7 Things To Do When You are Overwhelmed
It’s Natural to Feel Anxious
It’s a lot more normal than we think and happens to a larger number of people than we choose to believe. A little anxiety every now and then is absolutely alright. No harm caused! But it’s when anxiety starts to get the better of us; when we start to feel overwhelmed by it, that’s when the problem starts – little wonder that it is called the anxiety symptom.
Feeling overwhelmed frequently, causes great damage to our health – both physical and mental. That’s because, under periods of high stress, the brain reduces the energy it spends on other body functions such as breathing and digestion to ‘deal’ with the problem. Also, under high anxiety, our body produces hormones that make us think differently; which sadly is usually to get us to focus more on why we are anxious, which in turn makes us a lot more anxious leading to feeling overwhelmed.
You could try the following certain techniques to help yourself when feeling overwhelmed.
1. Take a Deep Breath
There is a direct relation between breathing and your state of mind. The calmer you are, the more relaxed you will be and even your breathing will get better. Hence, when feeling overwhelmed, try taking deep breaths and calming yourself down. You could do this exercise every few minutes. Inhale and exhale slowly and just focus on your breaths. You’d be surprised to know that most people don’t even breathe correctly!
2. Focus - But on Something Else
As stated above, the more you focus on what’s troubling you, the more tensed you get. The solution is to focus on something else to calm you down. So talk to a friend on phone, but about something else. Or solve a puzzle. Go watch a movie. Just about anything that takes your mind off what’s troubling you will work. You can always address what’s stressing you out when you are calmer.
3. Pen It Down
Catharsis is a process of releasing strongly repressed emotions. This results in a sense of relief and you start feeling lighter and free from trouble. The best way of Catharsis is to pen things down, in a quick manner, without judging your emotions. There is no need to edit what is written. One may just write things down in a free manner. You can always burn that sheet of paper you have filled up once done!
4. Burn It Off
If you are too overwhelmed, the best way is to burn that stress away with a high intensity, rigorous workout. It not only gets you to breathe a lot more (which calms you down) but also allows you to focus on something else for a while. And when you’re’ done, you are rewarded with a better and fitter you!
5. If You Can’t Burn It, Pile It
If you just aren’t in the mood to exercise, sometimes piling up calories works. Indulge in a sinful meal; hog one of your favorites - how about a double cheese pizza delivered at home? Having a favorite food releases hormones that modulate our emotions. It’s happiness straight from the gut – literally.
6. Talk to a Mentor
If none of the above suggestions work, well then you really must be very stressed indeed! Sometimes things are just beyond us and we need to reach out to someone. In such cases, it makes sense for us to talk to a mentor – someone who knows better, with similar experience hopefully, and who genuinely cares for us. This also allows us to get a better perspective on the challenge. Many times, we realize that we were fretting for nothing! So if nothing works, try this one.
If it’s the piled up tasks or the demands on your time made by your boss, family or friends, it is sure to overwhelm you because you cannot cope up. In such a case, prioritize the tasks. Start with what is the most important. Take each task at a time and finish them off one at a time, without focusing on what’s remaining. Prioritizing helps you realize that everything is not urgent and can be dealt with later, leaving you calmer.
These are a few techniques you could use when feeling overwhelmed. Remember, it is perfectly alright to feel anxious and overwhelmed. But it is not ok to be sucked into it.
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