How to Reduce Overwhelm

January 18, 2023

If you've experienced overwhelm, you know how urgent it feels to learn how to reduce overwhelm! I've been there, living in my share of commitments, priorities, and endless tasks. And I know firsthand that it isn't a great place to be. In today's podcast episode, join me for some quick tips to work through that feeling of overwhelm and bring things back into focus.

This is episode number 128. Welcome to the Mindset for life Podcast; this podcast is for you, if you love, serve, teach and lead others, you want things to keep getting better, you want encouragement. And just one little idea today to get stronger in your life, your relationships or your work. I'm Bethanie Hansen, and I help people everywhere take control of their current situations, and have power to do what they need to do in the future as well.
I'm here with you today to talk about how to reduce overwhelm.
Overwhelm is a feeling where we don't know how to get started, like there's so much going on, it's just very difficult to get a handle on it and feel like things could ever be better in the future. In fact, when we're experiencing overwhelm, our thoughts are usually muddled a little bit, and it's hard to even gain clarity.

We don't know what the first step out of overwhelm is. Well, in my experience, overwhelm is a chronic condition that could just keep coming back again, and again. And again. Part of the reason overwhelm is such an unwelcome but regular visitor is that overwhelm is a space of “status quo.”

Overwhelm is actually a somewhat of an indulgent mindset where, because there's so much going on in our brain, we can feel like, well, it makes sense that I can't take any action, because there's just so much to do, there's just so much going on in my brain, I can't do anything about it.

That might be true. I don't really know what your experience is right now. But I know that when I have experienced overwhelm, it's usually come from not taking a little bit of time to slow down, and really work through what all of my thoughts are.
Write it all down.
The first step I usually recommend to my coaching clients, when I'm working with them on a state of overwhelm, is to just do a dump. Write all those thoughts down on a piece of paper. We're going to put down every little thing that is going on in that brain.

Some of it is a list of things to do. And that's usually the easiest part to get out of the brain. So we're going to write down things like maybe you have a trip coming up. And some of the overwhelm is all the things you need to prepare and pack and have ready for the trip. Or maybe it has to do with what you need to do in the house so that the house is ready for your absence. Maybe you have locks you want to purchase or automatic light timers, or maybe you have someone coming over to your house to watch the house or watch the pets. Maybe have a pet to take to the kennel, there's a lot you can do to prepare your house for a trip.

If you're preparing for a trip, and that's part of your overwhelm, probably there's a whole list of things going on in your brain about just getting ready for that trip, as well as packing for that trip. And planning what you're going to do while you're on the trip. Then outside of that if you have children at home, you might be thinking, if you're leaving the children with someone else, maybe a family member, how are you going to prepare the children for your absence?

How are you going to prepare the family member to watch your kids, then there's work, right? If you work and you're going on a trip, you've also got all the work commitments you need to close out, wrap up and finish before the trip. See how easily that overwhelm can just pile up to thing after thing after thing?

Pretty soon the overwhelm starts to feel like anxiety, and anxiety is all about the future. So we're experiencing in the current moment, all of these things that we just need to get done.