Taking Care of Yourself When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Our work lives have become incredibly demanding, presenting us with complicated challenges at a speed that’s almost difficult to keep up with. Pile that on your personal or family needs, it’s easy to see why you are always feeling overwhelmed.

Emotional overwhelm is often all-consuming. It entails being completely overcome by intense emotion that something becomes too challenging to manage and overcome. It can be hard to think and act rationally and even carry out your routine tasks when you are overwhelmed.

What are the signs of emotional overwhelm? What are its causes? What can you do to manage the feeling? Why to get online counseling services? This article will answer these questions in-depth, so let’s get started.

Signs that You Are Emotionally Overwhelmed

What shows that I feel overwhelmed?

It is easy to miss out on the signs of overwhelm, especially if you have no idea about them. So, here are some of the things to look out for:

  • Overreacting to the most minor/ insignificant things
  • Unexplained physical illness and fatigue
  • Trouble staying focused and performing routine responsibilities.
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Your emotions determine your outlook on the world.

Causes of Overwhelming Emotions

The list of things that can cause overwhelm is long and will vary from one person to another.

Traumatic life experiences, stress, and relationship issues are some of the things that can cause over and much more.This could lead a person to addict to substances as well.However there are so many places like Alberta substance abuse facility to help addiction treatments.

Daily life stressors such as squabbling with a family member, hunger from skipping a meal, troubled sleep, and even missing the bus after a hectic morning can make you feel overwhelmed.

It’s important to note that some emotions can overwhelm you more than others. For example, it’s way easier to manage anger than sadness or fear. If you experience conflicting emotions such that you can’t tell what you are feeling, emotional overwhelm is likely to occur.

Psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety have emotional overwhelm as one of their symptoms.

Emotional overwhelm is a state of being beset by intense emotion that is difficult to manage. It can affect your ability to think and act rationally. It could also prevent you from performing daily tasks.

What to Do When Overwhelmed? 6 Things to Consider

I am overwhelmed, what can I do?

When you have too many demands putting pressure on your mind for a long time, you are bound to feel overwhelmed. As a result, you’ll be prone to distractions, making you less effective both personally and professionally. That said, if you are feeling continuously overwhelmed, here are some key strategies to try:

identify What is Causing You to Feel Overwhelmed

Identifying the underlying trigger of your overwhelm will go a long way in helping you to manage it. Think about the aspects of your life that are stressing you. Is your job, school, family, or relationship stressing you? 

After that, decide what exactly is causing overwhelm in these areas of your life. Write down everything that comes to mind so you can get a clear idea of your triggers.

Acknowledge the Feeling

Accepting that you are overwhelmed can make it easy for you to manage the feeling. It gives you the ability to control your behavior, which in turn, goes a long way in ensuring that you implement coping strategies.

Understand What’s in Your Control

You’ll be easily overwhelmed if you are always concerned about things that are beyond your control. Take charge of your feelings by identifying what you can control and making the necessary adjustments. For example, the news is constantly making you overwhelmed; you have the power to stay away. You can switch off the television, avoid news websites on your smartphone, among other things.

Practice Grounding Exercises Using Your Five Senses

Popularly known as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique or mindfulness, grounding yourself by leveraging your five common senses can help when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. This technique helps ground you in the present moment and keeps your thoughts from running wild.

That said, here’s how to implement this strategy if you feel overwhelmed:

  • Identify five things you can see in your surroundings. It could be the ceiling, chair, table; the actual items don’t matter.
  • Identify four things you can touch around you. It could be your pillow, blanket, sweater, the ground below your feet, etc.
  • Identify three things you can hear. It could be kids playing outside, birds chirping, cars honking outside, the wind rustling, or even the sound of your breath.
  • Identify two things you can smell. It could be the smell of your pillow, your hair, etc.
  • Identify one thing you can taste. You can sip water, coffee, gum, or just try to feel what your mouth tastes like.

Start Meditating

Mindful meditation can help you clear your mind and calm you down when you feel overwhelmed. Basic meditation is about drawing your mind to pay attention to one object, activity, or thought for several minutes at a time, without judgment. 

By focusing on just one thing, meditation allows you to get a hold of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing you to be overwhelmed.

Meditation has been linked to reduced stress, depression, and anxiety and is often recommended for various mental health issues. If you’re new to meditation, try using a free online meditation video and do it for 5-10 minutes at a time.

Maintain a Close Connection with People

Studies have shown that social support and interaction positively affect your physical, emotional, and mental health. People with robust support systems have better coping skills, greater well-being, and live healthier, longer lives. 

If you’re dealing with an overwhelming feeling, try connecting and spending quality time with family or a close friend. Alternatively, you can also try support groups- in-person or online.

Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can help motivate you to pursue your goals and achieve things you otherwise didn’t think you’d accomplish. Aside from that, affirmations can give you the power to fight negative thinking patterns and belief systems.

Often, being overwhelmed comes about when you push yourself beyond what you can physically or mentally handle. So, the next time you’re panicking about everything you’re yet to do and are thinking, ‘I’m not doing enough,’ tell yourself, ‘I’m doing the best I can.’

Here are some more examples of affirmations how to not be overwhelmed affirmations you can try:

  • “Taking care of myself is not being selfish.”
  • “It’s okay for me to ask for help.”
  • “It doesn’t need to be perfect.”
  • “One task at a time is enough.”
  • “I choose to be calm and centered no matter what.”
  • “My productivity does not determine my worth.”
  • “I don’t have to do everything today.”

How Online Therapy Can Help You Cope with Overwhelm

If you’re looking for how to not feel overwhelmed, self-care is definitely one of the things you should think about implementing. Meditation, mindfulness, positive affirmations, and other tips discussed above can help keep overwhelming feelings at bay.  

But in the current society, where balancing work and life is difficult, feelings of overwhelm can eventually creep up on you. It’s okay to seek help in the form of therapy. 

Online therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to talk out your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. An online therapist who has experience in stress management can help you determine your triggers and negative thought patterns. 

Once you’ve identified that, they can help you implement healthier and more sustainable ways to deal with your feelings.