8 Quick Tips for Overcoming Stress + Overwhelm


Stress and overwhelm are at an all time high right now.  In today’s post, I’m sharing eight quick things you can do to overcome stress and overwhelm.

In all my years of coaching, I’ve never seen so much stress and overwhelm as I’m seeing right now with the people I work with.

It seems that managing the day-to-day workload is becoming even more demanding and stressful.

There’s not enough time to do all that you’re being asked to do.

Our planet is now in the Age of Aquarius, a new paradigm since the transition from the Piscean age where machines and hierarchies dominated to this new era with the Internet where information, awareness and energy rule.

I’m studying Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and he said that in this new era, we must learn to use the mind differently.

Meditation is key to being able to navigate these changing times.

To handle all the new information online, you must become more self-aware of your inner state – your thoughts and your body’s energy.

“We need stamina under stress, clarity of values for decisions, and a new base for identity. We need the ability to command our brain, mind, and states of consciousness consciously through the filter of intuition, wisdom, and the positive, negative, and neutral minds.”  ~ Yogi Bhajan

You become overwhelmed when you believe that you can’t manage the tasks in front of you.

When you begin to feel overwhelmed by all the thoughts swirling in your head, notice what emotion you feel when you think thoughts of overwhelm.  Your stressful thoughts will manifest as anxiety, worry or irritability.

Whether you have a long list of tasks you must accomplish, yet you can’t imagine how you can physically accomplish all those tasks, it all comes down to how you manage your mind.

How to manage stress and overwhelm:

  1. Start a morning practice of gratitude, journaling or meditation.  

A contemplative practice is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  This sets the tone for your day.  If you journal, you can get the mental clutter out of your head and write down what you have to do for the day, work out issues that you’re facing and just do a brain dump. This allows you to feel more focused and clear.  If you don’t yet have a meditation practice, I recommend you start by listening to a Deepak and Oprah’s online meditation series here.

2. Notice your physical and emotional state.

Become the observer of your thoughts and your body’s physical sensations. Drop inside and notice what your body is doing as a result of the thoughts you’re thinking.  Do you have tight shoulders, or is your breathing shallow?  Breathe in deeply and exhale.  Repeat.  Do not judge yourself.  Allow yourself to simply notice and breath.  The more you begin this practice of observing yourself, the more peaceful you will become.  You can’t observe yourself and think stressful thoughts at the same time.  Ask yourself, what is the most important thing for me to do today? How do I want to feel?

3.  Reframe your thoughts of overwhelm.

All overwhelm starts with a thought.  When you think you don’t have control over a situation or things are uncertain – this feeds into overwhelm.

Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself.  Is it realistic to think you can do everything on your list?  If you wake up at night thinking about your “to do” list, and think to yourself, “I’ll never get this finished,” you’re throwing gas on the fire of overwhelm.  This type of thinking is a spin cycle and it whips up anxiety.  It will stop you in your tracks.  The goal is to find a better feeling thought that will enable you to take small action steps.

Reframe the overwhelming thought: Give yourself a break by reframing the thought, “If I focus on my the most important actions first, it will be manageable.”  Or “I’ll do as much as I can today and take a short walk in the middle of my day so I can come back refreshed to continue.”

At the end of each day, make a “hot list” of the top 3 priorities you must do the following day.  I recommend making yourself the #3 priority schedule a walk or exercise.  Compartmentalize your work.  Chunk it and focus on the most important things that must be done.

4. Focus on now instead of the future. 

When you focus on all that you have to do, you’re lumping everything together.  Ask yourself, do I have to do everything on this list right now or can I prioritize the most important things first and then schedule time for the rest?

5.  Are you expecting too much of yourself?

If your task list is not reasonable and you expect yourself to do the impossible, then you set yourself up by putting pressure on yourself, which will cause stress and overwhelm.

At the end of the day, are you setting yourself up for failure because you expected yourself to do the impossible list of tasks?    The last thing you need is to feel disappointed that you did not accomplish everything on your list.  Get realistic and manage your expectations of what is possible.

6. Learn to say no.
Women are socialized and conditioned to put others first and to be “good girls.”  Notice if you are taking on too much in order to be liked.  We tend to do this because our greatest fear is being disconnected from others (a survival instinct).  Ask yourself, “I am doing this or accepting this invitation to be liked or do I really want to do it?”

Martha Beck has a great way of making a decision by asking yourself, “Does this feel like shackles around my ankles or does this taste like freedom?”

7. Practice self-care.

Too often we put ourselves last on the list.  Make sure to put you on the calendar for exercise time or a refreshing walk outside.  If you aren’t taking care of you first, then you potentially will burn out.

8. Two quick techniques to shift your emotional and physical energy.

I recommend that you try the Emotional Freedom Technique and follow along with this video by Brad Yates as he taps out overwhelm.   You repeat out loud what he says and tap along with him.  This will shift your overwhelm in 10 minutes or less.

You can practice this one minute breath of fire Kundalini technique called Ego Eradicator that will remove any block and shift your state of energy immediately.  I like this because it works and it’s fast.

I’d love to hear what you use to shift overwhelm. Please share it in the comments below.  If you liked this article, please share it with your friends.

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