Let’s face it, feeling overwhelmed will happen to you from time to time in life. We all experience overwhelming, anxious, or stressful feelings occasionally, whether it be related to the job, school, social commitments, or just life in general. It’s critical to be kind to yourself when you’re experiencing these emotions. If something is making you feel worried, try not to ignore it or push through it since your mental health matters and you can take a break if you need to.
We recognize that recent events and the COVID-19 outbreak have complicated things, and it might be challenging to balance all of your obligations at once. Remember that you can always go back to your self-care strategy if you start to feel overwhelmed. Plans for your own self-care are individualized, which may be just what you need when things get too much. When you’re feeling overburdened, try some of these suggestions:
What is Feeling Overwhelmed
When a person is overwhelmed, they are overtaken by ideas, feelings, and bodily sensations that can be challenging for them to control and are frequently connected to a particular issue.
Do you feel that you have so much going on that it’s difficult for you to manage it all? Or do you find it tough to operate since you’re dealing with stress? These are a few indications that you might be overwhelmed.
Feeling overwhelmed is a common reaction to everyday circumstances and happens to everyone occasionally. Stress can occasionally be advantageous since it revs up your metabolism and makes you more productive. On the other hand, having a persistent state of stress and feeling overburdened can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
How to Tell If You’re Overwhelmed
Emotional stress can manifest as physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms.
Physical signs comprise:
- Chest discomfort, elevated heart rate, or heaviness.
- Muscle aches and pains, including back, neck, and shoulder pain.
- Clenching your jaw or gritting your teeth.
- Breathing problems.
- Exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
- A change in your eating habits; weight increase or loss.
- Getting less or more sleep than normal.
- Digestive issues, such as upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
Symptoms of Feeling Overwhelmed
- Having stronger feelings than usual.
- · Sensing overloaded or tense.
- Having trouble remembering or keeping track of stuff.
- Having trouble focusing, making decisions, solving difficulties, or finishing your task.
- Using drugs or alcohol to deal with your emotional tension.
- How can I handle emotional stress better?
- You can try a variety of tactics to help you better manage your emotional stress. Attempt any of the following:
Spend some time unwinding: Spend some time looking after yourself. Take a vacation from reality, even if you can only rest for five to fifteen minutes a few times throughout the day. What do you do to unwind? Some suggestions are:
- Examine a book.
- Download and play a “calm” app (rain, nature sounds) on your phone or computer.
- Go for a walk. Do some yoga.
- Enjoy music by listening to it, singing along, or dancing to it.
- Take a relaxing bath.
- Close your eyes and sit still.
- Turn on a fragrant candle.
Learning to focus your attention and increase awareness is known as mindfulness. You can develop the ability to sense the bodily adjustments that result from shifting emotions. The first step in understanding how to effectively control your stress and how emotions affect your body is to comprehend this mind-body link. Additionally, mindfulness can help you concentrate on the here and now, and on what you can do to soothe your body and mind. You’ll know you’ve identified one of your stress triggers and what reduces it if you can identify what makes you feel more at ease and comfortable at that precise moment.
Distract Your Attention and Put it Elsewhere
Put anything else in your mind instead of the source of your worry. Go out and have fun. Play a game, watch a comedy film, or indulge in a hobby you enjoy (paint, draw, take pictures of nature, play with your pet). Participate in a charitable cause as a volunteer. Do something enjoyable with your friends.
Use a Journal
Writing down your thoughts and emotions in a journal helps you to better understand them. It is a technique that encourages you to take your time, pay attention, and reflect on your life’s events as well as your sentiments and responses to them. Writing in a journal might help you discover your emotional stress triggers because it can disclose your innermost thoughts. You may recognize your negative thoughts and sentiments, and then switch them out for more uplifting actions. A healthy and effective technique to deal with your emotions is journaling. You can start on the path to healing or change when you face your feelings.
Redirecting your thoughts intentionally through meditation is another option. You can control your emotions and lessen your emotional tension by picking the thoughts you entertain, such as uplifting ones or cozy, pleasant recollections.
