If you are reading this article, you likely are overwhelmed. This era, this decade, this century is all about making progress, development, and intense professional and personal growth. Therefore, it is warranted that you might feel a little overwhelmed from time to time when dealing with the constant stress of everyday life.
These days, the competition is dire. Regardless of your profession, whether you are an employee or a business owner, you may face many problems that tend to build up. However, you cannot let the stress overpower you. I understand that it feels like it is all too much; keeping up with your daily assignments and new problems at work, dealing with the pandemic, financial setbacks due to degrading economic conditions, not to mention your family, depends on you.
All these factors result in massive stress that leads to you becoming overwhelmed by your situation, which eventually results in depression. That is why, today, we shall discuss a few ways to defeat the feelings of being overwhelmed and thereby prevent depression to maintain steady mental health.
Business owners and leaders are feeling overwhelmed.
In this ADD world that we live in we are bombarded with media; many of the messages are negative. But even when the messages are positive, the massive amount of information that comes to us from social media, email, text messages, podcasts, television, marketing, spam and scammers is frequently overwhelming. Even that last sentence is overwhelming to write and read!
So, why do you feel overwhelmed?
A lot of the time, you may feel powerless; that things are out of your control. This innate sense of losing control often makes you feel extremely overwhelmed.
To paraphrase Maya Angelou, you expect things to turn out well when you take action. But when you feel helpless and only sift through the problems, taking no action to change the situation, you tend to feel overwhelmed.
It is basically the lack of action that makes you feel overwhelmed. Your mind believes that you can do nothing to solve the problem or deal with a bad situation. Your cognitive functionalities are massively impacted, and you end up feeling overwhelmed by the whole state of affairs.
How do you know that you are feeling overwhelmed?
Feeling overwhelmed basically means that your emotions are overpowering your mental faculties. You are focused on your problems, and they may be snowballing, which instigates extreme stress and paranoia. Your mind starts overanalyzing everything, and it seems like the sky is falling. Eventually, you feel paralyzed by the emotional stress to an extent where you cannot think straight.
When you start to feel like your mind and body are being pushed to their extreme limits, when things feel dire and out of control, when you feel like nothing is going right, you feel overwhelmed.
Although this is a fairly common occurrence, there are various ways to overcome this feeling of desolation from being overwhelmed.
What makes you feel so overwhelmed and out of control?
To paraphrase Chris Martin, you may be working hard at your job and still don’t succeed. You may have all the things you thought you want only to realize they are not what you need. These minor problems make you feel like you are not in control of your life and that you are constantly making bad decisions. You feel overwhelmed and thereby unable to deal with simple problems.
If you are an employee spending hours of your life working at a job that you do not enjoy, you may feel easily overwhelmed. It is natural to feel this way when you spend 2/3rds of your life doing something you don’t love. But what is the alternative?
You can’t quit your job because you have a family to feed, your children and your parents to take care of, mortgages and debts to repay, and perhaps even contribute towards your dream. You may feel like you are wasting away, which makes you overwhelmed by the sheer pressure of it all.
If, on the other hand, you are a business owner, then feeling overwhelmed has become part of your daily routine. The countless possibilities of failure weigh on your chest. The constant need to be better than your competitors is looming over your head. You have to think about your employees, your family, your audience, and if there is any time or energy left, then yourself too.
It all seems to be building up, and you cannot see an escape. This is a good time to seek advice from experts to overcome this feeling of being overwhelmed and start focusing on the solutions rather than the problems. We have a few tips you could internalize to deal with the overwhelming stress of everyday life. You can also reach out to us and allow us to help ease your mind and regain yourself.
How can you overcome this sense of being overwhelmed?
The human mind is wired to focus on complications rather than the solutions. When you focus on your problems, they grow bigger and overwhelm your mind and body. You only seem to see cons and snags whichever way you turn. It is a relentless series of difficulties.
However, if you can train your mind to analyze the problem and look for possible solutions, then you will find nothing but opportunities on the horizon. It is all about developing your mindset for substantial outcomes instead of dwelling on what you cannot control.
A wise man once said, let go of what you cannot control. Constantly stressing about it will not change the situation. Instead, focus on what you can change and observe how your life takes a positive direction because of your winner mindset.
Here are a few steps you can follow to overcome feeling overwhelmed and find solutions and results instead of building molehills out of your problems, no matter how difficult they may seem.
Relax your mind and identify the problem
Often, when you face a challenging situation, the actual problem seems to be buried under a lot of consequential issues. It gets frustrating to sort so many tangential issues, and that is what overwhelms you.
