– Who Invited Overwhelm in to Your Life?
Overwhelm probably isn’t a welcome guest in your life. I’m guessing it feels a bit like a gatecrasher at a party – barging in uninvited and causing disruption. It’s like bindweed in your garden – it starts off quite small and before you know it’s everywhere winding itself around your precious plants and choking them.
So how did it get there then? How come it’s so at home in your life?
You feel work is relentless, clients are too demanding, the family are emptying the fridge and filling the laundry basket, too many things that need doing ……..
It’s interesting how we tend to look around us to find the cause of our sense of overwhelm. Yet most overwhelm is created by ourselves so it’s about looking inside of us not outside.
Rubbish! I hear you cry. ‘You’ve not met my demanding boss’ ‘I want my children to have every opportunity and belong to lots of clubs’ ‘Life is for living’ ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ ‘There is all this stuff to do in the house and garden it’s endless’.
Well I hear your cries. I’ve protested too that it’s not me it’s them. In fact I was so certain it was life, work, others I didn’t look for any other cause. Yet now I know. Now I understand.
Overwhelm is created by:
- the way we think about things,
- the way we talk about things,
- the values we have,
- the beliefs we hold,
- the things we choose to notice and pay attention to.
Wow – that’s quite a lot of things to consider isn’t it?
So what steps can you take so you’re doing your bit not to invite overwhelm into your life?
Change What You Say to Yourself.
When we tell ourselves life is dreadful, it’s all too much, we are overwhelmed, we have too much on then that’s exactly how we are going to feel.
So tell yourself you have this nailed. Talk to yourself about the good things in your life. Talk positively about what is going on. Be your own cheerleader.
Alter How You Look at Things
When we’re overwhelmed we check our lists and lament all the things we’ve yet to do. We look at the clock and wail how little time we have left.
Instead focus on what you have achieved.
Decide what one thing you want to achieve, allocate time to do it and focus on getting it done even if it’s not perfect.
Look at work and life as flowing streams of activity that you step in to and out of.
Change What You Notice
If you look for problems you’ll find them. It’s what our primitive mind is good at doing.
Look for what’s good in your day. Build a habit of actively looking for what’s good. How we look at the world makes such a difference to how we feel. So if you look at the world in survival mode ready to battle through overwhelm then you’ll feel overwhelmed and like you’re struggling or battling. If you look at the world a different way you’ll feel differently.
Edit Your Commitments
The calendar fairy hasn’t appeared and put all those appointments in your diary or forced you to make all those commitments for your family, for work, for your business. You are in control of your diary.
Edit your commitments ruthlessly.
Schedule time to laugh, time to rest, time to play, time to sleep and fit the other things in around them.
If you are proactive then overwhelm won’t find it so easy to intrude. It’s still likely to make an appearance from time to time perhaps due to an emergency, or when you’re ill or tired or maybe if you are attempting to move house and start a new job at the same time. When it turns up you can make it unwelcome. You can show it the way out by taking back control of your diary, by what you choose to focus on and how you talk about and look at things.
If you’d like some help then that’s where I offer support.
Sometimes all we need is to invest a little time in changing our mindset so overwhelm has less opportunity to pop in. A Discovery Call will help you see how working on your mindset can help you get rid of overwhelm.