Feeling overwhelmed can manifest itself in different ways. Sometimes it can feel like there’s too much on our plate or we’re stressed and overworked. Other days it can feel like our energy is drained and there’s a slow unsettling feeling that develops. It is normal to have waves of feeling low and overwhelmed. But when those feelings build, it can create discomfort.
Here are three simple strategies that can help you when these feelings become extreme and help you gain control of your emotions.
Focus on one thing
Your brain is constantly being stimulated. Your senses are taking in each piece of information and processing it. The sound of the air conditioning, the painting of the wall, your breathing pattern, the feeling of the table, or the taste of your lunch. Pick one thing and focus on it. Let your mind blur everything out and let your senses ground you by being the centre of your attention.
Put your thoughts into paper
When everything is jumbled up in our minds, it is hard to understand. Think of it like scrambled puzzle pieces. Only when we pick a piece out, turn it over and place it down can we start to match it with other pieces. By writing down each thought, it will help you connect the dots to other feelings and events. This can help you see things from a different perspective and understand yourself better. It can also present itself as a plan on things to work through. Written clarity can help with reducing overwhelming feelings because you have made the things that overwhelm you concrete; and you can clearly see what is in your mind.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone is a strong technique that often goes underestimated. When we reach out to our support system we let them know that we need a listening ear. Sometimes it may feel as if they may not relate or understand the difficult situation. But we don’t need to have similar experiences to support and care for our loved ones. Allowing people in and sharing our feelings helps with feeling less alone through overwhelming times. Other than your support system, speaking to a professional may be beneficial, especially when these feelings are recurring.
In the fast-paced world we navigate today, it's no surprise that intense feelings can arise out of the blue. Remember, it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed at times, but it's also your choice to do something about it. Sometimes that might look like using small helpful strategies like the ones in this article, other times, it might look like signing on for a session of online therapy. No matter what self-care looks like for you, it is important to learn to trust the communication signals you receive from your body and mind and be open-minded when it needs some rest.