However, if you take a good look at the complication, you will find that there is a trigger element that seems to affect everything else, thereby elevating the problem.
Therefore, to find a solution, all you need to do is calm your mind and think about what the root problem actually is. Once you identify the issue, you can find a solution. But if you focus on all the effects of the problem, then it just tends to keep growing.
If, on the other hand, you can find the root cause and eliminate it, then not only do you deliver a substantial solution, but you also prevent your mind from being overwhelmed and completely stressed out.
Meditate to calm your mind
Feeling overwhelmed is nothing but an inordinate amount of relentless stress. When the issues pile on, your cognitive elements tend to numb from the consistency of rising problems. To prevent feeling overwhelmed, your brain needs to release enough serotonin and dopamine to balance the surge of stress.
A simple way to do this is to meditate. The meditation process does not need to be a long hourly session of sitting in groups or chanting. All you need to do is clear your mind, cleanse your body with breathing exercises and focus your cognitive functions.
Just 10 – 20 minutes of meditation can help keep your mind focused and working at its optimum capacity. This, in turn, helps develop a problem-solving mindset that immediately initiates your skills when complications arise. Instead of dwelling on the problem, you can clear your senses and identify suitable and effective solutions to the problems that are overwhelming you.
Compartmentalize the complications
Another reason why you tend to be overwhelmed is that you look at the problem and its lack of outcome as a whole. The issue may actually be minuscule but looking at the bigger picture prevents you from seeing the small problem.
Often, a massive complication can be a result of a Domino effect. You need to find the linchpin that is causing the problem. Once you fix that, the rest just falls into place on its own accord.
In order to find the linchpin, it is important to segregate the overall complication. Compartmentalize the problems into smaller subdivisions, short and long-terms, or into departments. When each section is dealt with effectively, then you will see substantial results as a whole.
This is a very helpful means of reaching personal, professional, and company goals. Smaller aims or short-term plans will help you achieve the target without overwhelming you. The problems are smaller; therefore, your mind remains unburdened.
Prioritize the tasks
A significant reason for stress and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy arises from poorly structured plans. Whether you are an employee or a large or small business owner, you need to prioritize your tasks and goals.
For instance, if you wish that your small architectural firm should be featured in Architectural Digest, then you need to prioritize your tasks such that your work gains substantial popularity. Your first priority should be to find influential clients or those whose buildings are usually featured in Lifestyle publications. Your second priority should be your deliverables that satisfy the clients.
By simply prioritizing your tasks, you can eliminate all the unnecessary stress and deal with them one at a time. This way, you work towards the bigger picture without overwhelming your mind, thus preventing all manners of stress, depression, and a sense of inadequacy or inaction.
Lower your expectations to the realm of reality
People often tend to have high expectations, which interfere with their deliverables and cause them disappointment. It is ok to have high standards, but you must focus your expectations within the realm of reality.
For instance, if you wish to achieve global recognition for your personal brand within a short period of time, then the lack of results will simply stress you out and lower your self-esteem, which tends to cause overwhelming feelings of shortcomings.
However, the problem is not that you don’t have the talent or means. It is simply because your expectations are too high.
Lower your expectations and target a small audience and improve your quality of work to gain further recognition. You can aim for the stars, but you need to build towards them slowly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can your career or your company.
Instead of focusing on unbelievably high standards, fulfill smaller goals, and eventually, you will be surprised by your own accomplishments and surpass your high standards.
Identify the actions you can take, no matter how small
The overwhelming feelings are often a result of not taking any action. You know the problem, you know what you want, yet you take no action to acquire it. That makes you feel small and inadequate. Nevertheless, you cannot expect results unless you do something about it. If you have a goal, then work towards it.
Do you want to be a published author? Write the book and seek publishers and agents.
Do you want to create an e-commerce business? Curate products and build the website.
The important thing is to get started and take action towards your goals. No matter how minuscule or insufficient they may seem, it is better than not doing anything.
Take small steps, act on what you want slowly but steadily. In time, you will see that you do get results, and you don’t have to be overwhelmed by grief, inadequacy, and a lack of trying.
Delegate tasks to able team members instead of micromanaging
Another very prominent reason for feeling overwhelmed is trying to handle everything yourself. If you are a small business owner, then undoubtedly, you will have to wear multiple hats and deal with different aspects of the trade.
However, after the initial stages, you will need to hire teams of experts proficient in handling various tasks, be it for marketing, sales, promotion, human resource, research and development, and even telecommunications.
