Overwhelm Doesn’t Have To Be Your Permanent State of Being

I’ve been hearing the word “overwhelm” a lot lately, so I’m feeling inspired to write about it this week.

I’m no stranger to the feeling of overwhelm. I have been in that place many times before, and it’s one of my least favorite feelings. Nothing good ever seems to come from a place of overwhelm.  When I’m heading in that direction, I notice certain patterns in my life. I start misplacing things, forgetting things, and I’m living from a totally reactive, stressed, and exhausted place.  Not at all fun or productive.

Usually, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m running on empty.  I haven’t taken the time to fill myself up across the board — physically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally.

Life runs me, rather than me running my life.

First and foremost, know that . . .

Overwhelm doesn’t have to be your permanent state of being.

Overwhelm is a temporary state that you have the power to move out of by making conscious choices aligned with who you are and what you’re trying to do.  

Good news!  You have the power to change it.  No matter who you are or your responsibilities, you can move out of overwhelming and into the flow.

You have the power to shift from disempowered to empowered.  You can find peace during the chaos and create order in a state of disorder.

The real question, though, is how.  How do you get to a better place when you’re underwater and have no idea how to come up for a breath of fresh air?

I got you.  I’m a back-to-the-basics person, and this week I’m giving you eight simple and powerful ideas for dealing with your overwhelm.

8 Simple and Powerful Ways to Deal with Overwhelm

1.) Breathe

When we’re experiencing stress, we don’t only feel it in our minds.  Our bodies also respond to stress.  We may experience a variety of physical symptoms, but one change that often occurs without us even realizing it is our breath. 

When we’re stressed, our bodies tense up, and we take shorter, more shallow breaths.  Less oxygen reaches our cells, and our bodies are not able to perform optimally.

Breathing is such a great way to calm your mind and release physical tension because it’s available to us at a moment’s notice and is very effective.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, go to your breath.  Close your eyes, and breath in slowly and deeply for a count of three, and then exhale.  If you can step away into a quiet, serene area, even better.  Repeat this inhale/exhale cycle for a few rounds.  Pay attention to how you feel after.

2.) Delegate

Newsflash:  You’re not the only one who can do things well!  There are lots of super creative, highly efficient, wildly talented people who would be happy to help you.

Are you a perfectionist?  Are you obsessed with things being done just right?  Do you want things done your way?

1+9 = 10.  7+3 =10.  4+6=10.  9+1 = 10.  2+8=10.  What’s my point? There are many ways to get the same result.  

Where in your life can you delegate more?  Admittedly it will take some upfront investment of your time and energy to show someone else what you’re trying to accomplish, but the time spent in the short term will be worth the long-term gains.

3.) Assess the Cost of Not Addressing the Overwhelm

Living in a state of overwhelm has an expiration date.  You can’t live in that state for too long without experiencing some consequence or another.  

Something’s going to have to give   you may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms; it may cause you to underperform and jeopardize your job; it may take a toll on your marriage, and it may cause you to be less patient with your kids or, you may not be having fun.

What is the cost of the overwhelm for you?

4.) Identify and Minimize the Pressure and Noise

Take an up-close and personal look at your life, and try to identify the source of the pressure you’re experiencing.  

Where are you experiencing extra noise?  I use the word noise in one of my quotes that I’ll share here:

“Life can become complicated, but in actuality, it’s simple. We are here to love, grow, serve and have fun along the way.  Everything else is just noise.”

Run everything you do through that filter, and see if it helps you identify the extra noise in your life.  Does what you’re doing fall in the bucket of love? Growth? Service? What is unnecessary and can be simplified?  What can be cut out, so you have more time and energy for what really matters?

5.) Rest, Relax, and Sleep

Rest, relaxation and sleep are under-prioritized in our fast-paced, production-focused world.

Setting aside time to rest and recover is crucial to our overall well-being, and makes us happier and more productive, personally and professionally.

How many hours of sleep do you get per night?  Is it enough?  

Take time to prepare yourself and your bedroom for optimal sleep.  Make sure temps are cool and the room is dark. Consider using an oil diffuser, listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a bath, or sipping on some tea. 

6.) Get Organized

We take in the energy of our living spaces, so if our environment is cluttered and disorderly, our minds will process that and react accordingly.  

A little organization goes a long way.  Dedicate some time to tidying up an area of your house.  Take note of how you feel before and after.

I always have a more peaceful, accomplished feeling after taking a little time to declutter and get organized. 

7.) Do Something That Makes You Happy

You may be thinking . . . add something else on when I already have so much to do?

Permit yourself to do something you enjoy.  What is your favorite go-to, fun activity?

Whenever I feel super overwhelmed, the kitchen is where you can find me.  I usually head straight to my kitchen island, start pulling ingredients out of the fridge and chop away.  It’s a great creative endeavor, a stress reliever, and always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

What’s something you enjoy?

8.) Choose High Vibes

When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we are in a place of contraction.  Our growth is stifled.  We are not in expansion mode, and we may experience feelings of guilt for not fulfilling all of our duties.  We may experience feelings of blame . . . blaming ourselves, or others, for our current state.  We may experience stress, doubt, fear, and many other emotions that keep us stuck.

The goal is to consciously move out of these low vibrational states and into high vibrational states.

High vibe energies include gratitude, peace, love, kindness, humanitarianism, connection, service, growth, to name a few.

How can you choose high vibe energy right now?

I’ll end with one of my favorite Buddhist phrases “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Living in overwhelm is living in a place of pain.  Will you continue to suffer, or will you choose higher energies?  You have the power to create your reality.

As always, I am here to serve and guide you.