What should I do when I am feeling overwhelmed?
There are times in life when you’re going to feel overwhelmed and stressed. It’s actually a natural part of being human. When you feel stressed, or overwhelmed, people might feel anxious, depressed and lack energy. Those emotions are all normal. Whether it is from work, school, social obligations or just life in general, stress exists and it threatens emotional equilibrium and both of your physical health and mental health wellbeing.
According to a 2020 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 60% of over 3,000 U.S. residents reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
There are so many causes of stress and feeling overwhelmed. Everyone could feel overwhelmed easily. Stress is actually a result of your physiology. When your brain detects a threat, the stress-response system goes into action, sending a message to the brain and releasing stress hormones, including cortisol into the body. As a result, heart rate increases, muscle gets tight, and breathing becomes faster. There’s no need to feel bad for your feelings of stress and overwhelmed. They protect us from imminent danger, and tell ourselves that it’s time to take a break. If you find yourself asking “what should I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed?” You are not alone.
Here are some tips for dealing with overwhelming stress.
1. Accept your feelings.
Don’t try to blame yourself for having stress in your life. Stress happens. Your goal is to manage it, instead of denying it, or avoiding it. This non judgmental acceptance might help you reduce feelings of guilt associated with feeling overwhelmed.
2. Take Breaks
When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, it is your body telling you to take a rest. We live in a society in which self-care is underrated. Most of us work full day, and when they get home, they go to sleep. Then we repeat the process the next day and the day after that. Taking breaks between study and work could refresh your brain and body, increasing your energy, productivity, and ability to focus. Most importantly, it minimizes stress and burn-out.
When you are swamped with tasks, it can be difficult to focus on the here and now. Mindfulness turns our attention away from the negative prediction towards the future, focusing on what is happening in the present moment, including sights, sounds, smells and physical sensations. Mindfulness slows people down and reduces their anxiety.
4. Seek Professional Help
A qualified therapist can be an effective source of support and guide for you. A therapist can lead you through stress management in systematic ways to improve the quality of your life, including productivity, relationships, mental health and physical health. Therapists could also teach you relaxation strategies and mindfulness techniques that you can use outside of sessions.
Remember to listen to your body and that you are not alone.... It is okay to take a break!
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Stress in america™ 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis. American Psychological Association. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october
Davis, D. L. (2017, September 30). 10 Tips for Managing the Overwhelming Stress of Trying Times. Psychology Today. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from
About the Writer...
Tacha Fletcher is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), Holistic Life Coach and Founder of Wellness Tree Counseling Services. Using an eclectic approach, her treatment is warm, compassionate, collaborative and culturally attuned while creating a safe and nurturing atmosphere which allows individuals to delve deeper into their feelings and thoughts that are causing conflict. Tacha is experienced in working with Black, Indigenous and Women of Color (BIWOC) to address depression and anxiety related symptoms etc.
Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling Services is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways. Healing is within reach. holistic care with you in mine. Click here to request a free phone consultation TODAY.