Do you get easily overwhelmed? What can be so overwhelming that even the little things seem like a lot to handle? Everything. The smallest things, the tiniest details of your day, and everything in between can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know how to manage them.
Yet, although being easily overwhelmed is not something we choose, it is something we can learn to manage. To be easily overwhelmed means that you are sensitive to stimulation. It doesn’t mean that you have anything wrong with you; it just means that with minor changes in your routine and habits, you can feel less stressed and more grounded instead of having every small thing feel like a massive weight on your shoulders.
Here are five things to practice if you are easily overwhelmed:
Practice heart-connected breathing.
When we are easily overwhelmed, we are often in our heads. We have our minds racing with thoughts about everything, or we feel numb or shut down.
So, instead of staying connected to the present moment and what is in our hearts, we hold tightly onto mental and emotional clutter. When we practice heart-connected breathing, we bring our attention to the feeling of our breath, and then we bring our attention to the feeling of our hearts.
We imagine our hearts opening, and we bring into our hearts all of the things that are weighing us down and keeping us from feeling grounded and loved. We permit ourselves to let go of these things and bring in what we want to keep in our hearts. You can practice heart-connected breathing whenever you feel overwhelmed or have trouble staying present.
Use grounding practices.
Grounding practices are things you do to bring yourself back to the present moment by connecting yourself with the environment around you.
Simple grounding practices can include eating something you really enjoy bringing your attention to each bite, walking outside and observing the colours, textures and smells, or taking a shower and really allowing yourself to feel the water hitting your body.
Grounding is like a reset button and brings you back into connection with your body instead of connecting with the things that overwhelm you.
When you are overwhelmed, grounding allows you to stop and brings you back to the present, which is vital.
Have small everyday practices.
Having daily or even weekly practices to help you feel connected to your higher self is a great way to keep your stress levels down and feel more in control.
Your practices can be anything from meditation to journaling to doing something physical like yoga, walking outside or going to the gym.
The key is to find practices that make you feel good and consistently do them. I suggest starting small if you haven’t done practices like these before, as they can stimulate your overwhelm if you jump in too quickly. Go slow, and be gentle with yourself.
Having these practices will help you expand your window of tolerance, and you may start to notice that the things that previously overwhelmed you will become more and more tolerable.
Acknowledge your fears.
We all have fears, but when you are easily overwhelmed, you may tend not to acknowledge them or talk about them. Unfortunately, this is very common because we begin to shut down in a state of overwhelm and become disconnected from ourselves.
Not acknowledging how you feel can lead to more anxiety and stress because you are not recognizing what you are feeling and why. So when you notice that you feel easily overwhelmed, take a moment to acknowledge what you are feeling. Are you feeling anxious? Nervous? Afraid? Scared?
Once you have acknowledged what you are feeling, you start to let those emotions flow out of you and into the ground.
Focus on the baby steps.
When we are overwhelmed, our mind gets caught worrying about everything that needs to get done. Unfortunately, this is very common in today’s world of long to-do lists and increased home pressures.
A strategy to help you stay in the moment is to focus on the next thing that needs to happen rather than the entire list of things that need to happen.
This baby step approach will keep you grounded at the moment and prevent you from being swept away. As a result, you will find you are more effective in the long run through your day.
These are five basic ways to help you when you are easily overwhelmed. And try to remember that if you feel like your life is just too much right now, you don’t have to push through and hope it gets better. There are many ways to help yourself feel less stressed out and overwhelmed.
Dave is a Leadership and Life Coach living in Steveston, B.C., Canada.
Dave’s expertise is with individuals and teams who feel stressed out and exhausted and know they want something different.
In 2017, Dave left a career as a Senior Manager at a large Local Government organization to start Small Pause Coaching & Consulting. His philosophy about taking a pause and inviting in a new conversation, a deeper conversation, has supported hundreds of individuals and organizational clients.
He is a Certified HeartMath® Coach & Mentor, a Certified Trauma-sensitive HeartMath® Practitioner, a trained Equine Guided Learning Facilitator and a Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Dave took his coaches training at the Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado.
Dave also expresses his creativity through the Small Pause Shop, where he designs apparel that supports living life ‘inside the pause.’