Overcoming Overwhelm: A Guide to Finding Calm

Feeling overwhelmed is a common experience, but it doesn’t have to consume us.

Signs of Overwhelm:

  • Negative self-talk
  • Catastrophic thinking
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of focus
  • Engaging in distractions
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical tension

Steps to Reduce Overwhelm:

  1. Acknowledge Your State: Awareness is the first step to change. Recognise when you’re overwhelmed instead of resisting it.
  2. Breathe and Be Present: Take slow, deep breaths to regulate your nervous system. Be present with your feelings before taking action.
  3. Verbalize Your Experience: Acknowledge your overwhelm either verbally or in writing. Allow yourself to hold the feeling without judgment.
  4. Practice Self-Soothing Techniques: Use practices like “havening” or mindfulness exercises to calm your mind and body.
  5. Change Your Environment: Take a break and step away from the situation briefly to reset.

Preventing Future Overwhelm:

  • Identify the root causes of overwhelm, such as:
    • The task feeling too big
    • Lack of knowledge or resources
    • Misalignment with your goals
    • Stress from other areas of life
    • Unmet basic needs (H.A.L.T.)
  • Take proactive steps to address these causes, such as breaking tasks into smaller steps, seeking information or help, reassessing priorities, or seeking support from a coach.

Overcoming overwhelm is possible with awareness and practical strategies. By recognizing your triggers and implementing coping mechanisms, you can regain control and lead a more balanced life.