Crush Stress & Overwhelm
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.~JOHN DE PAOLA
In an age of fast paced lifestyles and heightened commercialism, everywhere we turn is a demand for our attention. On top of the information overload, we are working longer, and taking less time off. The result? More stress and less time to ourselves.
Juggling between work, family and our personal needs, it’s easy to get sucked into the never-ending list of to-dos and end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
This article looks at:
6 Ingredients that cause overwhelm and stress
8 Cures to Overwhelm and Stress
7 Steps to Curing Marketing Overwhelm
6 Ingredients to Overwhelm The “Recipe for Disaster”
First, let’s look at a few common causes that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
The number one source for stress and overwhelming anxiety is our expectation on a particular outcome. In trying to satisfy that expectation, we place unnecessary pressure on ourselves, thus causing stress.
When we place strict expectations on ourselves or on a particular outcome, if things do not turn out the way we imagined, we feel a sense of discrepancy between what we want and what is in front of us.
2. Take on Too Much
We have an innate drive triggered by survival instincts to please others and to avoid displeasing. As a result, many of us are not good at saying no. Or sometimes, our well intentions have us committed to more than we can realistically take on.
Observe yourself with awareness next time you want to say ‘no’ to something, but feel a resistance within yourself. It is natural for us to want to win people’s approval, and we don’t want to let others’ down. As a result, we often give in to this tension of unease that we feel, and we sacrifice our time and energy.
Saying yes to many unimportant things (unimportant to us, and does not contribute towards our own wellbeing) leaves us very little time for the important things that actually matter to us – like pursuing our dreams, or spending time with our family.
3. Pressure on Self
There is a voice within our heads that is constantly chattering, and often telling us what we’ve done wrong, or how we are not good enough, or why we need to get everything done in one sitting (else our life will end).
As a result, we place unnecessary (and unreasonable) pressure on ourselves through self-criticism and other negative self-talk.
Sometimes, no matter what we do, or how much we’ve gotten done, there is always something our mental voice will disprove of.
The same mental voice in our head also tells us that things have to be perfect, or else our life will be over. Even if we don’t consciously register this, we feel the resulting anxiety and stress in our body, unsure of its cause.
Sometimes, we mask this need (triggered by the voices in our head) by telling others – almost arrogantly – that we are a “perfectionist”.
A perfectionist is a label, a story that takes a lot of energy to keep up. Often, the need to play the part of one who is a perfectionist leaves us overwhelmed with needing to do everything perfectly.
Grasping for control is another source of stress, because many times, we cannot do everything ourselves.
One of the resistances to releasing control is our lack of trust in other people, and trusting that they can do the job as well as us. So we end up doing (or wanting to do) everything ourselves. But at the realization that we don’t have the capacity to do it all, we’ll be hit with an overwhelming sense of this daunting reality.
Often, we’ll be left feeling overwhelmed at the mountain of tasks that needs to be done – on our own.
Like ‘perfectionist’, ‘overachiever’ is another label we give ourselves. This one is a socially accepted and impressive label that makes us feel special, even admired.
There is nothing wrong with having a lot of accomplishments under your belt. However, many of us do so for the sake of overachieving, while paying a stressful price.
Having too much on our plate can leave us feeling overwhelmed.
8 Ways to Cure the Overwhelmed and Stressed
You can’t get away from feeling overwhelmed from a place of overwhelming confusion. You have to step away to be able to view your circumstances from a fresh perspective.
Move to a different room, get up from your desk, sit in a different chair, go out for a walk or go sit in a café. Stepping out from the current situation and changing your physicality will help you gain clarity, and shift you away from the overwhelmed state of mind.
2. “What is Most Important?”
When we are feeling overwhelmed, our mind becomes clouded by the task at hand, and by the thoughts that cause us to feel stressed in the first place. When you step out, ask yourself, what is the most important thing for me? How do I want to feel?
Many times, we get so caught up in the doing, that we forget why we are doing it. Instead of being busy doing and then hoping that it will lead us to what we want, start with asking, “How do I want to feel?” And then focus on feeling that way. Then ask, “What is important to me?” And then focus on doing things that are important to you, instead of lots of unimportant tasks that overwhelm you.
Another technique to figuring out what is important is to start asking the question of why we are doing something and following the answers with another why. Asking ourselves the question of Why, and following each answer with anotherWhy can lead us to the trail of wisdom and self understanding.
For example, “Why am I working so hard at this job? So I can make lots of money.Why do I want to make lots of money? So I can provide for my family. Why do I want to provide for my family? Because I want to make them happy. Why do I want to make them happy? Because I love them and they are the most important people to me, etc.
In this example, maybe the discovery is that your family is the most important thing, and perhaps, there is another way to make them happy, like spending time with them and spending less time stressing about work.
