We live in a chaotic world. Deadlines are short and there are so many demands on our time, our attention and our sanity. Sometimes expectations are so high that we don’t know which way to turn. Many of us feel that if we don’t keep up – then we will get left behind.
Oftentimes we become so accustomed to these demands that we keep going until we reach breaking point.
I call this OVERWHELM.
What’s so bad about Overwhelm?
If we cannot get a handle on these feelings and expectations, many of us experience stress related issues, notably :
- Panic attacks
- Health issues
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Social withdrawal
- Mental chaos
None of this sounds particularly positive – right ? So, it therefore stands to reason that we should be doing something about getting things back on track, right?
By taking matters into your own hands again – by being more proactive rather than reactive – you take back control. You get to decide what action to take and how to think and behave about the situations that might Overwhelm you.
So What Are The Triggers ?
If you are looking for change – it’s important to recognise how things are working right now. So to understand why you are feeling Overwhelmed – it helps to understand what is making you feel this way. What are the TRIGGERS?
EVENT + REPONSE = OUTCOME
If you have read any of my other blog posts – you will notice this pattern. By identifying the triggers ( the events that make you behave in a certain way ) then you can adjust your response, so that you can get the results that you truly want and deserve.
By recognising exactly what is putting you in a tailspin, you are better equipped to deal with these same situations when they crop up the next time.
Exercise : Pay Attention.
Next time you feel that sense of dread – perhaps that tightness in your chest or those racing thoughts in your head – then take stock and stop for a minute.
NOTICE : What was that TRIGGER?
- What are you THINKING right now?
- What are you FEELING right now?
- What are you SAYING to yourself right now?
Then ask yourself …
- What exactly am I gaining from these feelings ?
- What is my secondary gain ?
Because let’s face it – it’s a choice.
Some people use Overwhelm as an excuse. Is that you?
Is it an excuse for not doing something that you’re not looking forward to? Perhaps there’s a decision to be made that makes you feel uncomfortable. Perhaps you are looking for an easy way out?
The Powerful message to understand is that this is a choice and once you acknowledge this – it gives you the sense of hope that :
You CAN Change This.
What must happen for you to make that change?
DECIDE : What you will do differently next time. What are you :
- going to THINK instead?
- going to FEEL instead?
- going to SAY instead?
What new course of action will serve you better?
You are the most important person in your life –
so make yourself a priority again.
Jack Canfield says divide your day into chunks : FOCUS time, BUFFER time and SELF time.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Plan & Schedule. Stick to your Action Lists. Everyday, make sure that you are doing something to move you a step closer to your goals, hopes and dreams. Having these targets helps you to maintain focus and ensure when you are up-against-it, you know what you have to do next.
2. Take Time Out. This is the contingency that we all need. Make sure your day has some breathing space, for the unexpected. If and when you need to, you then have the space to disassociate yourself from the environment that is causing you overwhelm.
This might mean being by yourself, away from the toxic distractions. Or perhaps it means taking some exercise – a five minute walk, to get those “feel good” hormones pumping around your body again. Or maybe you just have a couple of minutes … then BREATHE.
3. Prioritise Yourself. Yes, this is similar to Time-Out – but these tasks are actually scheduled into the day. By putting them into your diary – you are telling yourself that You Matter Too.
Everyday, I make sure I have time to myself, to do stuff that makes my heart happy. It helps me to recharge the batteries and then I am able to cope with what’s going on throughout the day. Having something to look forward to each day helps you plough through the grottier stuff.
There is a technique that I have blogged about previously : here : which helps you divide your day into more manageable chunks.
But, whatever approach works for you, just remember :
Inaction achieves nothing.
You owe it to yourself to take back control of your day and of your life.
Much Love 💕