Feeling overwhelm can be paralyzing and I am sure many people can relate to the nauseous, can not move or do anything feeling that it brings. I have actually felt overwhelmed several times with the launch of Memor due to having a very aggressive growth plan and how much I want to positively impact people with the site (self induced stress right). Heck I am feeling it right now as I write about the way it can feel and by putting my minds’ focus on that feeling to write about it.
Brian Tracy was onto something when he said:
Whatever you dwell upon, grows. The more you think about something the more it becomes part of your reality.
What Does It Mean To Be In Overwhelm
To be in overwhelm typically means to feel extremely stressed, anxious, or overloaded by the amount or intensity of tasks, responsibilities, or situations that one is facing. It can often manifest as a feeling of being stuck, helpless, or unable to cope with the demands of the situation.
People may experience overwhelm in various areas of life, such as work, relationships, health, or personal goals. It can lead to physical and emotional symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, irritability, or mood swings. It is very important to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed and then have steps that you can take to manage and reduce stress to prevent it from having a negative impact on your health and wellbeing.
Influences And Overwhelm
Overwhelm can be caused by both outside and inside influences.
Outside influences, also known as external factors, can include things like a heavy workload, difficult relationships, financial stress, or other circumstances outside of our control. These external factors can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and can be challenging to manage without external support or assistance.
Inside influences, also known as internal factors, are often related to our mindset, emotional state, and self-care practices. For example, if we have a tendency towards perfectionism or have difficulty setting boundaries with others, we may be more susceptible to overwhelm. Additionally, if we neglect self-care practices like exercise, healthy eating, and rest, we may be more likely to experience physical and emotional exhaustion, which can contribute to overwhelm.
Causes Of Overwhelm
There are many factors that can cause overwhelm, and they can vary from person to person. As mentioned above these factors can be externally or internally generated and all are valid if they influence your ability to cope.
Having too many tasks or responsibilities at work or in daily life can lead to overwhelm. This may include unrealistic deadlines, an excessive workload, or a lack of resources or support. It can also be a challenging home life workload that you take responsibility for by choice or by the situation you find yourself in.
Your online usage in the digital age can be a major source as well. We are constantly bombarded with information from multiple sources, and it can be challenging to keep up with it all. We can also find ourselves comparing our reality to that which people post about which in itself can cause feelings to arise as well.
Difficulties in relationships, financial stress, or other emotional stressors can be a major contributor to your feeling of overwhelm. Some studies indicate that over 70% of people feel stress about money from time to time.
Maybe you strive for perfection and setting those high standards has lead to overwhelm, especially if you struggle with self-criticism or fear of failure.
Neglecting self-care practices such as exercise, healthy eating, and rest can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, making it easier to feel overwhelmed.
Finally, not setting clear boundaries with others or taking on too much can contribute to overwhelm. It’s important to learn to say “no” and prioritize your own needs.
Overwhelm Left Unchecked
If you do not work on reducing your level of overwhelm, it can have negative consequences for your physical, emotional, and mental health, as well as your work and personal life. Here are a few of the many potential outcomes:
- Burnout: Prolonged feelings of overwhelm can lead to burnout, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
- Health Problems: Chronic stress and overwhelm can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immune function.
- Impaired Work Performance: Overwhelm can affect your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and meet deadlines, which can lead to poor work performance, missed opportunities, and negative consequences at work.
- Strained Relationships: Overwhelm can also impact your personal relationships by causing irritability, moodiness, and a lack of energy or enthusiasm for spending time with loved ones.
- Decreased Quality of Life: Ultimately, chronic overwhelm can lead to a decreased quality of life, making it difficult to enjoy hobbies and activities that once brought joy and fulfillment.
It’s important to take steps to reduce feelings of overwhelm and stress in order to avoid these negative outcomes. If you’re struggling to manage your stress and overwhelm on your own, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or seeking support from trusted friends or family members.
7 Ways To Fight Feeling Overwhelmed
- Prioritize and Plan: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to prioritize your tasks and create a plan for how to approach them. Make a to-do list or schedule your day, placing the most important or urgent tasks at the top. Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Practice Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally by prioritizing rest, exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation. These practices can help reduce stress and increase your resilience to overwhelm.
- Set Boundaries: Learn to say “no” when you need to and set clear boundaries with others. It’s important to prioritize your own needs and manage your time and energy effectively.
- Delegate: If you have the ability to delegate tasks to others, do so. This can help alleviate some of the workload and reduce feelings of overwhelm.
- Manage Information Intake: Limit your exposure to sources of information that cause stress or anxiety, such as news or social media. Consider taking breaks from technology or setting limits on your use.
- Seek Support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues for support or consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help calm your mind and reduce stress. Focus on the present moment and allow yourself to let go of worries about the past or future.
These are just a few strategies that can help you fight off feeling overwhelmed. It’s important to experiment with different approaches and find what works best for you. Remember, it’s okay to take a break and ask for help when you need it.
Feeling overwhelmed is a common experience and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. With support and the right tools, you can learn to manage your stress and feelings of overwhelm effectively.