How To Deal With Stress And Overwhelm In An Uncertain World
Life is hectic for just about everyone. Lately, it seems that it’s become worse due to overwhelm and uncertainty. Everyone’s normal has been upended and many people are wondering if life will ever be the same as it once was.
Some fear that things will never return to normal. But there is a way that you can be calm and have inner peace, even when you’re worried about things going on in your business or personal life.
Are You Living a Life Full of Worry?
Worry usually occurs when you feel like things are spinning out of your control. When you’re overwhelmed, it means that you feel worn down and overpowered by situations, people and events.
Uncertainty is the feeling you get when you can’t rely on something you used to be able to count on. You feel doubtful, like there are no answers to find. If you’re like most people, you don’t deal well with the unknown.
The reason for this is because the unknown often affects your ability to feel like your life is stable. It’s the shadow threat that looms, and makes outer situations feel like they’re greater than your ability to deal with them emotionally or mentally.
In today’s world, many people are stressed, overwhelmed and uncertain about their finances. You may have had your hours cut at work and now you’re having to pull from your savings, just to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.
Or, it could be that you’re one of millions who live paycheck to paycheck and now there’s no job certainty. You worry about how you can possibly feed your family. You go to bed with knots in your stomach because you can’t see anything changing anytime soon.
With the loss of jobs, many people also lose health insurance and can’t afford to buy it. That adds to the worry you’re under. You might be going through some health issues and you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You’re struggling to eat healthily and to take care of yourself. You might be having trouble affording the medication that you need. Maybe you’re rationing medication, which is making your health even worse.
Impact On Health
The stress that you feel because of this also impacts you physically. You worry about the health of your family members on top of worrying about your own. Because life has become so uncertain, it impacts relationships.
Being forced to spend time together, often with no way to find relief from the stress, can take a toll. You might find that you’re arguing with your loved ones over minor things – things that in the past you wouldn’t have even cared about.
You might be in a situation where you’re having to take on the role of teacher to your children and you feel like it’s out of your league. This can strain the relationships between parents and kids.
Both parties can feel the stress of being out of their normal. Many people are experiencing overwhelm and uncertainty about the world around them. There are no longer guarantees that the food and supplies you need for your daily life will be available.
You’ve seen that people have become more short tempered. There are arguments online and off. It feels like it’s become a chaotic, hateful world. Threats of political unrest are everywhere.
There are rumours of war and you feel like you’re under attack in every area of your life where there was once peace. Before you lose hope, know that there are ways you can reclaim your peace of mind.
Learn How to Stop Feeding Your Concerns
When you consistently eat too much, those extra calories show up as weight gain and poor health. Likewise, when you consistently feed and fuel your worry about things, it causes your overwhelm and uncertainty to get bigger and affects your health too.
You might be the root cause of how you’re feeling right now – even if you’re not aware that your actions are actually the problem. If you’re like many people lately, you’ve had a tendency to binge on news.
You watch it on the television, catch it on your phone and when you check in on your social media sites, there are numerous news headlines. These headlines are filled with gloom and doom.
There was never anything much positive about the news before, but now it’s even worse. The problem is that you’ve subjected yourself to a steady diet of this. You’re filling your mind with problems and unrest.
When you’re on social media, you see the toxicity among people. The hateful comments. The name calling. The self-righteousness of some as they point fingers at others.
You might have that happen in person aswell. At the grocery store. When you’re running errands. Maybe it’s even in your family. The toxic situation is wearing you down and you wish that you could remove yourself from all the negativity.
Well, in fact you can! Make a conscious effort to stop watching the news 24/7. The world is still going to turn without you glued to what’s going on. Give yourself a timeout from the news and you’ll notice that your level of stress and overwhelm goes down.
You’ll see that you don’t worry about things the way that you did. This will help you realize that what you’re allowing into your thoughts is a huge part of the problem, if not the entire problem.
