When life feels overwhelming, it can be difficult to find the clarity and calm to make sense of it all. One of the main reasons for this is that our thoughts can play a major role in how we perceive and respond to stress. In particular, when we have thoughts that create a feeling of no control, it can be even harder to find peace and tranquillity.
Here are some tips to help you find clarity and calm when life feels overwhelming:
Identify negative thoughts.
Identify and connect with the thoughts that are contributing to your feelings of overwhelm, stress or anxiety. These might include thoughts such as “I can’t handle this.” “I’m not good enough.”, or “This is never going to change.”. Once you’ve identified these thoughts, you can begin to challenge them.
Challenge your thoughts.
Once you’ve identified negative thoughts, it’s important to challenge them. Ask yourself if the thought is really true. For example, if you’re thinking “I can’t handle this,” remind yourself of a time when you have handled a similar situation in the past. This can help to put things into perspective and reduce those feelings of overwhelm.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to be hard on ourselves (and others!). However, self-compassion can be an effective way to find clarity and calm. Instead of criticising yourself, try to talk to yourself as you would to a friend. Be kind and understanding towards yourself, and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times.
Focus on what you can control.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to focus on things that we can’t control and negative experiences in your life rather than the positive ones. A super useful question can be “What can I do to make this feel better?” or “What is the outcome I desire in this situation?”, and be mindful of challenging any UNhelpful answers that pop up! Writing down the answers that come to you is a wonderful way of connecting with what is within your control.
Sometimes, the best way to find clarity and calm when life feels overwhelming is to take action. It’s a bit like proving those limiting beliefs or negative thoughts wrong! This might mean talking to a friend, seeking professional help, or making a change in your life no matter how small it may seem.
In my coaching practice I use a tool I call ‘the 5 minute rule’ – simply take 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to acknowledge your thoughts and the feeling that they are driving within you. Mindfulness can help you to bring focus to your life and let go of stress and anxiety about the past, present or future. Try setting aside a few minutes each day to sit in silence and cultivate an awareness of the thoughts that are leading your day.
So if you are beginning this year with hopes and dreams that seem swapped in overwhelm try some of these practices. By identifying negative thoughts, challenging them, practising self-compassion, focusing on what you can control, taking action, and practising mindfulness you can learn to navigate the chaos and find peace in the midst of the storm.
Remember to be kind to yourself, and that it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times.
This article has been written by Lin Courage. She is a qualified and experienced life connection coach, helps women to manage their mindset & emotions so that they can create life balance & success in alignment with who they truly are. To learn more about Lin go to her profile page https://www.careeringintomotherhood.com/coach/lin-courage/.
February 16, 2023