We’ve all somehow naturally mastered the skill of getting into overwhelm, you need to master getting out of overwhelm.
The word “overwhelm” is actually neutral, it is neither positive or negative. You can say “I’m overwhelmed with joy” and that makes the word positive, or you can say “I’m overwhelmed with stress” and that makes the word negative. The choice is yours.
When you are experiencing overwhelm, it can take shape in a variety of ways.
In each instance, you are generally more likely to be overwhelmed by negative disempowering emotions. .
These emotions include but are not limited to — anger, fear, anxiety, or guilt —
and it is often difficult to understand and verbalize the exact source of the stress.
- Can’t stop over-thinking things
- Struggling to switch off and relax
- Wants to live their life to the fullest but feels something is holding yourself back
- Wants more freedom and joy and to live in the moment
- Feels the pressure to be ‘perfect’ and to never make a mistake
- Get fearful about giving presentations or meeting new people
- Wants to feel calmer, more confident and happier
- Simply feeling there is too much on the plate.
So how do we stop overwhelm? It is much easier to prevent overwhelm before feeling it.
Step 1: Accept it.
Ask yourself “has fighting an emotion ever helped?” The answer is probably no. If the feeling of overwhelm is like an ocean, instead of drowning, relax and ride out the wave like surfers do.
Step 2: Change inducing thoughts
Be very self aware, notice and journal what sparks stress. Start creating helpful thoughts. Watch out for the negative belief or story you’re telling yourself.
Step 3: Single task
Change your multitasking mindset and make perspective change. We often pride ourselves in being multitasking, then we are forced to make a life change when we reach the point of burn out.
This is when we need to learn from men and stop the multitasking mindset. We as women can thrive being laser focused at one task at a time and be efficient.
Step 4: Simply life
You must separate your list for must dos and to dos. Priorities should be no more than 3 items on a list, then other items are simply icing on the cake. Learn it is okay not to finish, or rename your to do list. Some examples are the TaDa List, or the Done List.
Learn to say no. Any time you are asked a question, think about it and get back to it later. Don’t let a spontaneous yes ruin your mood for the whole month.
Step 5: Mindfulness
Focus on right now and appreciate the here. Take a deep breath and meditate. Close your eyes and reset your intentions throughout the day as needed.
Take meaningful action and engage in joyful activities. Make a list of joyful activities and any time you start feeling overwhelmed, immediately resort to a joyful activity on your list.
Step 6: Prevention:
Notice what solves your stressors. A stressor is an external stimulus or an event that causes stress. Notice and journal what these stimulus are for you and prevent such environmental events in the future.
Overwhelm kills momentum, so getting rid of overwhelm is an important skill we need to master.
Shift the mindset from thinking “I am overwhelmed” to “I am remarkable for tending to my priorities.”
Remember, you are amazing, you are the CEO of your life and you are the manager of this organization called your life, so, choose your priorities wisely.
Lucy Liu is a certified life coach helping women in life transitions unstuck, beat overwhelm, see clarity, set new goals, live a happier fulfilling life and thrive! She is an unshakable optimist, wife, mother, easy-going entrepreneur, women empowerment workshop facilitator, motivational speaker and now makes it her passion to help other women rewrite their life story. She also inspires as the host of her weekly podcast The Lucy Liu Show.