Author: Ann Grandchamp, Mental Health Editor
One of the most common issues my clients deal with is the feeling of overwhelmed.
And what are overwhelmed people really really good at (re)producing? Complexity. The art of complexification is to make things complicated when they are actually quite simple. They don’t do it on purpose, of course. It’s an unconscious and automatic process.
If you recognize this feeling in yourself on a regular basis, rest assured that you are running a mental program like a genius, but you can change the program with the right tools. From the moment it’s within your brain and your nervous system, you can influence what happens within you, how you feel and how you react.
Here are my top tips to start to take back the reins on those feelings of overwhelmed in order to feel calmer and happier.
Take a few minutes in the morning to just dump all the things going around in your mind that need to be done on a piece of paper or in a notebook. You can do it again at any time during the day.
A brain dump is a simple technique to help you declutter your mind and thoughts. It helps you gain focus on things that need doing. Brain dumping also helps you organize your time and efforts. Meaning you usually are much more productive and calmer too. It removes the over-thinking thoughts from your mind and places them somewhere else.
Make a list
Looking at your brain dump, make a list of what you think is the most important for that day or that week and what can be put off to later.
Then highlight the top 3 and aim to get those done that day or week. Anything else you get done is a bonus.
At the end of the day, if you want to, make an “Everything I achieved today” list. I can promise it will make you feel better.
Journal your feelings
Have a journal handy. Once a day at least, take the time to write down all your feelings into a journal. Acknowledging your feelings and giving them an outlet will bring relief and a sense of letting go. It releases stress and some researchers are saying that journaling helps strengthen your immune system by boosting the production of T cells.
One thing that can also be very helpful with difficult feelings or thoughts is to write them down on a piece of paper then to burn, shred, rip or cut the piece of paper and throw it away. It’s cathartic and sends an unconscious message to the brain to let go of those feelings.
Each day, make sure to also write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for in your journal. An attitude of gratitude is highly effective to fight depression, anxiety and increase happiness.
Slow down your breathing
When we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, our breathing tends to be shallow and fast. Get into the habit of checking in with your breathing several times during the day (some people put an alarm on their phone). Close your eyes, breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your tummy to expand, then breathe out slowly through your mouth, letting your tummy deflate.
Did you know that when we breathe correctly, our diaphragm moves properly and massages our digestive system, enabling us to digest a lot better? It will also bring a lot more oxygen to your blood cells and will calm down your nervous system. As a result you will feel a lot calmer and things will seem a lot simpler.
Yes – it’s that easy.
Slow down your thoughts
Typically, when we’re engaging with Ms. Overwhelmed, our thoughts have a tendency to spin. Our inner voice is high, loud and fast. As soon as you notice it, slooooooowwwww it riiiiiiiight doooooowwwwn. You can even exagerated the slowness, as if you were listening to your thoughts in slow motion. Not only will it calm you down, but it will also make you smile or even laugh, which is one of the most relaxing things you can do!
Put your phone down
I don’t think I need to tell you that being in front of screens for long periods of time is one of the most stressfuls things you can do. It’s also a huge time stealer. Deciding on a “screen hygiene” that is right for you will make a world of difference. Decide how long you want to be on your phone, computer, tablet etc. each day. You can see how much time you spend on your phone in your phone settings. You can even see how long you spend on each app. It can be quite a wake up call to see those numbers. In the settings you can set a time limit for each app. Maybe that’s something you could use? Or you could decide, like my husband and I, that from 5.30pm (or another time that suits you), we don’t use our mobile phones anymore, unless it’s very important.
Do whatever works for you, but reduce and limit your screen time. I promise you’ll suddenly have a lot more time on your hands to do things that really matter
One of the things you could do with all that extra time is have fun. Do things that relax you, that make you smile and laugh, that fill up your “zen tank”. Go outside. Dance. Sing. Listen to music. Read. Bake. Exercise. See friends. Etc.
Some of my clients actually schedule time for themselves in their diary to have fun and relax. They make appointments with themselves and they treat those times as highly important. Making time for yourself is a way to prioritise yourself and to make sure that you are mentally well. I can promise you will reap the benefits, big time.
Enjoy putting these tips into practise. I know they will kick Ms. Overwhelmed to the curb and you will feel a lot better for it. Until next time, take care!
Ann Grandchamp, Lightning Process® practitioner,
Advanced Master NLP practitioner, Life Coach
- have fatigue, anxiety, depression, burnout, or ongoing chronic health issues,
- struggle with meditation and other healing solutions but would love the same benefits and more,
- feel that your healing is prevented by sympathetic nervous system over-sensitisation,
- want to live a healthier, happier, and more harmonious life,
then the Lightning Process® may very well be the solution you’ve been looking for.
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