Top 7 Tips for Getting Past Overwhelm
By Judy Anderson
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Have you felt overwhelmed lately? If so, youíre not alone. Overwhelm is a major problem in modern life. Here are some strategies to help you move past the overwhelm.
- Recognize what youíre feeling. Although itís similar to stress,
overwhelm usually includes a feeling of being powerless and out of control. It also can make you feel stuck and helpless, not knowing what to do next. When you feel this way, remind yourself that overwhelm is a result of the fast pace and increased demands of modern life. Donít get down on yourself for what youíre feeling, but do take 100% responsibility for moving through it.
- Give yourself a break. Take a deep breath, relax, and create some space for yourself. Notice how and where the overwhelm is affecting your body. In your shoulders and back? Pit of your stomach? In your chest? Continue deep breathing, focus on relaxing your body, and tell yourself that regardless of how it looks right now, you can handle it.
- Get specific about whatís overwhelming you. Overwhelm can be acute, coming on you suddenly because of current circumstances. For example, overwhelm can hit you on the first day back at work after vacation. It can also accumulate over time, because of a series of events. This could happen when someone gets a divorce, moves to a new area, and starts a business all within a few months. Itís important to separate out what specifically is overwhelming you so you can come up with a plan to get past it.
- Get honest about what youíre doing and how youíre thinking about it. Negative thoughts keep us stuck in overwhelm. Unrealistic expectations from others and our own overly high standards do too. Have you ever been overwhelmed at work because youíre telling yourself that everything is a priority and has to get done immediately at 150% level of perfection?? Is this true? Probably not. And even if it is, it may have been possible to do in the 1950s, but in most cases is Mission Impossible today.
- Decide what you truly want, see it as a real possibility, and take the first step, no matter how small, in creating it NOW. So far youíve honestly looked at where youíre at and whatís really going on. Since itís not working for you, the next step is to some up with a picture of what is most important and what would work. At this point, itís also important to reprogram what youíre telling yourself. Taking baby steps is often the key to success with this.
- Manage your energy by letting go of whatís not working for you and create environments that support what you want. I donít have to tell you what an energy zapper overwhelm can be. Thatís why itís critical to make sure your action plan works on the energy drainers in your life and also develops a structure for building your energy. This applies to four energy areas in your life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual (feeling connected to life and having a purpose for being).
- Link up with others. Overwhelm often leads to isolation. When we have a lot of do, relationships can be neglected. Once weíre in overwhelm, we shut down and disconnect. We feel weíre not fit company and are reluctant to share whatís going on or ask for help. A network of positive, energizing people can be your greatest resource. Donít try to get through it alone.
Judy Anderson coaches, consults, and trains business people who are experiencing overwhelm to help them manage their energy and create supportive environments so they can live a life theyre passionate about. Contact Judy at Judy@RelatingtoSuccess.com to subscribe to her newsletter or for information on her free teleclasses on Getting Past Overwhelm.
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Article Submitted On: November 02, 2004