Whenever we are feeling overwhelmed, there is likely a lot going on inside our head. Ideas and thoughts swimming in our minds, cluttering up our mental space. The best thing to do is to dump these thoughts out through writing what’s on your mind.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or a notebook, and start jotting down everything that is in your mind. Write without editing, and write out every thought. If you have a bunch of to-dos running in your head, list them out. If you have an idea, brain storm on paper. This exercise is powerful “How To Create Your Perfect Day” that will teach you how to think about what you want and how to get it.
I’ve always found it therapeutic to sort out my thoughts and ideas on paper. Many of my articles on this personal development blog first start as bullet points and random scribbles in my journal.
Remember to not worry about keeping things looking neat and perfect. This will limit our freedom to dump whatever we want onto paper, both junk that’s keeping us feeling overwhelmed and helpful creative ideas.
This video is a perfect way to relax in 10 minutes:
4. Giving Up Control – The Quickest Way to Cure the Overwhelmed
We can try to do everything by ourselves, or we can do just the parts we enjoy and spend the rest of the time doing something important to us.
What I’ve done with my new blog and tried to do everything on my own; from designing, to coding, to writing, to editing, to marketing, to answering inquiries, to finding advertising. I do this, because I have a false believe that people can’t be trusted. I felt that I could do it better than anyone I could afford to hire. This is arrogant thinking and very limiting in nature and has taken me over 5 months to get it to where it is..not even done yet!
It was fine when I started, but the site grew to a point where I could no longer keep up. I became the bottleneck. And when I could no longer keep up, the site suffered. I created not only an insurmountable mountain of work for myself, but also unnecessary stress.
5. Asking for Help and Allow Help
You’d be amazed at how many people are willing to help. Often, we are the problem that is disallowing help from happening through our limited thinking. We think they will say no, and so we don’t ask.
Just give it a try. Ask for help, and be prepared to be amazed at the generosity that others are willing to provide.
When my husband was out of town for a week, I asked friends for their help and people willingly came to help me watch Hanalei, so I could have some breaks.
People are amazing. Just ask, and be open to receiving what others are willing to provide. You never know what will happen. Just think, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no. Not a big deal.
6. Creating Boundaries
Time is our most precious commodity. It is the only resource that is un-renewable. So spend it wisely and consciously. Because we have a limited number of hours per week, per day … if you could design your life (and you really can), how would you spend it in an ideal situation?
Start with what is most important to you and how you want to feel? Then figure out what activities will support those feelings and things of importance. How long and how much? How much alone time do you need to re-charge? How much time do you want to spend with the kids, and doing what? How much do you want to engage in creative pursuits? Etc.
Once you’ve decided what’s important and how long you want to spend, create boundaries around important activities and do not budge with any incoming distractions. Do not allow unimportant noise and activities to creep in.
7. Shut Out Noise
The best thing we can do for ourselves when we come home feeling overwhelmed is to leave the TV and computer off. Do something that slows our mind down. Consider reading something that expands our consciousness, or close our eyes for 30 minutes in silent meditation. Sit back and listen to some smoothing music, or engage in a creative project that is meaningful to you.
8. Bedtime Ritual
The state in which we go to sleep is the state in which we wake up. Doing things that quiet your mind instead of cluttering it will help you sleep more settled and wake up feeling more refreshed.
One thing I do before bed that’s been incredibly beneficial to me is the ritual of gratitude. I start by asking myself, “What are my favorite parts of the day? What did I enjoy about today?” Then I give appreciation for the things, people and circumstances in my life that make me happy.
My plan is to proceed to body gratitude, where I give thanks for each part of my body. But I’ve never get to body gratitude, because I usually drift into sleep at an earlier step feeling incredibly lucky to be alive and thankful to be in my body. Every morning I wake, with the first thought always being that of appreciation. It’s a beautiful way to start the day.
7 Steps To Crushing Marketing Overwhelm?
This morning I was taking a walk in nature and started thinking about “New, and “Old” business owners and marketers get totally overwhelmed with their DMO (Daily Method of Operation) then they sit in front of their computers all day and never get everything done….
So I shot this video explaining my “Marketing Wheel” and how I can run my business, be a Mom, get out in nature, exercise ..and still have half of my day left to do what I please…
Using the Marketing Wheel
1. Decide what medium is your center hub ( mine is typically always video)
2. Shoot your Video and upload to You Tube, Vimeo…
3. Create a Blog Post
4. Create a FB Post with your video add blog or capture page in description to bring more people to your blog.
5. Share to your list and invite to your blog to read more, then you segment this specific email all week to those that have not opened it until they all see it.
I do this for all our emails…to maximize my efforts.
6. Push out to all your social media like twitter, or make a cool image for instagram with your blog link. Share to Buffer, or Linked in.
7. Get out and live!!
Watch the video and tell me what you think…or if you have a method that helps you Crush Marketing Overwhelm please share below in the comment section.
If you found this helpful at all , please leave a comment below!