We’ve all felt overwhelmed in our lives at one point or another. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you ‘should be doing more’ or ‘time is not on your side’. But what happens when your crippling anxiety prevents you from getting things done?
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to stop feeling overwhelmed and I will share with you 5 tips that will change the way you look at your daily tasks for good.
Here’s the audio version of this episode:
1. Assess Your Current Emotional State
If you consider yourself being a Type A personality, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed many times before. When you’re highly ambitious, your mind is constantly racing, because it’s attuned to solving problems, finding better solutions, improving, setting new goals, thinking about action steps to achieve them…
So, how can you assess your current emotional state to combat feeling overwhelmed?
By asking yourself the following questions:
What sensations do I have in my body right now? Are my hands trembling, is my eye twitching? Is there any heaviness in my back? Is my stomach upset? Are my legs restless? etc.
Pay close attention to these sensations and try to breathe through each one of them. For example, if your hands are trembling, sit somewhere comfortable, and take five deep breaths breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Focus your attention on your hands and imagine that your breath is flowing through them, helping you to let go of all the unpleasant sensations. When you do that for a couple of minutes, you will notice a significant difference in the way you feel.
2. Incorporate Meditation into Your Life
It’s great that you’ve tried breathing through the unpleasant sensations in your body, but if you do it once, it won’t make much of a difference in the long run.
Meditation has a cumulative effect: if you practice it daily, your brain becomes more adaptive and resilient. It becomes easier to be an observer of your thoughts and stop engaging with things that don’t serve you, such as feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve dedicated a whole episode on the benefits of meditation and what 1000 days of daily meditation did for my mental health. You can check it out here:
And if you want to try out some guided meditations, check out these three bonus episodes of the Simplify Your Life podcast.
3. Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
Let’s get practical. Write down on a piece of paper 5 tasks you want to accomplish today. Now, I want you to ask yourself the following:
What is my most important task of the day?
If you’re not sure what that is, ask yourself a few more questions:
What is the one thing that would make the most significant difference in my life today? The one thing that would make me feel productive and satisfied at the end of the day.
After you’ve established that, forget about all the other 4 and work on your most important task.
Only after you’ve finished it, put numbers next to the other 4 things in order of importance. Being less overwhelmed will help you gain momentum to do the rest of the tasks on your list.
4. Delegate the Unimportant Tasks
If there are tasks that are taking you too much time, consider delegating them. For example, if you’re a business owner, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you with emails, bookings, and interacting with potential clients on social media.
And if you’re working in a company, see which tasks you can delegate to someone else, ask your spouse to help you with the housework, or hire someone to clean your house.
We all have limited time on this earth and if everyone did the things they were best at, this world would look a whole lot different. But let’s get real: not every daily task you do will be something you truly enjoy, but there are unimportant tasks that are wasting your time and you need to figure out what those are and delegate away.
5. Memento Mori (remember that you’re going to die)
I watched a video by Amy Landino yesterday which reminded me of one of my favorite sayings. Remembering that you’re going to die will give you perspective. If you feel overwhelmed by all the things you have on your to-do list, take a brutally honest look at it.
If this was your last day on this earth, would it be worth it to stress about these things? Or if you get to live a long and happy life, would this really matter 5 years from now? Take a look at the bigger picture, breathe in, breathe out and do one thing at a time. There really is no better way to go about life.
If you’re looking for a great read, I highly recommend you check out Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. I read this book a few years ago and it transformed my life so much that I’m absolutely sure you’re going to love it, too.
Question of the day: What do you do to feel less overwhelmed? Do you meditate, journal, or simply move into action? Share in the comments below!👇