Feeling overwhelmed can be, well, overwhelming. It can take over your life and seem very difficult to suppress. Feeling overwhelmed can bring up other uncomfortable feelings such as helplessness, anxiety, pessimism, and low self-esteem. It can even push you to feeling like a victim of circumstance, which is an extremely painful and potentially damaging story to tell yourself. These negative feelings can contribute to low self-worth and even risky behaviors, as your subconscious may seek to self-sabotage in order to justify your discomfort and enact some sense of control, however neurotic and ineffective this may be. Given this context, it’s plain to see that feelings of being overwhelmed should be dealt with as early as possible. These kinds of feelings rarely go away on their own, so avoidance is not a helpful strategy for dealing with them. Instead, taking steps to honor your overwhelmed feelings such as witnessing those feelings, accepting them, and leaning into intentional acts of self-care and self-compassion can help you move through a sense of being overwhelmed and on to the brighter, calmer future that you deserve.
Ways to support yourself when feeling overwhelmed:
Give yourself time and space to acknowledge your feelings.
Ignoring a feeling of being overwhelmed can usually cause that feeling to grow, as something inside of you cries out to be heard. If you try to tune out these cries, they typically become louder. Your health may begin to suffer from chronic overwhelmed feelings if disregarded over a length of time. Simply taking the time to allow yourself to be present with your feelings of overwhelm can be surprisingly effective in helping you address anxious thoughts. Journaling about your feelings is a tangible way to sit with yourself when you feel overwhelmed. This allows your subconscious to feel heard and cared for, which will increase your sense of self worth, strengthening your capability to calm your overwhelmed feelings and self-soothe.
Lean into intentional acts of self-compassion and self-care.
Treat yourself like you would treat a child that you’ve been asked to care for. Make sure that you are well fed, hydrated, clean, and comfortable. Tending to these seemingly basic tasks can offer a welcomed distraction from your overwhelmed feelings as well as help your frustrated subconscious state feel nurtured and supported. Taking a warm, scented bath can help calm and reset an aggravated nervous system. Eating nutritious foods will help you achieve mental well-being. Gently moving your body through yoga, walking, or even simply cleaning your space will help you move through your uncomfortable emotional state as well.
Talk to someone who is trained to help with emotional discomfort.
Venting to friends and family can feel good, and that, in itself, is valid. But sometimes it’s not enough to overcome a state of overwhelmed feelings. A licensed counselor likely has the tools to help you help yourself. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to ask for help.
Contact Chenal Family Therapy to learn more today!