How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

How to Stop Feeling OverwhelmedIf you are feeling overwhelmed, then the great news is that there are things you can do to end those feelings.

The starting point is to make a commitment to yourself to stop tolerating the things that are making you feel overwhelmed.

The reason this is important, is because what you tolerate persists. Often we keep on tolerating the same old things week in week out, month in month out, year in year out. This creates feelings of overwhelm.

What do I mean by tolerations?

Well, it is all those things that need actioning but you never quite get round to. Things that have been bugging you for some time. Things that keep playing on your mind over and over.

It could be things like:

  • weeks of admin that haven’t been done
  • a backlog of house chores
  • business struggling
  • financial situation
  • unhealthy relationships

All the things you tolerate contribute to feeling overwhelm – until you deal with them. They are not going to go away on their own. You have to take personal responsibility for getting them nailed.

But tolerating things doesn’t just make you feel overwhelmed. They are a huge energy drain. They suck the life out of you. They hold you back. They keep you stuck.

And not to mention the negative impact they have on things like quality of life, self esteem and motivation.

Here is a four step action plan to help you nail the things you tolerate and reduce your feelings of overwhelm:

Step 1 – Get really clear on what you are tolerating

Get a piece of paper. Split it into headings like business, home, relationships, finance and health. You might have headings of your own, specific to your life and circumstances. For each heading, write down as many things that you can think of that you are tolerating and/or causes you to feel overwhelmed.

Step 2 – Create a toleration and overwhelm busting action plan

Create an action plan to start getting these things nailed. Some items on your list will be things you can nail quite quickly and others might be bigger things that will take much longer. For the bigger items on your list, break them down into small, manageable chunks. Then start taking the first steps.

Step 3 – Create a system to stop the tolerations you nail raising their ugly heads again

Once you have nailed an item on your list, put a system in place to stop it becoming a problem in the future. For each item, ask yourself “what do I need to put in place to stop this happening again?” Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Step 4 – Rinse and repeat

Doing this exercise once is not going to solve the problem permanently. Make this exercise part of your regular routine to help keep the overwhelm demons at bay.

Don’t underestimate how much the things you tolerate are contributing to your feeling overwhelmed.

Related post:

The Hidden Cause of Feeling Overwhelmed

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  • dianebrogan

    You are so right on with this message, Ali. It is the little things in life that are the most overwhelming. 
    I manage admin by having two drawers. The A drawer is for things that need immediate attention. The only thing that goes in there is something I didn’t get taken care of right now. The B drawer is for things that might need attention later or things I may want to think about later. I clean it out about every six months starting from the bottom up. 
    Your encouraging words over the last few months have helped me a great deal. I learned that it is the little every day things in my life that cause me the most grief. I have changed out many of those little irritants and my life has improved for the better.
    Thank you Ali for all you do.

  • Hi Diane and welcome to my blog. Your point is a great reminder that we each need to experiment and find systems that works for us.
    Thank you for your kind words and thanks for taking the time to drop by and share your experience.

  • I follow the same process with the paper things in my house, Diane. Wish that I could figure out how to do the same with electronic stuff. Any suggestions from you or Ali?

  • 1010 Park Place

    I’ve always been super organized and on time. For the last couple of months, I’ve let things stack up. Think I’ve been more affected than I thought I was by my mother’s impending death. I’m going to be kind to myself because know I need some time to grieve. Things should right themselves again, soon. If not, I will remember your words about tolerating. Thank you!

  • Being kind and compassionate to yourself is so important, especially during a time of grief. Sorry for the loss of your morther. Take good care as you navigate this diffcult time.