Avoid the toxic people online. Mute them on social media. Or better yet, avoid the negative talk on social media. If you think you can’t do that, then ask yourself if you really want that to be a part of your life.
It’s okay to temporarily or permanently deactivate your account. If you have a toxic person in your life, you don’t have to listen to what they spew. You can be busy. Too busy to listen. You can walk away.
Practice learning how to do the things you have to do better and faster. This can work wonders at preventing overwhelm. When you have a system in place, you can let it work automatically.
Get into the habit of doing things a certain way each time and your brain will work on autopilot when it’s time to do those things. This is less stressful for you. Create a system so that you don’t fail.
For example, make a standard operating procedure for a project. List out ahead of time what you need to do for the projects you have on your plate. This way, you can refer to that when needed. Plus, it’ll act as a checklist that you can use for getting stuff done.
The Emotional Damage Can Become Physical
Many people are struggling emotionally right now. Everywhere you turn, people are hurting. They’re stressed out. They’re anxious. They’re living in fear of something. Some are feeling like nothing is ever going to get better and they’re living defeated lives, trying to find things to help them escape.
They’re sleeping in. Drinking more. Being more sedentary by spending too much time on the computer or watching TV. When you’re overwhelmed or living with uncertainty, it can cause you to have a lot of emotional struggles, but the problem is that these struggles never just stay emotional.
Instead, they turn into physical damage. The reason this happens is due to the mind and body connection. What you experience in your emotions can do more damage to your body than you may realize.
Physical & Mental Decline
You may not grasp that there’s something going on physically, but once you do, one of the first things you might start to notice is that you feel run down. That’s because emotional damage can turn into fatigue, which often manifests by producing symptoms like headaches, irritability, muscle weakness and more.
Mental pressure is linked to emotional damage. The root cause of failing mental health is the bad kind of stress. This type of stress stems from unresolved situations that occur because you feel like things are outside of your control.
In turn, this leads you to remain in a state of overwhelm and uncertainty. By staying stuck in that loop, and the continual lowering of the immune system, your body begins to pay the price for what goes on. You’ll start to develop an inability to sleep.
Insomnia stemming from emotional damage is common. Because you can’t sleep, your body will develop physical symptoms. You’ll start to notice that your blood pressure readings are higher, and they may be consistently high.
This will put you at risk for developing heart disease. You may experience weight gain or weight loss. You’ll have trouble concentrating and may have bouts of anger or irritability.
Poor Nutrition Choices
Emotional damage can manifest itself in poor nutrition. You’ll start to make more unhealthy eating choices than before. You may not care if what you’re eating is good for you or not.
Some people will overeat, while others won’t consume enough. Both of these situations put your body at risk of developing complications from poor nutrition. You may discover that you’re having gastrointestinal upset due to the emotional damage.
You might have bouts of diarrhoea or constipation. People who are experiencing emotional damage may burst into tears at unexpected moments. You might find that you start crying and it might feel like it’s for no reason at all.
While you may not be able to put your finger on it at the moment, things are going on below the surface. You may have kept a lid on your emotions and pushed them down, but after awhile, the stress will come out.
After some time, you may end up with long term health problems such as diabetes, accelerated aging due to how stress affects the cells, chronic headaches, stomach aches, and muscle pain.
Empower Yourself To Kick Overwhelm In The Gutter
You might hear advice that tells you to avoid whatever it is that’s overwhelming you. While that’s good advice, it’s not always possible. Sometimes you’re stuck with that situation because it might be a job or a family member that you can’t just walk away from.
If that’s the case and you have overwhelm in your life that will always remain, then you have to learn how to deal with it to minimize its effect on you physically. What you can do is take a quick time out.
You don’t need to have hours of time in order to regain control so that you’re more empowered. What you can do is to practice easy things that deal with the overwhelm. You can do these things any time of the day and in any situation.
Improve Breathing Techniques
You can start with deep breathing, even if you’re right in the middle of whatever is causing the overwhelm. Practice deep breathing by inhaling through your nose. Draw in as deep a breath as you can, then slowly exhale through your nose.
