Everyone’s threshold for feeling overwhelmed is different because the triggers causing overwhelm
are different from one person to the next person. And we can’t always work out what the triggers
are, which can feel overwhelming in itself.
Maybe you ask yourself, ‘What is my problem and why do I feel overwhelmed?’
This article is about some of the triggers that can lead to overwhelm and what you can do to change your situation.
Continuous and excessive workloads, commitments, and responsibilities
You may feel like you don’t have enough time to complete all your responsibilities and
commitments. And it does not help that we are constantly bombarded with a massive
amount of information all the time due to emails, phone calls, zoom meetings, news
(usually negative) – impossible to keep up with and can cause disorganisation, chaotic thoughts and often emotional responses like anger, frustration, feeling fed up and overwhelm.
Significant life events like losing a loved one, financial problems, health issues and trauma can be
very overwhelming. However, long term stressful situations can also cause emotional overwhelm,
exhaustion, anger, frustration, (I could go on). Emotions just need some attention and focus.
Instead they are usually ignored, compressed, pushed away … until… our reactions and behaviours become irrational and maybe unkind.
Remember it is ok to feel angry, upset, overwhelmed. Avoid pushing the emotions aside.
Give yourself some time out and allow the emotion to be with you. It may feel like it is getting
bigger, or it may just dissipate. Either way, it will dissipate and often you will get the right answer how to deal with the situation that caused the emotional reaction. But if the answers do not come immediately, the emotional reaction will not have such control over you. This can work with long term problems and situations. This takes practice and time but is incredible!
Lack of sleep, exercise, time out (mentally), eating on the go, reduced nutrition, lack of social
interaction … all contribute to the overwhelm.
It is during sleep that our body will rejuvenate and refresh, from mind to physical body systems and functions. Cells regenerate. The mind will process the daily activities and make sense of everything that has happened.
Exercise encourages the feel good hormones to release. The body will strengthen through muscle
usage and the scar tissue that is formed whilst exercising. The mind can work thought issues and
problems, finding solutions. Or we may have time out thinking about something that is not a
problem. Either way, solutions are often found for our problems.
Good nutrition can be confusing. We are overloaded with lots of information about what is good
for us and what is not. Avoid ‘man made’/processed foods, and of course, avoid lots of alcohol.
Learn to cook with fresh vegetables and meat. And look after your gut bacteria.
Social interaction will have an impact on smiling and laughing. Smiling and laughing have been
shown to reduce stress hormones and increase the endorphins (feel good hormones), which
switches many of the body systems into a state of efficiency and healing. See below.
What happens when we relax?
Increasing the feel good hormones will encourage the digestive system, immune system, energy
levels, a good nights sleep, better eating, reduced alcohol intake. Gosh I could go on. Blood pressure could level out, and even go down. Many physical and mental problems can be avoided, reduced, got rid of when stress levels are lowered. Overwhelm is a big contributor to stress, or is stress the contributor to overwhelm?
Take care of your physical and mental wellbeing as this is crucial to long term resilience to
OVERWHELM and stress reduction.
What do you like to do? Think about what you enjoy and make time to do it. Can it be done in small chunks throughout the day?
Ask for help. Let someone help you with the daily tasks and chores – delegate. Make a list and/or
write things down – it’s called a brain dump and really good for reducing OVERWHELM.
Take deep breaths. Allow yourself 2 minutes regularly throughout the day to breath and stop
thinking, literally stop thinking. Just think about your breathing. You can visualise something you
enjoy, like the beach for example, which can reduce over-thinking.
If you are not good at visualisation, read, or look at a picture you like. Whatever you enjoy, do it! For 2 minutes, regularly throughout the day. And breath
There is now evidence that short ‘time outs’ regularly throughout the day are as good for you as
having an exercise or meditation session.
Contact me if you have any questions. I am always here
Take care of yourself.