I encounter a lot of overwhelm – with my therapeutic clients who take too much on in life, with some of my students who leave all their coursework to the last minute, with those who I mentorwhose list of goals is overwhelming to read, let alone act upon, so today I wanted to offer up some simple ways to deal with overwhelm in any aspect of your life.
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” – Paulo Coelho
According to a recent well-being study, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year to the point whereby they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.Let’s face it….for many of us, life is busy. At times, managing our day-to-day logistics just plain sucks! In the long term, these effects can make you less effective and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day. It is what you deem important and how you handle those hours that determines how successful, efficient and happy you will be.According to fascinating research by Dr Salvadore Maddi of the Hardiness Institute, the biggest predictor of how well we will do in all areas of our lives isn’t how much money we have or even how many obstacles we encounter; what determines our fulfilment and success is instead a matter of how hardy we are. Hardiness is a form of resilience, a way in which we handle life’s challenges.
With your crazy busy life, youmight say, “I don’t know how to do it!” Here are a few tips to help:
Plan your day ahead of time:
This is the absolute most critical piece to taming the chaos! Most of us have massive to-do lists. It’s not necessarily the length of the list that matters (though I recommend making it shorter rather than longer), it’s how we tackle it. The first step is to actually map out your list. Find a tool that works for you to keep track of your to do’s (journal / notebook, Outlook, iCal, Wunderlist, etc.). Make it a practice to spend 15-20 minutes each evening PLANNING the following day. Make the most of the “white space” on your calendar and physically put your to do’s in those time slots. That way, when you’re not in a meeting or in front of your boss, you won’t waste a minute determining what tasks you should tackle.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Here’s a great article on how to be more productive which builds on this:
How To Be Incredibly Productive: 10 Keys to Productivity.
Anticipate the WHAT IF’S:
Let’s face it, things go wrong from time to time, it is inevitable…..sometimes they go really wrong! Anticipating things that could blow up on you and knowing how you will handle them when and if they do, is paramount to not feeling overwhelmed. Know who’s going to pick the groceries if you are out for some urgent work. Know who on your team can step in and lead the presentation you’re scheduled to make on the day you just so happen to wake up with the flu. Knowing your back up plans before you even need them is the best way to ensure you won’t actually have to put them in play. Preparation has a way of keeping the bad stuff at bay. Consider having some contingency plans in place.
Build a support group around you:
Identify and cultivate relationships with people who challenge and support you. The ones who go the extra mile for you — and vice versa. Without these key relationships, it’s hard to tame the chaos!According to a 2005 study by Baikie and Wilhelm at Cambridge University, expressing our feelings can be powerfully therapeutic!
Set your expectation high:
Most of us feel like we have a zillion balls in the air. The truth is, when we peel back the layers and dig into what we are really doing, and why we feel so buried, we often find that many of the balls we’re trying to juggle aren’t actually our own or even necessary.
Take a look at the things on that to do list of yours and determine whether there are items you’re holding on to, or saying yes to, that someone else should be handling. Give others a chance. If they need instruction, instruct them — if they need encouragement, encourage them. Establish your (high) expectations and help others.
Delegate your task:
If something blurs your focus, or pulls you away from the key priorities of your life, it’s time to say goodbye. Whether it is personal or professional, if there is something you’re not good at, or that you outright dread doing, find a way to get it off your plate. Start by making a list of the things you’d like to offload and get to it! Focus YOUR time and energy on the people, places and things that drive and excite you.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” – Ann Landers
Add an energy boost to your calendar:
Make it a practice to have at least once person, event, or outing on your calendar each week that motivates and inspires you. While it may seem like adding something to an already full schedule is counterintuitive, it can havea really positive effect. You will get more done while you’re in a good mental and emotional state!
Don’t forget to take care of you:
When we are slammed, the last person we typically think of is us! Whether it’s exercise, clean eating, or meditation. Engage in self-care!
Being healthy is so important in managing a busy life and responsibilities. It is so much harder if you have a headache or flu or backache to avoid becoming stressed. So take care of yourself: you deserve it, and you will be happier because of it.
Do what you need to cultivate your health. The busier you are the more important it is that you eat healthy food – less junk – more good food.
The busier you are the more determined you must be to fit in exercise too. It’s necessary to clear your mind of the junk and stress.
“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
Apply these tips and see if you canhandlethe feelings of being overwhelmed.
Has this piqued your interest in this field? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studes? Explore the pages of this website.
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
2. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.