Psychologist Marla W. Deibler, PsyD defines overwhelm as a “feeling completely overcome in mind or emotion.” Getting overwhelmed is something that everyone deals with sometime in their life. Some people deal with it more often than others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with problems, make sure to remember these key things. They will help you get over the hump and get you back on track with your life.
Here Are 10 Things to Remember When You’re Overwhelmed with Problems
1. You’ve done this before
Most likely, you’ve felt overwhelmed with problems before. And like all the other times, you were able to make it through and get to the other side. It’s important to remember that you’ve conquered being overwhelmed before. It will help you stay on the right track and help you avoid having a breakdown.
2. Focus on what you can control
Feeling overwhelmed comes from feeling like you are out of control. One of the best ways to combat this feeling is to make sure you’re focusing on the things that you actually can control.
Steve Maraboli once said, “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
Sometimes, you may feel a loss of control because you’re trying to control the uncontrollable. Sit back, relax, and focus on the things you do have control over.
3. Change happens fast
When it feels like you’re overwhelmed with problems, remember that the only way to get through is to be proactive. You’ll be surprised by how fast change in your life actually happens when you start putting in the effort. When you’re standing at the precipice, remind yourself that you don’t really have that far to go.
4. You have a support system
According to the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, “Supportive relationships can also bolster you emotionally when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed… they provide encouragement and lower your stress and feelings of loneliness.”
You don’t have to go through feeling overwhelmed alone. In fact, you probably have a support system that is ready and willing to help you back on your feet. Remember that your family and friends are always going to be there for you, and that you can reach out to them any time you need.
5. Someone else has survived this
The problems that we have in our lives are not unique. Even if it feels like no one else is experiencing what we are experiencing, that simply isn’t true. There are always going to be people who have gone through what you’re going through right now. All you have to do is reach out and find solidarity.
6. It’s not as bad as it seems
Even when things seem pretty darn bad. When you’re in the moment, emotions can take over and make everything seem ten times worse than it is. When you step back and look at your situation, you can probably find the silver lining. At the very least, you’ll be able to find your starting point to making a positive change.
7. Find ways to relieve the stress
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stress will be right on your heels. Don’t forget to take some time to de-stress. “Resist the urge to self-impose stress by having more confidence in yourself. Don’t press the panic button every time you face a crisis. And, don’t let someone else’s behaviour stress you out,” says Sharon Melnick, author of Success Under Stress.
Whether you need to spend a few hours relaxing, meditating, journaling, exercising or watching your favorite television show, always make time to de-stress. You’ll be amazed how manageable your problems seem after you get rid of the stress.
8. Take it one problem at a time
When you’re overwhelmed, it can be tempting to try and solve everything at once. That is just going to add a whole different world of problems right into your lap. Instead, remember that all you need to do is take it one problem at a time. After that, break it down even further: one step at a time. As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll make it out the other side.
9. Remember to say “no”
If you’re a “yes man” type of person, this could be contributing to your overwhelming pile of problems. Sometimes, it’s good and healthy to exert boundaries. Learning to say “no” to certain things will help you keep your problems manageable. Remember: you don’t have to say yes to everything someone asks of you. Saying “No” can be a virtue.
10. Eat and stay hydrated
Stress and feeling overwhelmed can make it hard to remember to do the bare minimum to keep ourselves healthy. Set periodic reminders on your phone to remind yourself when to eat and when to drink water. Getting through to the other side will require that you stay healthy, well-fed, hydrated, and well-rested. Don’t forget to get sleep, too.
Feeling overwhelmed isn’t a new feeling. You’ve probably made it through being overwhelmed before. Always remind yourself of these things to help you get through to the other side. You’ll come out stronger, wiser, and readier to deal with being overwhelmed if it ever happens again.
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” – Pat Riley