becoming overwhelmed

If you were to ask anyone who personally knows me they would describe my life as “hectic” or “chaotic” — no doubt in my mind! My life, just like everyone else’s, is complicated. As I mentioned in my first post, I have experienced many significant changes in my life within the past few months. And to be completely honest, I was very overwhelmed at first. I had a mini freak out, took a breath then realized: This is a normal response!  

Just like many other people I have a natural tendency to shut down when I begin to feel overwhelmed. My shoulders rise to my ears and my heart rate increases. At times when I’m really stressed out I even experience dizziness. These physical responses coupled with the intense mental strain causes everything, in that moment, to seem as though it’s too much to handle. This is exactly what happened to me when I tried to imagine what life was throwing at me. 

Life is a roller coaster! For the sake of this metaphor, this car has a lot more than one seat. Adrenaline junkie or not, everyone consciously choose to run the ride with each decision they make. Unfortunately, the part that sucks is that it’s your job to repair the ride when it breaks down. Too often we are distracted living within our own worlds that we forget the choices we make affect not only us, but those around us…

While the easiest option was to remain stagnant and be upset about the situation, this was not an option for me. So what did I do? I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the situation I was in was the result of choices I consciously made. Once I understood that, it was time to roll up my sleeves and attempt to repair this thing… and did I mention my tool skills were limited??

I devoted every ounce of my being to getting the ride back on track. With tenacious effort and mentoring from my amazing support system I was able to get the ride operating! Aside from feeling accomplished for repairing the mechanism, I refined my utilitarian skills. These skills allow me to be proactive in repairing minor issues before they cause a major malfunction. 

When it comes to my support system, I largely attribute my character development to my godmother. This woman is wise beyond her years and more than willing to share her philosophies with those who will listen. She is one of the most sensible people I know — making her one of the only people I truly listen to. I largely accredit her for my methods of dealing with stressful situations. Similarly to my aunt, I want to share my tips with those of you who are willing to listen. 

Pause and observe the situation.

I feel as though it is important to feel your emotions rather than suppress and hide them away in an attempt to forget them. You are allowed to freak out… but only for five minutes. 

No actually — Set a timer on how long you’re going to mope. Limit the amount of time you allow yourself to feel the stress and anxiety of being overwhelmed. Then move on and get over it! 

Emotional repression is actually damaging to your physical health! Countless studies show “feeling bad is good,” however, put a time limit on the negativity and prepare yourself to conquer the world. 

haha relevant

Take control.

I am a list person — I love making lists! Creating a physical representation of what you need to accomplish (…a list…) has been proven to help build mental strength. 

Feel free to flip flop this with feeling the emotions too! My typical process is making the list then freaking out over how much I have to do… then breaking it down and getting sh*t done!

One step at a time.

steps

Forreal though, deal with everything in small pieces. The inspiration for this post came to me  while I was (attempting to) clean and organize my bedroom. I tend to look at the chaotic wreck that is my room, imagine what I could be doing with the space then flopping onto my bed because I have no idea where to even begin cleaning, haha. 

As you can imagine, this is not a productive method. What do I do? Clean one part of the room at a time. I started with my tallest dresser, organizing my skincare routine, hair accessories and assorted decor until it was aesthetically appealing to me and I was content with my efforts. This same method can be applied to life; each action is a step you are taking towards a goal. 

Take a break.

Like most humans, I enjoy immediate gratification and the feeling of accomplishment accompanied with it. However, immediate gratification is a fleeting feeling; creating lasting happiness is a process. It is OKAY to not get everything done at once, so long as you are making progress along the way. Your physical body heals itself while you’re resting. The same applies to your brain — you have to allow yourself time to relax and unwind. 

It took me a little over five months to figure out what I now know. Although I may sound like I know what I’m talking about — I don’t. I am still learning, just like you. However, you have been fortunate and stumbled upon my tips to help you expedite your progress. 😉

Thanks for reading!

Talk to ya’ll soon,
Alex

References:
http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/blog/2017/04/26/heal-suppressed-emotional-pain/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201009/emotional-acceptance-why-feeling-bad-is-good
https://www.fastcompany.com/3063392/how-writing-to-do-lists-helps-your-brain-even-when-you-dont-comple

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.