In modern societies, feeling overwhelmed with life is a recurring problem. Millions of individuals face severe anxiety and emotional pain that comes with overwhelm. People feel helpless. They are in deep confusion. All of this paralyzes them from taking any action. Truth be told, action is literally the first medicine to overcome overwhelm. It is the antidote to anxiety. To get you out of this analysis paralysis, check the collection of activities that can go beyond just getting you moving to sometimes literally solving your entire problem.
15 Actions that can empower you overcome feeling overwhelmed with life
1. Get enough sleep
It is an old adage. They say, sometimes you need to sleep over your problems!
Modern society is often deprived of sleep. With the options available in their life and profession, we often feel that we can do so much more in a day. Many of us have a consistent FOMO (fear of missing out). This creates certain stress and anxiety in our lives that does not even let us sleep calmly. This leads us to face stress and stress-related diseases.
Especially when you are overwhelmed with life and filled with anxiety, good and deep sleep is powerful medicine. Check out these 17 tips to sleep better at night!
2. Celebrate the fact that you want more out of your life
Those who are overwhelmed and anxious, often feel that they are not able to do enough. Rather they are not good enough!
This is a mindset issue. These thoughts will make you think more about your failures and what is lacking in your life.
So, the first step is to fix is our mindset.
What if you said this to yourself: “The reason I feel overwhelmed is because, I know I can do so much more! Isn’t that awesome? This means I am capable of achieving way more than where I stand right now.”
Thinking like this is like turning a setback into an opportunity!
Your mind will respond to this kind of thinking with multitudes of solutions. All you need to do after that is select and act on some of them.
3. Adopt some activity that stops you from thinking in negative spirals
As experienced by most of us, when we are overwhelmed it starts a negative spiral.
It makes us anxious. It makes us question our capabilities. It removes the deep concentration and involvement we can enjoy in anything we do. It reduces the quality of our output. This brings many unwanted situations in our life and career. Finally, it can even go to the level of giving us panic attacks. Let us call this a negative spiral of life!
Often when we are caught in such a spiral, we see that we are unable to decide and do any specific thing.
There is a simple solution to be able to go stop the negative spiral and start positive spirals in our life.
This is the solution: Carefully think of 1 simple activity which you enjoy doing while it grows you in some way personally or professionally!
Our hobbies or sports are our best friends here. Just ensure that it involves you taking some action. It should not be a spectator sport for you.
4. Plan just 2 to 3 things in a day and make them happen
Trying to do many things at the same time, in a single day is often a trigger to feeling overwhelmed.
Remember this: “We always overestimate what we can do in 1 day,
And Underestimate how much we can achieve in 1 year!”
Success is not about doing many things at once and running in 10 different directions. Real success is about being able to consistently grow in one or 2 directions that are closest to your heart!
So here is one thing you must immediately implement!
Decide 2-3 things that you want to do the next day, before going to sleep. Remember them at the start of the next day. And simply make them happen!
This is what we call – Game of Small Wins.
Even if the things you want to do maybe small – like say reading or exercising for just 10 minutes a day – when you do them, you feel like an achiever.
Once you start doing this, you need to understand how this “Game of Steps” creates exponential outcomes!
5. Think what is your real goal or life vision
Overwhelm and anxiety comes into our lives because many times we are chasing someone else’s dreams.
If we think deeply, most of the things which we desire are not even important to us or those we admire. But we are still getting pulled towards them because of social or other pressures.
If you find yourself in the same boat, here is a useful 10 step framework to figure out your real goal or aspiration!
The more Secure we become, the More Insecure we feel!Needlemover.me
This is happening to most of us every day. The more we have, the less we feel are we given.
A billionaire may be getting anxiety attacks, while many of those in poverty around you seem to be in much more peace – joyfully leading their lives.
Obviously, this is a matter of mindset. It is a matter of perspective.
Those who have less are more thankful. Those who are in the top 1% economically, often are whining about the smallest of things that didn’t happen the way they wanted.
The quickest way to get out of this is – Be thankful and Remind yourself how much blessed we are every day!
The popular term for this is – Practicing gratitude.
7. Distance a bit from social media
We all have experienced how all of us keep showing the brighter side of our lives on popular social media platforms.
