How to organize your life when the shock of reality sets in together, is the question? In the face of global pandemics, natural disasters, political issues, economic downturns, family conflict, and job obligations, there is little doubt that we are all feeling overwhelmed. It’s enough to make you want to give up, go to bed, and stay there till 2030. Yet, even the most severe storms eventually pass, and you can endure anything life throws at you.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you could think that everything is too much. To put it another way, the idea that strong emotions are dangerous has become pervasive. Situational or overall overwhelm are both possible.
For example, you may experience situational overwhelm if you have a significant assignment due at work but aren’t confident that it will go well and your promotion depends on its success. The general pressures of being present for oneself and others on a daily basis are a major contributor to feelings of exhaustion. Experiencing any form of overwhelming pressure is a trying ordeal.
As common as it is to experience feelings of being overburdened, this state of mind should not derail your progress or throw you into a tailspin. If you feel completely overwhelmed, here are some suggestions to help you regain control of your life and make it through these challenging times.
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The First Rule Is to Calm Down
When faced with an overwhelming situation, the first thing to do is to slow down. The feeling you get right now is similar to an alarm. Your physical and spiritual selves have successfully attracted your focus on a crucial issue. Things need to slow down so you can take in the information being presented to you and make an accurate assessment of the situation.
You can control the pace with your breath. Really, the power of your breath is astounding. Because of the interconnected nature of the respiratory, cardiovascular, and neural systems, manipulating the breath consciously can have immediate effects on blood pressure and mood.
Just like putting on brakes would slow down a fast-moving car, allowing oneself to think more slowly will slow down your thoughts. When you practice mindfulness, you train yourself to pay attention to your present emotions and thoughts.
When you slow down, you are reclaiming control over a situation that may have felt chaotic and out of your hands due to overwhelm. Put your trust in the individuals who care about you and have open conversations about your issues. You can take a breather and calm down with this.
Take a Deep Breath, Reconsider, and Recast
Thinking back on the events that led up to your current state of chaos can help you find a way to regain control. It’s reasonable to wonder.
- Did I take on too much?” If that’s the case, where can I find assistance? Where may my savings go right now?
- Asking, “Am I ready enough?” In that case, what else can I do to get ready? Is there anything I can do to get ready for it more quickly?
- Can I identify warning signals that, if heeded, would have prevented me from reaching this point?
- Has there been any self-sabotage on your part?
- What is the one most important thing I can do right now that will take me towards my long-term goal and personal development?
Reflection is useful because it allows you to process the information you’ve accumulated instead of becoming overwhelmed by it. Taking the time to decode this data will also enable you to better comprehend what your body is trying to tell you in the future if you encounter the same symptoms again.
Keeping a journal for introspective purposes can be extremely useful. Thinking back on past events, making sense of them, and drawing conclusions about what may be gained from them is what this process is all about.
To avoid being completely blindsided, it helps to have some idea of what to expect. It won’t sound like a terrifying tornado barreling toward you, but more like a steady, foreboding early warning.
Once you have gathered, analyzed, and pondered the relevant information, you are in a position to reframe the event.
For instance, I considered failing the bar test to be one of the worst things that could have happened to me in my whole life. The realization that I had wasted $140,000 in student loans and would never be able to afford to house, support my family, or pursue my dreams was devastating. My entire being ached, I had no energy, and my mind was full with gloomy thoughts. I had no idea how to fix my life.
To my surprise, when I allowed myself to relax, take a breath, and think, I concluded that a career in law was not for me. After some thought, I was able to see that setback as a blessing that led me to my actual calling: assisting others in achieving their own personal goals.
If you’ve had a rough patch recently, it’s important to keep your sights on the here and now and the baby steps you can take to get your life back on track. Life becomes less of a struggle as you develop as a person and as your physical and mental health improve.
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Let Go, Regroup, and Shift Gears
Though it may be easier said than done, the greatest thing to do when feeling overwhelmed is to let go of trying to control the situation. As a result of pausing, thinking, and reframing, you’ve made significant progress in letting go of the source of your stress.
After allowing myself to reconsider my failure at the bar, I was finally able to let it go. Getting my life back together requires addressing the cause of my anxiety, which can only be done by releasing the source of my stress.
You need to take a step back and refocus your energies before you can begin to put your life back together. You hit a snag because of the overwhelming pressure. The weak spot has been repaired, so you can reconnect the chain to the gears and begin to work.
To complete the feedback loop of pausing, stepping back, reflecting, reframing, and letting go, regrouping is crucial. It’s the figurative period at the end of the sentence that was your life. It’s like pressing the reset button; now that you know everything, you can move forward with confidence and competence based on the knowledge you’ve gained.
The final step is to change course. Fortunately, your efforts up to this point will make it simple to pinpoint your new course. Just because you’ve made a U-turn doesn’t imply you have to go in a completely other direction; a minor adjustment to your original trajectory is fine.
The key is to learn from and grow from your experience of being overwhelmed so that you may better handle similar situations in the future and perhaps even avoid them altogether.
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