Your desk is piled high with work, your kid got called in to the principal's office, your spouse is being a big jerk again, your car just broke down, the bank bounced a cheque and you've just about had enough of this day. Can it get any worse? Not only that, will it get any better and if so, how?
In our everyday lives we are bombarded with things that we simply don't think we are capable of dealing with anymore. Overwhelm has taken over and we instantly rush to the wine cabinet or the pack of cigarettes. We have so had enough. At the end of the day, you realize that you didn't handle things well and overwhelm got the best of you, again.
How do we handle overwhelm? We obviously don't like to be in that state but how can we get the better of it before it gets the better of us? We all want to be that calm cool and collected person in the midst of chaos. We admire the office person next to us who always seems to man age things with such ease and never buckles under work pressure. We want to be that person too, but how?
I know this sounds super easy to do and you wonder how effective it really is but try it and you'll see. Often when things start piling up and we lose control, a simple breathing technique will get us back on track or, at the very least, calm us down, if even for a few moments. It is important to stop whatever you are doing, wherever you are, provided you aren't driving, and take a few deep breaths. You'll be surprised at how much more in control you will feel after this.
2. Step back.
Depending on what the situation is, take some time away from it, if you can. Try to remove yourself from it in order to gain a new perspective of it. When we step away from the issue at hand your whole outlook will change. You will then see that it's really not that big of a deal or you may be able to see another way how to handle the situation. Often when we are in the thick of things, we can't see a clear way of solving a problem. That's why it's important to walk away, even for an hour or so and rethink it.
3. Don't overthink it.
Too often what happens to us, is that we take a situation and have it thought out right to the very end and usually the end is false. We've dreamed it up and in fact our situation never ends the way we have thought it out. Try not to get too carried away with what you think the outcome is going to be. Handle and deal with the present and don't worry about the future or the end result. Surprisingly, the end result is usually satisfactory.
4. Call a friend.
This should almost be common sense but for some of us we simply don't ever think to call a friend and try to deal with things by ourselves. What are friends for any way? A true friend is there any time you need them, especially during times of overwhelm. Call them, they want you to. You don't have to deal with everything all alone. Sometimes sharing the burden not only takes some of the weight off of you but your friend may have a different approach to the situation that makes far more sense than anything you have thought of.
5. Sing, laugh, or dance.
Let your free spirit out. Take the issue at hand and put it aside and then take a moment to be creative and engage in some fun therapy. It may seem silly to stop in the middle of chaos and sing a song but try it once and you'll see how effective it really can be. Put on some happy music and dance, sing, and laugh if you want. If singing to the top of your lungs isn't your thing, then put on some classical music and sit quietly for a few moments. Whatever outlet resonates with you, choose one. Music is very therapeutic.
Overwhelm isn't a fun place to be and none of us like being there but you don't have to be stuck there either. Try out any of the methods listed above to regain your composure. How do you get out of overwhelm? Share your methods with the other readers.