Dealing with Stress & Overwhelm

Have you been feeling a lot of stress lately? If so, there’s a good chance it’s led to a good deal of overwhelm as well. These two things can often go hand-in-hand, often starting with a lot of stress that goes untreated, which can then lead to a considerable amount of overwhelm and burnout.

While this is very common, it can also be disastrous for your mental and physical state. Luckily, there are some ways you can manage and reduce both stress and overwhelm to get your life back so you feel like you can truly start living again.

Accept What Stress is and That it Can’t Be Avoided

The first part of dealing with the amount of stress you have is accepting what it is. This isn’t so much about accepting that you will always have stress, but more about understanding what stress is so you can better prepare yourself with ways to relieve it. You need to identify your stress, define it, and realize that it is not something you did wrong. If you focus too much on the stress overwhelming you, it leads to a vicious cycle where you continue to release more of the stress hormone, which is going to make it feel a lot worse than it could.

Try assigning a name to your stress, understand that it often comes from situations in your life that couldn’t be avoided, then look to the other ways of reducing it. This can help a lot with your mindset and how you react to stressful situations.

Find Moments to Calm Your Mind and Body

Both your mind and your body go through the ringer when you’re under stress, so it helps to focus on calming both your mind and your body. Sometimes, this means just taking a minute to practice deep breathing, while in other cases, you may want to devote a little more time to focus on meditating or practicing mindfulness. You need these extra moments throughout the day that will help you deal with stressful situations as they arise in order to prevent it from getting worse and leading to feeling completely overwhelmed.

Think About the Situation Differently

If there is a particular stressful situation that you can feel taking over your thoughts and emotions, try to think of it in a different way. Stand outside the problem and put aside your own feelings about it and how it is negatively affecting your life. Just for a moment, try to look at it from a completely different angle.

Does it look any different? Can you find a way to be positive or optimistic? At the very least, is it helping to teach you a lesson?

There are few things in life that are not going to teach you something or have more than perspective to frame it if you can take a step back and let yourself do that.

Get Outside to Regroup Mentally

Time to regroup! Give yourself a break whenever you can, go outside or to a different environment, and just appreciate your new surroundings. Feeling stressed at work? Go outside during your break, take a walk, or just head to lunch with some friends to de-stress.

Is the stress at home? Give yourself a few minutes to be outside in your garden, go for a drive, or walk to a nearby park. The energy is different outside where you have fresh air, sunshine, new sounds and smells, and new senses that develop. This alone can be really therapeutic for you.

Make Sure You Have Realistic Goals

If your stress and overwhelm are related to your goals and the path to achieving them, then you might want to think about what your goals are and whether or not they are realistic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have big dreams, but if they are a little out of reach, failing to reach them is only going to become a burden for you.

Try to use the SMART method of creating goals, which includes making sure they are specific, measurable, achievable and realistic, and time-bound. This can help set you up for success, not for stress due to your failure.

Lean on People When Needed

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know and lean on them when you need to. No one can accomplish everything completely on their own, and sometimes you just need a bit of help, reassurance, and support. Find people who you know and trust that understand what you’re going through and will help to relieve your stress, rather than adding more burden to your life.

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