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What to remember when you’re feeling overwhelmed

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It is normal to feel overwhelmed from time to time. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed often it may be time to intervene.

Below are some helpful reminders for times when you feel overwhelmed.

Breathing Exercises

Practising breathing exercises in moments where you feel particularly overwhelmed can help to recentre your priorities and bring clarity to the situation. Taking on extra oxygen in moments of heightened stress helps your brain and body to feel more equipped for whatever situation lies ahead. Breathing exercises can be practised anywhere and at any time. A simple exercise to begin with is inhaling while counting to four, holding for four counts, exhaling for four counts, and holding again for four counts, then repeat until that feeling of feeling overwhelmed eases.

Share Your Feelings

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may often keep your feelings to yourself, especially if you are in a position of caring for others. However, keeping your feelings to yourself can lead to a deterioration in your mental health and make your stressors seem even more overwhelming. Talking through your thoughts and feelings with trusted friends or family members can help to lighten the load if you’re struggling. If you’d prefer to speak with a trained therapist in a confidential environment, self-refer to our free NHS Talking Therapy service at the bottom of this page.

Reflect on the Positives

Feeling overwhelmed can distract from the positive things going on in your life. Often whatever is causing you distress can overwhelm other aspects of your life. However, it is important to focus on the positive things going on in your life to not let your stress consume you. When you let your stressors overwhelm your thoughts and feelings it can often impact other areas of your life, making it feel like nothing is going right, which is very rarely the case. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed it can be helpful to write down the good things in your life and read over them until the feeling begins to fade.

Focus on What You Can Control  

There are certain stressors we can and cannot control. When you focus your time and energy on things you can’t control, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. When you focus on letting go of what you can’t control you can decrease your stress levels and feel less overwhelmed. What we can control is our own actions, attitudes, and responses, creating positive feelings towards things we can control helps to ease feelings of being overwhelmed.

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