No matter how upbeat we are, or how hard we may try to maintain positive thoughts, or focus on what’s working in our lives, as opposed to what isn’t, we all encounter times when we feel nothing is going right and as a result feel overwhelmed by the problems we’re facing. The fact is, challenging periods happen to everybody – it’s all part of being here and being human. Nobody is immune and certainly if this is what is happening for you at the moment it is not your fault and neither is it the result of ‘negative’ thinking as some people might have you believe. Money or job worries, pressure at work, illness, relationship breakdowns, family problems, feeling you have taken on too much and don’t know how you are going to cope – just dealing with one of these kind of events can have us feeling unable to cope and if we are dealing with more than one at a given time – then we can end up feeling not only overwhelmed, but that there is no way we will ever be able to deal with it all.
If you are feeling that the world is crashing down around you at the moment, there is a very good technique I’ve learned to help get things back into perspective and to help you start to work your way through it all. It’s this. Make a list of what is actually wrong. Yes, it’s that simple. Take some quiet time, unplug your phone, ensure you are not going to be disturbed and make a list of everything – and I do mean everything – from the biggest problem you face right now to what you may consider to be the most trivial and petty (I can tell you that if it is worrying you it is not trivial and petty). Yes, this seems to fly in the face of what a lot of ‘new age’ thinking is telling you – that you should not focus on what is wrong but what is right. Sometimes that can work but not if you are feeling unsupported or that the issues you are facing appear insurmountable. Also – the saying ‘What you resist, persists’ applies here. Ignoring issues does not make them go away.
Once you have made your list, check that you have included everything. Chances are as you read through your list you can group most issues into two or three all-encompassing problems in specific areas of your life. This is a technique known as ‘chunking down’ and by doing this you begin to reduce your problems down to a more manageable size. Some of you may even discover that what you saw as a host of problems actually comes under one major issue. This will not make your problems go away but it does have the effect of making them seem a lot more manageable and stops that feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin!
Now you have identified your key problem areas you can then apply normal goal-setting techniques to help free yourself of them. Remember – the difference between a dream and a goal is taking action and your goal now is to step outside of the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you have undergone a loss – either your job or a relationship – do you need extra counselling and support? If you are under financial pressure do you need advice? If you are feeling pressured juggling your job and home life who do you need to talk to about this? Your partner and your boss? Now write down every action you could take and every person you could speak to about this. Allow your intuition to assist you here and don’t censor yourself if you come up with a person or an option that seems unrelated to the problem. Very often your solution lies within – or in an ‘out of the box’ approach which your intuition can guide you towards.
Remember, above all, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help even when you have reduced down your list to two or three major issues. The fact is, most people enjoy being asked for advice. Chances are when you think back to when people have asked you for help and advice you have felt pleased and flattered they came to you. So – don’t deny others the same opportunity. Above all, if you are feeling overwhelmed there is no need to ‘go it alone’. Chunk down – and reach out and you’ll soon be back to feeling you can not only cope, but also that life is enjoyable and vibrant again!
PS. If you feel like you are suffering from depression it is important to speak to a doctor or qualified therapist. Sometimes our anxiety and worry is due to depression and emotions can then hijack us seeking help is the first step to recovery x
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