Continuously checking what others are doing and enjoying can create a sense of missing out on many fun things in life. This can create unnecessary emotional and mental stress in our lives. Especially when we are going through a challenging phase of life, these social media musings can trigger anxiety and overwhelm us!
What we don’t see – fortunately, or unfortunately – is how many challenges these people having fun actually face in their lives.
It is like viewing the curated lives of others, not the real ones!
So when feeling overwhelmed, a simple thing to do is put our laptops and mobile devices away as long as possible. Screen time, especially on social media, is not a productive time!
When the Body Moves, the Brain Grooves!Needlemover.me
A simple and insightful line to remember.
This is the reason why many times when we think we tend to prefer walking over sitting at one place.
This is why exercise is one of the most potent medicine to overcome overwhelm and anxiety.
Exercising means we are doing calculated body movements mindfully!
This stretches our body and mind, making us focus on this one activity.
This results in removing our distractions. And when the exercise is over we feel like we have achieved something!
When overwhelmed we find ourselves distracted all the time.
An old but very effective technique to discipline our mind to focus on one thing at a time is – the Pomodoro Technique
This framework allows you to use your time and attention effectively resulting in significantly higher productivity. The more productive you become, the less overwhelmed you feel!
Our emotions are deeply connected with our breathing.
When we are calm we breathe slowly. When we are hustling or anxious we naturally breathe faster.
When dumbfounded with some major situation in our lives, many of us have experienced how we can’t even breath properly!
This is why in many ancient traditions around the world and especially in the Indian subcontinent, several breathing techniques were taught right from childhood.
11. Get your perspective right
Here are a few things you need to say to yourself when in overwhelm:
a. It is good that this is happening to me. It tells me that I want more out of my life.
b. Looks like this is the time to set up a few systems in my life so that I can get more done.
c. I know that I am not the only one facing this. Millions around the world have overcome this.
d. This is just one of those challenges in life that shall pass. Let me think about what I can do in this situation.
There can be many such things that one can say to himself/herself when bogged down.
The central idea behind thinking like this is to change the narrative that is going on in our minds.
It is to shift our thinking from “how I am a failure!” to “How can I win from here” !
12. Seek connection
When overwhelmed, we feel lonely. We feel being cornered by life. We feel being isolated or we tend to isolate ourselves from people around us or society in general.
This can only add to our overwhelm.
What we need in such a challenging phase of life is someone to talk to!
There are multiple groups on social media that try and bring such people together.
Just the feeling that you are not alone in this challenging phase, can remove half of your stress.
Small conversations with close friends or those who went through similar phases in their lives, can bring useful insights and hope for us.
This is why embracing vulnerability and opening up about such challenges to those who care about you is important. Don’t let your ego come in your way!
13. Art of saying No
With increasing options for everything in the modern world, the art of saying no is becoming more important.
Overwhelm and anxiety to some extent can be a product of you needing to spend your time, thinking, and actions on these multitudes of options daily!
You need to replace the thought – “How could I say No?”
To “How should I say No?”
This will give you the direction that you need so dearly.
If you want to learn this in detail, there is a popular book written on “Art of Saying No”
14. Defining Success
In the modern world, success is often related to what you accumulate.
This means the more you have, the more successful you are!
In reality, however, whether it is food, money, or other things – anything which you accumulate far beyond needs starts to create stress.
If you feel you have very little money, you should talk to someone who has a lot. If you are able to make the person open up to you, you will quickly realize that they may not be happier than you. They also have problems. It is just that their problems are different than yours!
So then, one of the first things that we all need to think deeply about is-
“What does success mean to me?”
Success means different things to different people. All of us have different desires and aspirations.
It is just that, in this hyper-connected world, we see so many different kinds of successes that we lose the track of what success means to us!
The core idea here is to get focused on what is meaningful and fulfilling to you!
15. Professional help
Sometimes, in spite of doing all the things above, we tend to find ourselves still facing acute overwhelm and anxiety.
If the problem persists, it can be a time for us to take professional help.
Just remember that it is totally fine to get this kind of help.
Don’t we go to a doctor if we have a fever or a disease?
So why can’t we go to a professional who can help us with our mental condition?
If you have read this far, then you now know 15 highly effective actions that you can immediately take! Just take the first step!