If you try to manage everything on your own or micromanage your employees, then you will certainly feel the overwhelming stress. Hence, it is necessary to learn how to delegate tasks to efficient members based on their forte. You may still have to conduct many tasks on your own, but sharing the load with your team will invariably lessen the responsibility, thereby the stress.
Additionally, you may also achieve faster and more accurate results, thus keeping away the overwhelming feelings at bay.
Set some boundaries for your personal and professional life
You have heard, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’
This is precious advice when you want to overcome feelings of being constantly overwhelmed.
Hard work, long hours, and dedication is necessary to build a successful career. Even more so if you are a business owner. However, you need time to relax your mind and regain your mental abilities.
The best way to do this is to draw boundaries between your work and personal life. Don’t take your work home, don’t spend nights stressing about your job or your business, and definitely don’t work when you’re enjoying a serene vacation with your family.
You need these small windows for your brain to recoup. If you do not get the required rest, your brain loses its capacity to perform at optimum levels. You will tend to get easily frustrated and overwhelmed, which only decreases your productivity which causes more stress.
Hence, set aside some personal time after work to allow your mind and body to cope with the daily schedule with ease.
Don’t take on more when your plate is full.
People pleasers tend to be highly overwhelmed very easily. This is because of their inability to say ‘No’ to people.
You should definitely help each other, work together with your teammates, coordinate with your employees, and improve your productivity for recognition from your supervisors. However, you cannot do any of this at great personal expenses.
When you have a lot going on, it is best to finish the tasks at hand before you accept or offer to help others. Taking on too much workload will needlessly stress you out and make you feel overwhelmed. This invariably interferes with your peace of mind which in turn reduces your productivity. Not to mention, you are unable to finish the numerous tasks in due time, which offends your supervisors, investors, peers, or clients.
Therefore, take smaller loads and prioritize your tasks. Finish what you need to before you agree to take on more. This keeps your anxiety levels in check and prevents the constant feeling of being overwhelmed.
Practice controlling your emotional responses
Emotions tend to interfere with your cognitive functions. When you stress out about a problem, it is mostly because your emotions are overpowering your judgment.
For instance, if you have a high target to achieve and you fall short, you are overwhelmed at the thought of having to pay your employees, support your family, losing to your competitors, or even because you may have to make some personal sacrifices.
These emotions of self-pity, inadequacy, and disappointment cloud your judgment and make you incapable of looking past the problem to seek a solution. This makes you feel overwhelmed.
Let us assist you in learning how to control your emotional responses and evaluate situations practically. You will notice a considerable reduction in stress in no time, and you won’t be so easily overwhelmed by minutia.
Accept that you are
Being overwhelmed is not a weakness; even Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk tend to be overwhelmed from time to time. It is a natural human response of the mind and body when you deal with pressure.
In order to find a solution to a problem, you need to first identify the problem. It is, therefore, important to accept that you are overwhelmed.
Once you know what you’re feeling, you can take the necessary steps to overcome it. When you are overwhelmed and know it, you can refer to this article and reduce your anxiety levels. Or you can reach out to us and let us assist you in managing the overwhelming feelings.
To achieve success, your mental health must be in good condition to deal with daily life ordeals. Learning to accept a problem brings you that much closer to improving your mental health and dealing with the situation.
Seek professional help to improve your mental health
Lastly, please do not shy away from seeking professional help when it comes to mental well-being. If you are overwhelmed by constant stress in your business, at your office, or even at home, then you can seek professional advice to overcome these overwhelming emotions effectively.
You don’t always need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. If you are overwhelmed by your professional life, seek a small business coach or a viable mentor who can help you declutter and organize your workload.
We are always here to provide professional advice to compartmentalize, prioritize, and simplify your professional goals. Advice from experts in the industry will only help you achieve your goals that much faster without being overwhelmed by endless possibilities.
As said earlier, it is common to feel overwhelmed by your daily life, your work, or even your family. Seeking professional help doesn’t make you weak. It makes you smarter and self-actualized. Instead of succumbing to stress and depression from being overwhelmed, focus your attention on dealing with the problem head-on.
As a small business coach, I’m here to help you; all you need to do is reach out today. You will soon observe a positive shift in your overall disposition. You won’t be overwhelmed often. Instead, you will start looking for various ways to solve the problems and succeed in your career, be it a job or a business that requires time and energy.
Being overwhelmed and paralyzed by the endless possibilities of success or failure can be stressful. Therefore, professional help can go a long way in easing your mind and fruitfully orienting your efforts towards growth and achievement. Here’s a great post on burnout.