When you hear the word overwhelm, what do you think of? How do you feel when you think about being overwhelmed?
According to Google, the definition of overwhelm is “buried, drowning beneath a huge mass, or complete defeat.” Do any of those definitions sound like the way that you feel?
Indulging In Overwhelm
Overwhelm is a feeling that if you don’t become aware of and take action toward thinking something different will always be in your life. It is very easy to get into an overwhelm loop.
Our emotions are the fuel we use to take action in our lives. We aren’t going to do anything unless there’s first a feeling or emotion that drives us to take action. So our feelings are very useful.
We often label our feelings as good or bad, positive or negative. But, what if instead, you think about all feelings being useful in the way that they will serve you to take action?
However, there are a few exceptions. Some emotions are called indulgent emotions because they serve no purpose. They don’t help you or increase your well-being in any way.
Overwhelm is one of these emotions.
Too often, we are just so used to having these emotions that they become comfortable. You’re used to feeling overwhelmed, busy, tired, and exhausted. But where can you see that you’ve ever had a result that you wanted in your life because you were feeling overwhelmed? It’s just not possible.
When you’re indulging in overwhelm you don’t have any traction for growth or movement. It can feel like it is necessary or that it might be helpful to propel you forward to do the things you need to do. But often, we don’t do anything when we are feeling it. We use it as an excuse not to show up in our lives.
There’s a big difference between telling yourself that you’re tired and feeling overwhelmed because you have so many things to do and actually being tired from producing in your life and taking care of your responsibilities.
Overwhelm Is Not About Circumstances
We often think we have to change our circumstances to get out of overwhelm, but I’m here to remind you that the power for change is not in your circumstances or what is going on outside of you.
You might think things like, “If only I didn’t say yes to that volunteer job,” or, “If only the kids would pick up their toys without being asked.”
But what if instead of looking outside of yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you look inside at the thoughts you are thinking.
That’s where the true power to make a change comes about.
So now that we know that overwhelm isn’t serving us, I want to show you some steps you can take to overcome it and make progress on the things that matter most to you.
1 - Stop and ask yourself, “Why am I feeling overwhelmed?”
Once you ask yourself this question, you can have your brain go to work for you instead of indulging the emotion of overwhelm and staying there.
A great way to do this is to do a thought download. Write down all the thoughts you are having that are making you overwhelmed.
Maybe your brain sounds a bit like this: “I haven’t ordered those books for home school. I still need to get the garage cleaned out. I need to remember to make the kid’s checkup appointment. It’s so and so’s birthday, and I really want to get a card out to them.”
There’s so much swirling around in our heads, and when you see those thoughts on paper, you get to take the list out of your head! Then you can move on to the next step.
2 - Evaluate your list
Now that you have a complete picture of all the thoughts that are creating overwhelm for you, you get to evaluate them and see which ones are really pressing.
Take a moment and prioritize them, put them in order, and then actually see if there are some things that you don’t have to or don’t want to do. Take those things off your list.
Put the rest of it on your calendar, and then you don’t have to think about that task until you get your reminder that it’s time to do that.
3 - Take control over what you actually have control of
Once you’ve seen everything on your list, decide how you want to feel. If you no longer want to feel overwhelmed, you will have to think about things differently.
What if, instead, you gave yourself loving and compassionate thoughts? How would that change the way you experienced your day, and how much more progress would you make when you come at those tasks from a place that feels good?
In whatever situation you are in, whatever your life circumstances are, the way you overcome them is by becoming aware of everything you’re thinking and then deciding what else you could think that feels better.
That is all it takes because it’s just a feeling, and feelings are controlled by our thoughts. The most important thing you can do is become aware of what you’re thinking and then consciously choose the thoughts that bring you closer to feeling less overwhelmed and more at peace.
Your feelings don’t depend on anything outside of you. Take responsibility for what you’re feeling, recognize that staying overwhelmed won’t serve you, and then take the steps to move beyond it and into emotions that will help you reach your goals.
You have the power to overcome overwhelm, and your example will help show others that they have the power for more peace and joy.
Are you ready for more peace in your life? Join me for a free one-on-one Peace Strategy Call. Schedule today.
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