Few Steps to Take When Overwhelmed:

Sometimes I can sit down to my desk and just be hit with a wave of worry.  Or sometimes I go to start a task but then I’m overwhelmed with all the things that I know need to get done.  It can truly feel paralyzing.  Then once I am in that feeling of being stuck, the worries can start flooding in.

“What if I cannot handle adopting kids?”

“What if I cannot balance it all?”

And the worries can go on but I recognized what was going on in my heart.  I wanted to stop the negative thought train before it got more speed.

So here are a few steps I took to reign in my worry:

1.  Turn on my praise music on Pandora.  My favorite right now is my Lauren Daigle channel.  Maybe you are in a cubicle and can’t rock loud music. If you need to, go sit in your car with a favorite CD or lap your building with earbuds.

2.  I got out my gratitude journal.  A friend taught me about this.  It is a simple journal where I write the date and things I am thankful for.  Some days I have to list the “wins” for the day.  The things I accomplished, areas where I feel like I am winning/succeeding.  So even if my house is a mess I can write as one of my wins- I encouraged a few people today through text and email.  I will add more to my wins later.  Wins- things my heart can celebrate 🙂  Today was a day to write wins because I can focus on all that I have not got done.

3.  Get some quick exercise.  I wanted to go for a 20 minute jog but I have blisters from new running shoes.  So I put on my flip flops and ran to the corner with my lab.  She runs so fast that my sprint does not even keep up so that helps push me.  I was reminded from the movie, Happy that aerobic exercise releases dopamine in the brain.  I don’t remind the science stuff- basically it helps with your mood.  Sometimes I will run up our stairs a few times.  Find creative ways to get your heart pumping.  When at work I like to go walk around the building for 5 minutes every 40 minutes.

4.  Journal.  I decided to journal instead of pushing forward in an attempt to be “productive”.  I knew jumping onto my blog to journal would be therapy for my soul.  Writing/journaling is such a catharsis for me.  Catharsis: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.  Synonyms:  relief, emotional release, cleansing, venting, purging.

5.  Inhale Gratitude, Exhale “So what”–  My friend shared this with me.  Her therapist taught it to her.  So for me:

  • so what if my kitchen is a mess
  • so what if my inbox is over 300
  • so what if my desk is covered in papers
  • so what if my to do list is HUGE
  • so what if my toilet is growing orange stuff at the water line 🙂

I recognized that my mood was going south and I wanted to take control.  I wanted to take action to help it because I hate to feel heavy with overwhelm and anxious thoughts.

It has really worked for me.  I feel lighter.  There is dancing within me that wants to come out.

I think it so cool how so many times when I need music to help my soul, the most perfect songs come on Pandora.  I don’t believe it is chance.  The Lord sees me.  He is in the details of my life. He knows me more than I know myself.

Some of the songs and their lyrics that perfectly spoke to my heart:

Forever by Kari Jobe

Forever Reign – “You are peace when my fear is crippling.”

Need You Now by Plumb -“Everybody has a story to tell.  A wound to be healed”

Hosanna by HIllsong United

O Lord by Lauren Daigle (I love her stuff) “I will stand my ground where hope can be found.”

Another post on being overwhelmed