We have all been there, “the day that never ends” the one that has you asking yourself “are you kidding me right now? What else could go wrong?” Maybe its work or maybe its family or maybe it’s both!
Feeling overwhelmed, stressed and unable to cope with these feelings is a normal response when we are pushed past our capacity to manage. Here are 3 ways to begin coping and feel relief instantly.
- Change your Thoughts
Begin to notice your thinking. Are there themes to your thoughts? Are your thoughts stressful in nature and perpetuate feeling overwhelmed? Here is an example:
“This is too much”
“This is a terrible day”
“I can’t handle it”
Next, make a choice to argue your thoughts. Generalizing your experience is the biggest culprit of continuing the cycle of feeling overwhelmed! Try asking yourself: Is this true 100% of the time? Another trick is, think the opposite. Here is an example:
“This is a lot of stress for the moment. I can handle everything I am given”
“This moment is tough for me and I will get through it”
“I can get through this, as I have before”
- Change Your Behavior
Evaluate what actions (behaviors) you are choosing, in the moment, that maintain you feeling overwhelmed. Are you saying yes to too many people? Is your body/mind overstimulated by your environment? Then make an active choice to change your behavior. Here are some ways to practice this:
Give yourself a 5 minute break. NO EXCUSES ! Anyone can step away from anything for 5 minutes!
(Hint: Find a Bathroom, it’s the perfect excuse)
Practice saying No to tasks/responsibilities that will create addition stress
Breathe long, deep, slow breaths
- Practice Kindness
One of the most important ways to cope with stress and feeling overwhelmed is to practice kindness to yourself and others. People forget this often and it can make a huge difference in the ways we cope with stress. First, give yourself the gift of kindness- be patient with yourself and stop holding yourself to impossible standards! Give yourself credit and cut yourself a break!
Next, practice kindness towards others. Remember, everyone has their own journey in life and we often don’t know where others come from or their experiences- Chose to give people the benefit of the doubt-it will give you more peace.
Okay so this wasn’t as “Lightning Fast” as promised, but managing emotions is not always as logical and neat as we would like it to be! Remember the steps above when you are feeling overwhelmed or having a rough day. If these feelings become too difficult to bear, please seek professional help- we are here to help you improve your psychological well-being!
Valerie Spiropoulos, LCPC