Whether you are a busy professional, a student or a stay at home mom, overwhelm is something that most people face. If not properly dealt with, it can lead to stress, anxiety and a host of both mental and physical problems. So, what are some great ways to deal with overwhelm?
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance expert who is founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’ He offers these eight tips to deal with overwhelm:
- Become more fulfilled: Contrary to what you might believe, feeling overwhelmed isn’t usually a result of having too much on your plate. Overwhelm comes from not being fulfilled in the activities you are taking part in. If you know someone who is always on the go and never has time to stop, yet seems so happy and satisfied, it’s because they are doing things they truly enjoy. When you align yourself with your life’s purpose, overwhelm quickly disappears.
- Stop multitasking: We’ve been sold this great big lie that multitasking is the solution to gaining more time. It’s not. Multitasking overwhelms us even more and detracts from quality. The best solution is to take one task at a time. Take on something, give it your best, and when it’s finished move on to the next item on your list. Your stress and anxiety will also quickly disappear.
- Make time for you: As busy as you are, you always have to make time for yourself each and every day. Even as little as 30 minutes to seek out some solitude or engage in an activity that you find pleasurable is important to how you feel and your overall well-being. Even the most successful people in any field carve out a little time for themselves and they never miss a day.
- Get in the moment: People who tend to feel overwhelmed are usually reliving painful experiences in their past or worrying about what is coming up in the future. Instead, ground yourself in the present moment and what is taking place around you right now. If you have trouble with this, ask yourself questions like: What do I see? Who am I with? What do I smell? What am I doing?
- Stop chasing perfect: People who struggle with overwhelm tend to always be chasing perfection. Even when they complete a task that turns out exceptionally well, they still strive to make it better. The secret is to always give your best, and let it stop after that. Perfection is a delusion that will lead to too much stress, anxiety and overwhelm, and can even make you physically sick.
- Stop beating yourself up: People who have a hard time with feeling overwhelmed usually are very hard on themselves. They are the type that look back on a completed task or project and start questioning why they did what they did, and why they didn’t say this or approach it some other way. You have to be your best friend and number-one cheerleader. If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure, misery and a lifetime of being overwhelmed with the results of everything you do.
- Clear up the confusion: Another reason people experience overwhelm is because they are confused. It could be a situation where you have to choose between two similar things, or where multiple people in your inner-circle are giving you different versions of a story. To decrease the overwhelm, don’t let the problem fester for too long. Sort out the facts and get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
- Take a break: If you feel like you’ve hit your breaking point, just stop and walk away. Put it all down, take a break and go do something else. Once you hit the point of mental overload, you’re not thinking clearly or performing at your best. The best way to break free from the emotional load of overwhelm is to get away and rest. In fact, it’s for this reason that many top performers take regular breaks throughout the day.