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What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

From children to jobs, from money problems to struggles with mental illness, from relationship disagreements to a sick relative, all of us have felt a lack of control. And just as many of us don’t like it: we’re over being overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, telling the stresses in life that we don’t want any isn’t enough; they’re like solicitors, continuing to call long after we’ve told them “no thanks.” In other words, feeling overwhelmed is a very human and unavoidable emotion. So, what do you do when it happens to you?

You have a few choices. Rocking back and forth in a dark room? Well call that “Plan B.” Instead, consider:

Phone a friend: Stress, like misery, loves company! Calling a friend allows you to feel as though you’re not alone. It also allows you to talk things out. And naming your emotion aloud is the best way to tame it. How do I know? Science says……honestly, I just talked to science and they told me.

Get away from the stressor: If you’re in a situation where there’s an outside stressor causing you angst, get away from it. If you’re in an argument with a spouse, take a walk. If you’re up to your ears in road rage, pull over at a coffee shop. If your boss is being more difficult than usual, go into the lunchroom and breathe.

Distract yourself: Distraction is a great way to deal with unpleasant emotions. This isn’t to say that you can distract yourself forever – ignoring something doesn’t usually make it go away. But using distraction to calm down, gather your emotions, and muster the courage to face your battles is always prudent.

Set yourself up to face adversity: No one goes looking for adversity, but it finds us, nonetheless. Cultivating a lifestyle – one where you eat right, exercise, meditate, and maintain a close-knit circle of friends – allows you to better withstand any adversity that shows up. This isn’t to say it won’t impact you, but it will make that impact a bit less acute.

Many of the challenges in life are inevitable; being overwhelmed comes with being. But the above steps can help you face your struggles whenever they appear. And this will leave you happier, healthier, and better fulfilled.


Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
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