things are going to unfold.
This is a scary position to be in.
So you take it one step at a time and walk on blind faith that somehow things are going to work out.
Now I know, it’s hard to think of a brighter future when you’re in a dark and frightful place.
But I’m going to ask you to try something with me.
Imagine yourself... Coming out on top, looking back at what you’ve been through, smiling and saying to yourself “I'm SO glad that I made it”.
Take the time to truly picture it.
Do this until you can notice your breathing getting lighter and until you can feel the heaviness on your chest lifting.
*Warning* If you do this long enough you may even catch a smile trying to creep its way onto your face.
Now that you have a calmer mind, you may have noticed that my description was peculiarly accurate to what you’re going through.
No, I did not just jump into your head and take those words out of your mouth.
I know how it feels because I’ve been there.
This is also the main reason why my clients come to me.
So, in other words- you are not alone in this.
I’ve not only been in your shoes but I’ve also helped many others in similar positions to get their heads above water and go from feeling overwhelmed to organized, in-control and relaxed.
Here are three simple steps that will help you to accomplish the same.
1. Gain Clarity on What You Need & Focus on What's in Your Control by Asking These Three Questions
There’s a good chance that a continuous movie of worst-case scenarios are playing in your head right now.
You may feel like you’re right on the verge of breaking and your brain is putting in overtime to help you get a clear picture of what that moment is going to look like.
In order to stop this movie from playing and change your focus to what's in your control, ask yourself these three questions:
What’s the best thing that could happen?
What’s the priority here?
What do I need in this moment?
Q.1 What’s the best that could happen here?
This is for you if… you’re feeling like your back is against the wall or feel overcome by fear.
This will help by… stopping you from predicting the worst and by shifting your focus to the positive.
This question will give you a momentary glimmer of hope- which is all you need to move on to step 2.
Q.2 What’s the priority here?
This is for you if… you feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities, daily pressures or expectations.
This will help by… clearing the mental clutter and directing your focus on what needs to be done first.
Identifying your top priority brings some organization to the chaos and gives you just enough clarity to move on to the 2nd step.
Q.3 What do I need in this moment?
This is for you if… you’re overwhelmed by emotions and you feel like you’re losing control.
This will help by… giving you the space to breathe and by refocusing your attention on what’s in your control.
Often times when we get stressed, self-care is one of the first thing that goes out of the window.
Identifying your top emotional need gives you the opportunity to focus on taking care of you.
*Beware of answers that include self-medicating, dangerous/risky behaviours, or drug/alcohol use.
❌ A tall glass of wine is not a suitable answer here, for example.
2. Start Picking Up the Pieces by Using this Method
In the first step, you calmed the chatter in your mind and gained some clarity on what you needed.
Now it’s time to take action and begin picking up the pieces.
And the best way to do this is to create mini-goals that are easily achievable and filled with small wins.
Setting Mini Goals with Many Wins is the best method to begin picking up the pieces because it creates momentum and helps you to regain a sense of control in your life.
✴︎ Pro-Tip: We’ve all heard of the to-do list.
For this step, we’re going to shake things up a little with an Accomplished List.
Every time you do something productive, write it down- no matter how small.
Keeping an accomplished list is a fun and simple way to track your progress and celebrate all the work you do.
3. Calm Your Worries, Tame Your Fears & Clear Your Mind
by Using This Spin on Journaling
The final step is to put words to your emotions and write your fears away using a Worry Journal.
Doing this allows you to shed light on your fears by taking them from the dark corners of your mind to the paper in front of you.
As a result you will have a new perspective on your fears and worries
And, in some cases, gain better clarity on how to handle them.
Ready to Take Action?
Download the FREE Overcoming Overwhelm Workbook to put the three steps of this post into practice.
Time for a recap...
The three steps that you can take right now are
Calm the chatter in your mind and shut the movie off by asking yourself the three questions
Begin picking up the pieces by using making Mini Goals with Many Wins to get momentum going in your life
Get those lurking fears out of the corners of your mind and onto paper using the worry journal (don’t forget to grab your free journal here).
Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.
That’s it for today- hope this helped!
Until the next time