10 Practical Ways to Overcome Overwhelm

Overcome OverwhelmDo you need to take practical steps to overcome overwhelm? Is your life so busy that it’s causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed? If you have too many strains on your time, it is easy to start to believe that there are just too many demands leading to you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It’s not just work that causes us issues. Family, and other obligations can also prove to be too much at times. Many times we feel that the only way to rectify the situation is to work harder, but that in itself is unreasonable when you feel as if you’re already working at full capacity.

Just remember that you’ve felt overwhelmed in the past and made it through to the other side. Things do get better.

Overcome overwhelm with these practical strategies:

  1. Stop and smell the coffee. Once you realise that you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, you need to take immediate action to overcome overwhelm or things will tend to go downhill quickly. Give yourself a break by relaxing, taking a deep breath, and slowing down your brain. Take a look around you. Describe your environment to yourself. It will help you to disengage your mind from your stressors and bring it back to reality.
  2. Focus on what you can control. In any situation, there are things you can control and things you can’t control. Keep your focus on those things within your influence.
  3.  Let go of those things that are out of your control. There’s no reason to think about it and get yourself more agitated if you can’t do anything about it. Learn to let go of anything you can’t influence.
  4.  Be solution focused. Most people make the mistake of focusing on the problem and imagining negative outcomes. This strategy decreases your capability to overcome overwhelm, which in turn causes even more stress. If you’re going to put your brain to work, use it to find the best possible solution! Ask yourself what you can do to eliminate or lessen the sources of your stress. Write down your ideas.
  5. Take time to reflect. Are things actually as stressful as you think they are? Is it possible that you’ve misinterpreted the facts or made poor assumptions? Gather all the facts before deciding if there’s a reason to be overwhelmed. Question your judgment and ensure that you’re on solid ground before hitting the panic button.
  6.  Take a break. Get out of the house and the office for a few hours. Your environment affects your perspective. Spend some time in nature if possible.
  7.  Spend time with a friend. Go out for coffee with a good friend. Rely on those in your social circle for advice, comfort, and a quick distraction. Which of your friends is best at making you feel better?
  8.  Take a moment to relax and enjoy. What relaxes you? Lying on the couch with your headphones? Going for a run? Getting a massage? Spend an hour or two decompressing and you’ll feel better.
  9.  Review your obligations. Maybe you’re trying to do too much. Consider limiting the number of activities you participate in. Are you taking on too many responsibilities at work? Consider which of your obligations are most important and get rid of the rest.
  10.  Learn from the past. You survived. In fact, you might even laugh today about how stressed you were back then. Hindsight is 20-20. Consider that you’re likely to feel the same way in the future regarding your current situation.

In Conclusion

Overcome overwhelm by slowing your mind and taking a deep breath when first faced with feelings of overwhelm. Try to maintain an objective perspective. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re feeling stressed! Take a timeout and make a list of the items you can control. Search for solutions that address those items.

Let go of those items you can’t control. Rely on friends and family to help you overcome overwhelm, since you’d do the same for them.

How do you overcome overwhelm? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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10 thoughts on “10 Practical Ways to Overcome Overwhelm

  1. I can think back to last year, when my mother in law was trying to sell her house and was then told she needed heart surgery – suddenly we were trying to deal with a lot of things (from 150 miles away) all at once. It was quite n experience, but my spouse and I survived it, with the help of some fantastic resources we would not have had (for various reasons) if the situation had happened even a year later. You do what you have to do, and there are ways to keep yourself organized and on task, and not overwhelmed. I think we were too busy to be overwhelmed, but, seriously, a trained project manager at my job helped me tremendously with organization and just listening to me.

  2. Recovering from overwhelm after a unique convergence of family challenges, major deadlines and a huge project going off the rails. Big fan of #9 (giving myself permission to push back or delete) with large doses of #1 and #6. Thanks for putting things in perspective, Mike!