13 Simple Ways to Relieve Overwhelm.

12 May
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”

Timber Hawkeye

Overwhelm can arrive when something triggers a powerful emotion in us; especially fear, which can then flood our mind with paralysing negative thoughts and emotions, and change our posture, breath and ability to cope.

It’s really important to be curious about our thought patterns, and to claw back some control because once negative thoughts overly take hold in our mind, they’re likely to distort the severity of our situation and have us focusing on dramatic consequences.

Emotional overwhelm occurs when the intensity of our feelings outmatches our ability to manage them. It can come from a single big stressor, like a pandemic. Or financial issues. Trying to make ends meet is probably number one in the list for tipping many people over the edge. Others find that overwhelm sweeps in like a tidal wave, brought on from a bunch of challenges like life transitions and losses that come at us one after the other.

We have to learn to self soothe, to change our thoughts, to distract ourselves to get a break from the intensity of stress and heightened reactions, in order to regain our sense of perspective and to make room for creative solutions to rise to the surface.

  1. Return to the present moment as often as you can. Breathe in to the count of seven, hold for seven and exhale to the count of seven. Repeat until your heart rate returns to a state of calm.
  2. Close your eyes and calmly tell yourself all is well, right now in this second. Say it over and over, until you believe it.
  3. Listen to music or watch a cartoon or a movie, and aim to lose yourself in it, or go visit someone else and focus on their story to exit your own.
  4. Be more Dr Suess like and opt for the motto it is what it is, and remind yourself that although you can’t control what’s already happened, you can make inroads to change, which can positively influence what will happen in your future.
  5. Make lists. What’s out of control? Brainstorm possible solutions. Break things down into bite size pieces so you can decide more easily what matters and what doesn’t.
  6. Know that there’s no wrong decision. Everything is up for change.
  7. Focus on one task at a time. Preferably something you’re good at.
  8. Keep your imagination for creativity, not for a million different outcomes, and stay away from what ifs and if onlys.
  9. Let go of stinking thinking. Let’s face it, there are a lot of thoughts that are never going to serve our greater wellbeing.
  10. Stop every single catastrophic story you have running and instead tell yourself I can manage, I can do it, I can find and make time and things are in the process of getting better. Know that you are an amazing source of resources and you can ask for help and support if you’ve forgotten how to do it all by yourself.
  11. Disconnect from things you can’t control like watching, listening and being around politics, the news, economic forecasts, bank statements and other peoples strong opinions. Stay away from triggers while you calm yourself.
  12. Seek to get into the flow by doing something creative or going for a nature walk, barefoot on the grass, or the sand and allow the beauty and sounds around you to drown out your inner freak out. Look up at the stars and know you aren’t alone, that everyone faces challenges at different times in their lives and tell yourself that this too shall pass.
  13. Increase your self care. Eat nutrient rich food. Move and hydrate. Sleep, let today go and always know that tomorrow is another day, a fresh slate, a new opportunity for things to begin go right. Soak up all love on offer.

2 Responses to “13 Simple Ways to Relieve Overwhelm.”

  1. penelopedeboer May 12, 2021 at 8:57 pm #

    Thanks Leanne – I needed this tonight.

    hugs to you both Penelope

    • Princess Leelee May 13, 2021 at 1:58 pm #

      Glad to be of assistance! Trying times need us to be as slow and steady as we can. Sending love and calm x

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