Feeling overwhelmed literally makes parts of your brain shut down. You might experience cognitive fatigue, sensory overload, burnout, physical exhaustion, a flood of thoughts, confusion, or the stress response, you may feel anxious, sweaty, teary, or panicky alternating in quick succession with wanting to give up, shut down, curl up into a ball, procrastinate and avoid everything.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here’s what to do instead.
Slow it down. Take a deep breath, and grab a large piece of paper and a pen.
Now do a brain dump, take everything in your head and write it down on paper, it doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need good handwriting or grammar, just put it on paper, make a list or a diagram if you want, just take all the things in your head and put them onto the paper.
Usually people feel better after that, but now we’re going to do one better…
Cross Off Things You Can't Control
Cross off everything that’s not in your control – news stories, your bosses’ attitude, the weather, your mother in law’s opinions, your child’s mood …. cross off anything that’s not in your realm of influence.
Now if, for example, there’s something you need to do about your child’s behavior- like enforce a boundary or something- cross off- Tommy’s tantrums, you can’t control his feelings, instead write down “I need to enforce a boundary, and it’s so hard”.
After you’ve crossed off everything that you can’t control, and replaced a few of them with things in your control, it’s a terrible idea to try to do them all at once, so just take a deep breath, slow yourself down, and circle one action you’re going to take.
Then set the paper aside and get back to life, do that one thing, or do what you need to be doing in the present moment.
OK, I hope this helps you get better at feeling, thanks for watching and take care.
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