Feeling overwhelmed is not an uncommon experience. With the fast-paced and busyness of everyday life, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’re losing control of your surroundings. The vicious cycle of stress and anxiety tends to sneak up on you and may be difficult to break. When these feelings arise, it is critical to utilize coping mechanisms to take charge of them before they consume you. Prolonged overwhelming and stressful feelings deplete the body of energy and inhibit its proper and optimal function.
Stress and anxiety are indiscriminate and no matter who you are, you can have these feelings. Many things lead a person to feel overwhelmed. A student may feel overwhelmed by their course workload or by thoughts about their future. An employed adult may feel that they have too many work and family responsibilities. Although not everyone experiences stress for the same reasons, it is equally important for everyone to manage their stress in a way that is both healthy and effective.
There are numerous things you may do to help reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelming emotions. However, it is important to find what works best for you, as different strategies may work for different people:
1. Make a list:
Your brain often causes you to feel overwhelmed because it believes you have too much to do and not enough time. If you make a list of everything you need to get done, it is likely that your responsibilities will not seem as daunting as your brain is making them out to be. Once written down, you can mark off tasks as you complete them. This will make you feel accomplished and productive, and may even motivate you to keep going and incorporate list-making into your daily life!
2. Think about the “why”:
In order to resolve an issue, it is important to reflect on why you are experiencing the issue. Getting to the root of your emotions will help you determine why you are having these feelings and give you insight on how to best approach a solution. Sometimes, when you reflect on the reason you realize that you’re not stressed or anxious for any particular reason and that may help your feelings subside.
3. Find a healthy outlet:
It is vital to give yourself some space from whatever might be triggering your stress and anxiety. Take a step back and take some time for yourself. Prioritizing self-care and doing things you enjoy will help you de-stress. Each person may have different preferred outlets. While some people choose to go to the gym and exercise, others may prefer to unwind and watch television. When you need a break, you should engage in whatever brings you happiness. Some people may find it difficult to take breaks because they feel like taking a break will delay their opportunity to tackle what’s causing them stress. However, even if it’s for a brief period, it is crucial to clear your mind so that you approach your tasks with a fresh head and a new perspective.
4. Focus on the “controllable”
People dislike feeling that their circumstances are out of their control. People tend to focus on the things that are beyond their control while ignoring the things that they do have control over. Stressing about things that you cannot manage is unproductive and will send you into a downward spiral. When you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try to focus on the things that you have influence over and make an effort to believe that everything you cannot control, will work out how it is supposed to.
5. Speak to someone
For some, no matter what strategies they attempt to gain a handle on their stress and anxiety, they just do not feel content. If that is the case, it is important to speak to someone and seek guidance. While friends and family are a great resource, there are times when it’s important to talk to a professional who will listen to your concerns and offer you objective, unbiased advice on ways to alleviate your stress and anxiety.
For those who choose to seek professional help, Apple Psychological offers a variety of counseling, Anxiety Treatment, a Master Your Stress So You Can Ace the Test Curriculum and Manual, and other great resources. Getting help is not something to be ashamed of and may be the best route for some people. If you find yourself unable to find effective methods to cope with your anxiety, gaining another perspective may be beneficial.
Whichever method you choose to deal with overwhelming and anxious feelings, the important thing is that you try! To learn about how we can help or to book a free consultation, click HERE or call us at 917-526-0766. An experienced counselor specializing in Anxiety Treatment can help.