You can use deep breathing for 15 minutes to fight overwhelm, but if you’re in a hurry, even just practicing it for 5 minutes can make a big difference. Meditation is something else that you can use to help deal with what you’re going through.
There are different styles of meditation and you can choose the one that works best for you. Some people like visualization meditation, while others prefer mindful meditation. But you can also use a mantra meditation if that helps you.
Positive affirmations can work too. This practice can help reduce the physical symptoms associated with emotional damage and can even prevent emotional damage. When you use these affirmations to empower yourself, you can develop a belief that leads to the type of positive thinking that doesn’t allow the negative to take root.
These affirmations can be anything that helps you get rid of the negativity. For example, you can use things such as, “I can create the happiness and peace I deserve.” Create the affirmation to address whatever it is that you’re struggling with.
It could be finances, health, relationships or whatever. If you’re not able to get rid of the situation or people in your life that are causing the overwhelm, then look at what you can add to your life so that you can have more positive influences.
You can start to be careful of your time. Limit your exposure as much as you can to the situations and people that cause you to feel the overwhelm. It’s okay to pull back from whatever harms you.
You might not be able to control the situation or other people, but you can control you and your reactions. Only you get to determine your attitude. No one can force negative feelings on you.
Cultivate a good attitude and good, positive thoughts. When your thoughts stray into the negative, immediately pull them back. Refuse to follow feelings down a rabbit hole of negativity.
If you feel down or overwhelmed and you allow yourself to stay there, the feelings will be magnified. Instead, decide that you’re going to get busy and you’re going to do something productive.
Widen your circle of friends and influencers. Look to develop relationships with people who are positive and make you feel uplifted or supported. These might be in person or even online.
Begin Nurturing A Microscopic Focus
If only life came with a giant control button, you’d never experience overwhelm or uncertainty again. But since it doesn’t, there will always be things outside of your control.
There’s nothing you can do about the majority of things in your life. But that doesn’t mean these things have to be the focus of your life. You are in control of that. Chaos can be all around you, but it doesn’t have to define your life.
Right now, you get to determine what it is that you’re doing. You don’t have to be upset and stay glued to the news 24/7. You don’t have to get involved in all the fighting on social media.
You get to decide how you react to what you see and hear. People are always going to argue. The news is always going to be negative. Happy headlines don’t sell as well as negativity does.
Controlling Your Life
You get to determine if this stuff affects you by staying in control of your life. You get to decide if you even let the garbage in at all. Tune out and start to enjoy your life again. Let all the outside chaos rage on as it will, but you don’t have to be plugged into that.
You don’t have to focus on it. You don’t even have to give it any thought at all if you choose not to. Instead of focusing on what’s out there, focus on what’s going on in your immediate world and life under your roof.
You don’t have to focus on anything that’s causing you stress. For example, if you’re spending time playing with your kids but you’ve been having some relationship problems with your spouse, that doesn’t have to be at the forefront of your mind.
Instead, you can keep your thoughts focused on what matters most, for example, the moment that you’re spending with your children. Don’t be in one place physically, while mentally and emotionally you’re somewhere else.
Be all in. You’ll be surprised at the difference that it makes in how you feel. The world really does feel like it’s upside down. Globally, there’s so much going on and everyone’s talking about it.
But you don’t have to worry about that. Kick those thoughts to the curb and don’t let stuff like that have space in your thoughts. Instead, bring your focus back to how you can create a happy, calm, and loving place for your family.
Look for the joy. Find ways that you can introduce fun things for everyone to do or to think about, so that the drama of the world isn’t stealing the joy from your home life. This doesn’t mean you have to go and stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend that nothing’s going on.
You don’t have to know every single thing that goes on in the world. Back away a little more. Take more breaks. Stay informed, but on a smaller basis. Embrace a beautiful life even in the midst of chaos by letting go of or scaling back on the things that cause you the overwhelm and uncertainty.