Can you eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed? I have asked myself this question several times due to feeling overwhelmed quite easily. Today, I can tell you with confidence that it is possible. I found a very simple technique that has made a big difference and helped me to defeat this destructive emotional state.
Feeling overwhelmed frustrated me, because I knew it was holding be back. I mean, it is easy to want to quit when I feel overwhelmed, but giving up on my dreams and goals would be more painful than going through the pain of feeling overwhelmed.
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So, it was a must for me to find a way to eliminate this destructive feeling.
I’ve made it my #1 focus, because feeling overwhelmed had a huge negative impact, not just on the achievements of my goals, but on all areas of my life. So, I’ve researched a lot and tried several techniques.
Eventually, I found a simple technique that has made a huge difference for me. It has only three steps and is easy to apply.
How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
1. What do you want to feel instead of overwhelm?
We already know that feeling overwhelmed holds us back. So, which emotional state would result in the opposite? What would lift you up in this specific situation? Figure out what this feeling would be for you. It’s different for everyone.
For me, it is excitement. For others, it might be confidence, optimism, or inspiration.
2. How does your body posture look like and where do you focus on?
Now, you have two different emotional outcomes. On the one hand, feeling overwhelmed; on the other hand, let’s say, being optimistic. Discover your physiology and your focus for both feelings.
What are you doing with your body, when you feel overwhelmed? Where does your focus go? How does you physiology look like when you feel optimistic? What do you focus on? What are you telling to yourself?
You might discover similar results as in the example below:
Feeling overwhelmed – physiology
- Shoulders down
- Head down
- Eyes closed
- Face hidden in your hands
- Serious facial expression
- Limp and indecisive body movement
Feeling overwhelmed – focus
- The problem
- What needs to be done
- The limitations, like time and missing resources
- What doesn’t work
- The gap between where you are and where you want to be
- “I can’t!”
Being optimistic – physiology
- Shoulders back
- Head up
- Eyes open and awake
- Eyebrows up
- Strong and determined body movement
- Cheerful facial expression
Being optimistic – focus
- Possible solutions
- What’s already done
- The progress you’ve already made
- The goal you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it
- “I can!”
You will discover for yourself that the answers for the opposite emotional states will be quite different. The reason is that our emotions influence how we move our body and what we focus on.
Just imagine a smiling woman. You would never think that a woman with a huge grin at her face is sad.
Because, her body language tells you that she is happy.
Our internal feelings determine our physiology and focus immensely. The good news, it also works the other way around.
Change your physiology and your focus, and it will change how you feel.
Now, when we are already in the negative state of feeling overwhelmed, often we either don’t want to change our body posture and focus consciously, or we don’t remember to do it in this specific moment. It’s why the third and last step is crucial for your success to defeat feeling overwhelmed. It’s the most important step, but also the easiest as you’ve already done the work. Now, it’s play.
3. Practise the state change in advance!
The state change needs to become automatic. As soon as you get closer to feeling overwhelmed, your brain needs to switch immediately to the positive emotion that you’ve chosen for yourself.
That means it needs to be conditioned. You can easily condition it by practising the switch from feeling overwhelmed to (if we stick to our example) being optimistic. The key is, don’t wait until you feel overwhelmed, but do it in advance.
In step 1 and 2, you figured out how you move your body and what you focus on when you feel overwhelmed vs. when you are optimistic. Use this knowledge and snap from feeling overwhelmed to being optimistic by changing your body posture and your focus consciously.
Practice it a couple of times in a row.
Now, doing it once won’t help to make it become automatic. I’ve committed myself to doing a 15-day challenge. I practiced the state change 3-5 times in a row, twice a day.
It takes just 3 minutes. These 3 minutes can save hours!
Just think about how many hours you’ve already lost due to feeling overwhelmed.
I know for myself that these were hundreds upon hundreds as I wasn’t able to do anything constructive because I felt so overwhelmed. It is nothing more than wasted time.
Relieve Yourself From Feeling Overwhelmed
Just three simple steps to free yourself.
- Choose a feeling that empowers you
- Discover your physiology and focus for the destructive and constructive feeling
- Practise the immediate switch from the limiting to the empowering feeling
Your dreams are waiting for you!
Achieve your goals by staying optimistic and driven.
What kind of stress would disappear if you would free yourself from feeling overwhelmed? Leave a comment below and share your joy.
Do you have a friend or family member that also feels overwhelmed from time to time? Contribute to their lives by sharing this article with them.
Picture: Kat Jayne