Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed. I might not recognize immediately what’s causing it, but I’ll just turn to my husband and say, “I feel overwhelmed.” I can start to feel like I’m not sure what to do, or where to place my focus from one minute to the next.
If you’re anything like me, overwhelm can cause thoughts of doubt and feelings of insecurity that try to creep in, and before we know it, we’re feeling utterly helpless. That’s why I’ve put together these tips to stop feeling overwhelmed and find peace.
I don’t know about you, but at times I can feel like the world is just so BUSY. Just chaotic. Technology is truly a wonderful thing, but anything that’s done in excess is bound to cause us issues.
Social media is a prime example. I can tap on my Facebook app and before I know it, I’ve been sucked in for an hour watching random videos.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. But not at the price of wasting hours of precious time that only leaves me feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.
Unplugging from whatever is going on around you is so vital. The Lord even tells us in his word to pause and be still. Finding quiet, peaceful moments to relax our minds is incredibly important for beating overwhelm.
When was the last time you took a walk through the park? Or just sat out on the porch and soaked up some sun and enjoyed watching kids play or the butterflies float by?
This stuff is underrated these days, but finding time to just be still can be so refreshing.
Find a friend
Another way to conquer that sense of overwhelm is to tell a trusted friend how you’re feeling. Drop them a text or email, or call them up and ask to meet for
coffee ice cream. Or even just have a quick chat on the phone. Whatever works for you.
Sometimes I don’t want to talk about why I’m overwhelmed yet—I might not even be able to identify the reason right away. In times like that, I honestly just want a hug. And a word of reassurance.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for comfort from a family member or friend. Don’t be afraid to ask. If someone tells me, “Hey. I really could use a hug,” I can’t imagine turning them down! Or that anyone else would, for that matter.
If you feel discouraged and need a word of encouragement, don’t feel bad in asking for it. How will our loved ones know our needs if we don’t make them known? They’re not mind-readers after all. It can be hard if it’s new to you, but it’s a healthy thing to do.
Even if it’s your kids, just saying, “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now and would love if you could share something good that happened today.” Or “what’s something we could do to take a break and have some fun?” This is sure to beat the overwhelm by helping you refocus and refresh.
Don’t forget to breathe. Dealing with feeling overwhelmed is a huge stressor on the body. Your mind can start to race with all those to-do’s, you’re not sure where to focus, and everything just wants to come crashing down.
Stop. Take several slow, deep breaths. It’s such a little thing, but it can help tremendously to instill a sense of peace. I like to take a deep breath in through my nose and slowly blow it out through my mouth. I did it just now actually, and it made me yawn.
Hmm… Maybe sometimes we could use better sleep, too!
BONUS TIP: Taking a quick nap or getting in bed earlier are other small ways that can have a huge impact on how we feel, physically AND emotionally.
- The Secret to an UNDERwhelmed Mindset
- DIY Quick + Easy Prayer Board
- Find Grace for a Grieving Heart
- How I Lost My Mom but Not My Joy
Crush overwhelm with gratefulness
I. LOVE. THIS. When I start feeling overwhelmed thinking about all that needs to be done—or maybe it’s just a feeling but I don’t know exactly why I’m stressing out—counting my blessings is a surefire way to boost my mood.
Next time you’re feeling run down, stop and list 3 things you’re grateful for.
Doing this aloud takes it to a whole other level. Just hearing yourself strengthens those thoughts in your mind and helps direct your focus onto them.
Reflect on all the small ways God has blessed you. And think of the thing bigs you’ve gotten through. Because they are proof positive that the situation you’re facing is going to make it onto that list too!
Keep reiterating your 3 things (or choose 3 more!) and watch your outlook begin to change. Thinking purposefully on good things is never a bad choice. So be sure to turn this trick into a habit that will help you crush overwhelm!
Focus on truth
Okay, this ties in with the last one, and it’s HUGE. This is something I learned not too long ago. Maybe you’re like me and had just never thought to do this.
I was feeling so stressed out and just plain defeated. I did everything I knew to do by focusing on other things, but no matter what I did, that dreaded sense of overwhelm kept trying to envelop me.
I thought, “Arghh! Why do I feel this way? I’m not choosing to indulge in this. This is not some pity party. I don’t WANT to feel this way!”
In that moment, the Lord spoke to me: “Why don’t you come to me about it?”
Wait… what? I can do that? About my feelings? Oh.
So I just said, “Lord, I feel overwhelmed or sad or almost like I’m being spiritually attacked. I’m not even sure how I’m feeling, but I don’t like it. You know exactly what’s going on and why, and exactly how I feel. Lord, I don’t WANT to feel this way. I know my feelings aren’t truth; your word is truth. Please help me and let this feeling pass.”
And it was gone. I immediately had a sense of peace. I was shocked. It’s been new to me to incorporate this into my life, but it’s amazing when I do it. And God delivers me.
It might not always be instantaneous. It might be that the Lord places a certain task in front of me that I understand is of top priority, so I’m not spinning in circles about where to focus any longer.
Sometimes it’s that He reveals to me how insignificant all these things are in the grand scheme of things.
It might be that He prompts me to focus on others instead of all the things I’m worrying over in my own life.
Or He might draw me to His word, or bring scriptures to mind, or place a song in my heart. It’s focusing on His truth that ultimately vanquishes the overwhelm.
Be an Encourager
Be an encourager. What does that mean? There are so many ways to encourage others, and it’s a tried and true way to beat overwhelm.
Right now I’m at the tail end of a long recovery from surgery and complications, and it was sooo easy to get overwhelmed during that time.
I learned that having to take things extra slow + having complications + hormones + recovery + the effects of anesthesia and medication can really steer you straight into an overwhelmed mindset.
Yet in the midst of all that, I was able to be an encourager to someone else who was going through something similar. And if I hadn’t gone through all those complications, I wouldn’t have been able to reach out with hope.
I received a few cards while I was dealing with all of that too, which was wonderful. I used to think cards were a bit silly, but not anymore. It’s a gesture that shows someone was taking time out of their day to think kindly of you. And when they write an encouraging message? It just bears me up!
Taking time to focus on someone else and be an encourager takes the focus off of ourselves and seeks to help others. And there’s really no better way to restore peace and cure that blue feeling of overwhelm than by thinking of others.
Adopt an UNDERwhelmed mindset
I started using this strategy not long after quitting my job of nearly 10 years. One month later, my husband was in a car wreck and his car was totaled.
We were barely making it month-to-month on my husband’s salary. There was no way we could afford to get a new car. I was so thankful that he wasn’t critically injured, but there were medical bills, and I started to worry about how we would ever pay them.
Enter “throwing the reverse on overwhelm” and instead adopting an UNDERwhelmed mindset. I created this handy-dandy acronym to help me put my focus back on the right track and start taking one step at a time.
You can read more of the car wreck story plus find out what the UNDER in UNDERwhelmed stands for here.
Take the first step
All in all, these 7 tips are sure to help relieve overwhelm and create a sense of peace in your daily life. But not if all you do is read them. Choose a couple and actually do them, and be encouraged that crushing overwhelm can be a reality!
If you enjoyed this post, please click below to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!
Other posts you might enjoy: