3 ways to stop feeling overwhelmed

Jul 25, 2023 | Benefits of journaling

How do you stop feeling overwhelmed when you’ve got so much on your plate that you don’t know what to do first, your brain is rammed full of stuff and you can’t see the wood for the trees?

Feeling overwhelmed seems to be happening to more and more of us more and more often. This kind of overwhelm is mostly a feeling of not being in control, a bit panicky, anxious.

Been there. Often.

So here are 3 simple things you can do to stop feeling overwhelmed:

1. Get outside into nature

This is one of THE best strategies for dealing with overwhelm.

Take a moment to look closely and find something from the natural world to marvel at.

A tree.

A flower bud unfurling.

A bird or an insect going about their business doing what birds and insects do.

Stop to consider how nature all fits together in harmony, everything has its place and purpose in this incredible living jigsaw.

Pause to think about how you’re a part of nature too, just one teeny tiny part of an infinite universe, and everything in your life is tinier still, a miniscule part of the grand scheme of things.

This really helps to put into perspective all the things contributing to you feeling overwhelmed. (Not to mention getting outside and getting some fresh air!)

2. Have a brain dump

Get a journal and a pen and literally just start writing what’s in your head.

No need for it to be coherent or in any kind of logical order, simply write what comes. Keep writing until you run out of things to say.

There’s no need to read it back at this point, it will all be there later should you wish to. Just take a deep breath and feel the pressure in your head lift now you’ve emptied it.

You know how much clearer and calmer you feel when you’ve had a good sort out and got rid of a lot of stuff? This is the brain equivalent!

3. Choose 3 things you need to get done today and write them down

Yes I know you’ve got a lot more than 3, that’s perfectly ok.

Choose 3 that you know you will be able to complete – you might choose some of the easier things on your list, or you might choose the things that you least want to do to get them out of the way, or you might choose the things that are most urgent, it’s up to you. Then do them. Focus on these 3 and ignore everything else for the time being.

Overwhelm can paralyse you so you’re like a rabbit frozen in the headlights, unable to do anything. This will get you out of that paralysis and doing something, taking action.

The purpose of this is to get to the end of the day and feel accomplished, enjoying the satisfaction of achievement. You set out what you intended to do and you did it! Congratulations! You’re back in control.

Journaling is such a useful tool to stop feeling overwhelmed, it’s like an antidote! If you fancy having a go then download my FREE simple daily journal sheet. It’s a short collection of prompts, including 2 and 3 above, which will help you feel like you’re running your life instead of your life running you. You can complete it with pen and paper or digitally, whichever you prefer and it takes just a few minutes morning and evening. You can get it here.

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