I asked her what specifically was she overwhelmed about and she gave me a list of about 6 things she had to do in her personal life or related to work.
As she began to go through her list her breathing slowed down and her shoulders lowered as she relaxed and realised there wasn't so much she had to attend to after all and it suddenly seemed much more manageable.
Only minutes before, those 6 things had been all consuming and seemed unsurmountable and she couldn't see the wood for the trees - it was all too much. She really didn't have a realistic view of what she really had to do because her mind had generalised it in to one big mass!
Overwhelm can be really incapacitating, it freezes you and you get nothing done. But the fact is overwhelm can be eliminated very quickly whether it relates to several things on your mind or just 1 really big issue that has taken over.
So if you ever get overwhelmed all you need to do is:
- Take a moment and ask yourself: 'What SPECIFICALLY am I overwhelmed about?'
- Make a detailed and specific list verbally or in writing (recommended)
- Review your list and see what you really have to attend to
- Prioritise into importance (break down your list and tasks into more specific and manageable chunks if needed)
- Plan any course of action needed and commit to doing it!
especially if you trust the first thing that comes to mind!
Notice that there is often a lot less than you think that needs your attention and what does need doing becomes much more manageable.
Prioritisation is easier, you can make plans and take action instead of being incapacitated and feeling anxious. How good is that!