How have things changed. When you were a kid, life was all about joy, simplicity, and having unadulterated fun. Then we grew up, got college degrees, and landed up with jobs.
And now we are busy juggling too many things at once. Not to mention the daily commute, emails, projects, social commitments, and all this while feeling that we are not giving 100 percent to anything.
Is overwhelm is the word?
We all get overwhelmed sometimes. Such is the life these days. The trick is to put things into perspective, prioritize, and finish them.
I am sharing seven ways that have helped me not feel overwhelmed. Hope they help you too.
Clear Your Head
How do you feel when the feeling of overwhelm grips you? For me, the thoughts muddle, shallow breathing starts, and I begin to stress myself out over things that just randomly pop into my mind.
Quite the opposite of focusing on the task on hand and living in the moment.
The next time you begin to get a similar feeling, stop whatever you are doing, take a deep breath, and notice the thought patterns.
Get up, take a small break, a little walk perhaps. It will help break the negative thought pattern and help you see the things for what they are.
The word ‘limit’ has earned a bad reputation. We are always told ‘Don’t limit yourself.’ That’s correct, totally.
But setting limits can also empower us. This is how: when we set limits for ourselves, we are forced to choose and work on what is essential.
Set limits on how much time you would be dedicating to each daily task. When you begin the day, pick three most essential tasks, and limit yourself to them. You can always pick other things once you are done with these.
If a certain thing is taking more time than you initially thought, you can alter the timings later.
Value Your Attention
I have been hearing this term ‘attention economy’, where corporates and multi-national companies are vying for our attention at any cost. Well, who else is going to pay for their products and services if not people like us.
Access to information is vital and it has become easier than ever to know what is happening around the world.
But are we actually gaining anything or getting into a vicious cycle of scrolling through articles and jumping from one video to another.
Let sanity guide your life. Limit use of social media, block or unsubscribe from something that you don’t need to receive in your inbox or newsfeed. Attend to your attention.
Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. – Jessica Jackley, American Entrepreneur
This quote really sums up what I want to say. You don’t have to do all by yourself. Learn to share the load. Ask your family, friends, or colleagues for help.
I understand that it gives a feeling of healthy satisfaction if we manage to do all the necessary things on our own but most times it is rather impractical and self-defeating.
And don’t worry about taking little favors from those around you, they will definitely give you chances to return the favor later.
More information is generated each day than we can consume in a lifetime. Do we really need or want all this information when have so many other things to take care of on a daily basis?
It is vital to stay informed but maintain safe distance from the all-pervasive media that churns out news, more or less to propagate a culture of fear.
I suggest this: Put aside the newspaper, your mobile phone, switch off the TV, and sit somewhere quiet and then breathe. Take some time out for yourself, your peace of mind by focusing on your breath. Breathe in deeply, exhale fully. Smile. Relax your jaw. Slow down.
You don’t have to sit in a room with dim lights and do this. This breathing exercise can be done anywhere, anytime. One step, one moment, one breath at a time.
There must be things you want in life. You work hard for them. But in addition to these, there are people, commitments, and other stuff in your life that you have juggling with.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed due to all the drama and complications that certain commitments bring into your life?
Maybe you wanted to say no to a friend’s request for help on a project or your boss asking you to work on Sunday but could not.
This is the only life you have got. Saying No does not make you a mean person. It doesn’t mean that you should be refusing every request either. Learn to have clear priorities in life and remove what you don’t want from life.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The tendency to compare ourselves with others is a common human emotion. But don’t we usually compare the worst we think about ourselves to the best we assume about others?
We end up wasting our precious energy focusing on other people’s lives rather than our own. Remember we can only control our lives.
Understand that competition and comparison are different. Competition helps you grow but comparison sows the seed of resentment and self loathing.
Acknowledge that you are a work in progress. You need to get better than your past version. If you continue to improve, it is all good.
What we completely lose focus of when we feel overwhelmed is setting clear boundaries. We must know when to concentrate on work and when on our health and relationships.
Life tends to throw curveballs at us time and again. Don’t try to fight them every time. Sometimes surrendering is the only way to feel calm and peaceful.
Remember that the storm will pass and better days will come.