How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
#1. Consider the “Why”
Finding the cause of your overload is a crucial first step to getting over it. When a notion becomes too much to handle, consider what is making you feel worried at the moment.
Finding the source brings you that much closer to solving the issue and feeling better.
#2. Recognize Your Emotions
It’s unlikely that you will benefit from denying or ignoring your overwhelm. It will continue to bubble below the surface until you are forced to confront it.
Instead, accept that you are overwhelmed and that you are thinking of bad ideas. Additionally, make an effort not to criticize your feelings. This uncritical acceptance could also aid in easing any guilt or shame you might feel because of your stress.
#3. Employ Mindfulness
It can be difficult to concentrate on the present when you have a lot going on. But all we really have is this moment.
Your concern about the past and the future might be lessened by tuning into it through mindfulness exercises.
A few methods for developing awareness include:
- Single-tasking, sometimes known as the antithesis of multitasking
- movement, such as dancing or yoga
- meditation tools like Calm or Headspace
#4. Practice Breathing Techniques
According to a study conducted among university students, deep breathing can help lower stress and boost happiness.
Additionally, diaphragmatic breathing appears to be able to relieve both physiological and psychological stress, according to a study (with a small sample size).
Try taking a deep breath and concentrating on each subsequent inhalation and exhalation until you feel more at ease when you notice that you become quickly overwhelmed.
It’s okay if self-guided breathing exercises like these are difficult for you. Additionally, you can listen to guided meditations.
#5. Concentrate on Your Sphere of Influence
It’s simple to concentrate on everything outside of our control. And doing so can make us feel more anxious.
But what about the things that we can actually influence?
Try to refocus your attention on something within your power the next time you find yourself worrying about something that is out of your control. Even while it may be more difficult to practice letting go of the uncontrollable, it can be beneficial.
#6. Observe Breaks
Our culture doesn’t exactly place a high value on relaxation or self-care. The majority of us work a full day, then come home, eat dinner, take a shower, do our chores, and prepare for bed. Then, we repeat that procedure the next day and the day after that, until we finally manage to unwind on the weekend (assuming we aren’t also catching up from the previous week).
Your level of stress from constantly being “on” can be decreased by intentionally blocking off time for breaks. Even a brief 1-minute mindfulness break, a 15-minute stretch break, or a drive to your preferred site to view the sunset can be beneficial.
#7. Follow Your Passions
How much of what you love are you doing? Or do you simply toil through each day in an effort to do all the items on your to-do list before it’s time to call it a day?
Make it a point to set aside some time each day to enjoy life. What makes you happy? You might think about:
- Consuming music
- Taking a stroll
- Preparing dinner
- Taking in the sunset
- Interacting with loved ones
#8. Experience Physical Contact
If it’s okay to make physical contact with someone and you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a friend, partner, or member of your family to give you a hug. According to a 2017 study by Trusted Source, touch can lower stress and thus improve general well-being.
#9. Consult a Therapist
If you’ve tried a variety of coping strategies and you still require assistance, think about consulting a mental health expert.
The fundamental cause of your overwhelm can be found in therapy, and it can also provide you with the appropriate coping mechanisms for you.
Feeling Overwhelmed FAQs
How do you get rid of feeling overwhelmed?
When you’re feeling overburdened, try some of these suggestions:
- Step back and inhale deeply. Breathing exercises are a quick technique to start calming yourself down if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Make a list of “no”s.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Ask a loved one for assistance.
- Publish it.
What causes feeling overwhelmed?
You may experience overload due to an initiating stressor, an unanticipated incident, or poor mental health. If a number of stressors pile up on you, you might also experience overwhelm. Additionally, a lack of coping mechanisms can make symptoms worse.
Why am I overwhelmed for no reason?
It’s probable that you have an anxiety disorder if you experience worry, stress, or anxiety over an extended period of time, if it interferes with your daily life, or if you feel overwhelmed for no apparent cause. Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable. Things like breathing exercises and meditation can be beneficial.