It’s normal to get upset and worry at times, but when you feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, what can you do?
It usually happens so fast that it feels like a sneak attack that we didn’t see coming, so it’s good for you to be prepared and have a few strategies to use in the moment to help.
Right now, it’s common to feel a sense of stress, or even feel overwhelmed before we have started work for the day.
So we’ve put together 5 helpful tips to help you calm down quickly, the next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.
1. Name it. Admit that you are feeling stress, anxiety, or overwhelm. Even say it out loud;
‘I feel like I’m becoming overwhelmed’
2. Add the powerful suffix; right now. Nothing lasts forever, but in fight or flight mode, we tend to use never or always statements, so let’s make sure we know that this is temporary, by adding the powerful suffix; right now.
‘I feel like I’m becoming overwhelmed, right now’
3a. Feel it. Sit with it. After you’ve named it, accept it. Sometimes, we need to delve into an emotion, to get through it. Instead of pretending or telling ourselves that we’re not feeling the way we are, acknowledge it. Let it in. Ask if it wants 10 minutes or the rest of your life? Maybe you feel like laughing at the drama in the answer.
3b. Question it. Sit with it. Accept that this is what you’re feeling, and then ask yourself; why am I feeling this way? What is making me feel this way? What is one small thing I can do, to stop myself feeling this way?
And if you have time, journal it out. Name it, feel it, write it. Use the following prompts;
What are my common thoughts right now?
What is the worst thing that could happen if this is true?
Now rewrite it as; I am feeling X and the worst thing that could happen is Y, but the most probable thing that could happen is probably Z, so I’m now going to A so that I can feel B and C.
Read it to yourself. Read it out loud. Repeat until there is no power left in it.
Now, journal on the following questions;
Is there something I need to learn from this?
What are these emotions trying to tell me?
If I could shift this feeling, what would I now choose to believe? Eg. I am okay with change.
What action do I need to take, to move forward right now?
4. Have small strategies on tap. Sometimes, noticing it is enough, sometimes you need to question it, journal on it, but other times it has tripped you over so fast that you’re still checking if you’ve skinned your knees, and need a coping strategy. This could be something as simple as: when I am feeling stressed, I will take 3 deep breaths or when I am feeling overwhelmed, I will go for a 10 minute walk/go outside/ground myself on the grass. Just be sure to make a note of these, that way when you’re stressed, you can just go straight to your notes. It’s very difficult to remember or think clearly when we’re in fight or flight mode, so make these actions small, and something that you can do anywhere, any time.
5. Speak up. Is this something you can share with others, maybe you have a trusted friend you can turn to. Or maybe you can make an appointment with a psychologist. There are lots of online chat services these days too. It’s nothing to feel guilty/bad/shameful about. In fact, many of our clients started with us due to stress, anxiety and overwhelm.
Some with diagnosed anxiety, or chronic depressive disorders, too.
And they started because they knew how powerful it was to keep themselves physically active, which in turns keeps them mentally healthy.
In times like this, it can feel like you’re anxious, stressed, even depressed.
And I’m here to tell you that it’s totally okay to feel that way.
It’s okay to feel these emotions. But if they do not pass, reach out and speak up.
Let those emotions out through physical exercise and movement.
Use getting out into nature as a form of self love and healing.
And if you need to, turn to a professional.
There’s no shame, and no weakness, in needing help right now.
It’s actually the strongest thing we can do.
Practice vulnerability, practice kindness and practice self care.
You deserve to feel good, you deserve to look confident and you deserve to move better.
You deserve health, energy and vitality.
Reach out and grab it.
Let’s start a conversation around this. I’d love to know, how do you deal with stress, anxiety and overwhelm? Leave me a comment below.
As always, if you know of someone who would benefit from reading this, please share it with them.