Are feeling overwhelmed? Everything feels like it’s too much. Too much to be done, too much going on at once, and feel like you are being pulled in too many directions. We all have a tipping point and there is a limit to how much we can take. We can experience moments of feeling overwhelmed when things become busy, or if there is a lot we are dealing with at the time. However, a prolonged experience of overwhelm can result in burnout. It can be an important message telling you that something is going to have to give.
Too many thoughts
If your mind is too busy it can be challenging to focus on what is most important to you in this moment. An overactive mind results in lots of thoughts but no solutions to be found as too much information all at once leads to confusion. It can feel like you are going around in endless circles that are draining your energy and your motivation. A seemingly endless stream of unhelpful, negative thoughts has a very real impact on your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Our conscious mind is our short-term memory, and it can on average juggle 5 to 9 thoughts at a time. If you are successfully juggling several thoughts and something new is pressing for your attention, it is likely you will drop one of those thought balls and something gets forgotten. This is when you can’t remember where you put your car keys or realise a day too late that you were supposed to pay a bill.
- Lists. If you have a lot going on now and find yourself forgetting things, lists can be your friend. Keep a to do list on paper or on your phone.
- Do you enjoy writing? It can be helpful to write things down and bring some order to some of those conflicting thoughts. Sometimes writing can help us to make sense of all the different thoughts and ideas.
- Is there something that you enjoy doing that helps you to switch off your overactive mind? A hobby, physical activity like walking, swimming, yoga, or perhaps meditation.
Too much to do
If your to do list looks more like an extreme sport it may be time to have a serious rethink. You cannot be everything to everyone. You can’t do it all. You may be able to keep things moving for a while, but you are a human being who will need to stop and rest, or reduce the demands being placed on you. It may be time to seriously assess the demands that you or others are placing on you.
- Can you delegate some tasks?
- Can you cancel or postpone some of your commitments?
- Can you arrange some down time, a break, or a holiday?
Do you feel that you can’t stop? Consider if this is because of the demands being placed upon you, or if it’s your own feelings of fear or guilt driving you onwards, personal expectations or feelings that won’t allow you to surrender some of the demands on your time. I have worked with clients who avoid stopping because the sensation of stillness is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, or there is discomfort in being left alone with thoughts and feelings that they would rather avoid. It can become a catch 22 situation, you can’t stop, but you are exhausted from the constant ‘doing’ and the feelings of overwhelm.
Too much of everything
Too many thoughts. Too much to do. Your energy being pulled in too many directions. There is the list of things to be done, the brain is exhausted under the strain of thoughts. You are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
Have you heard the saying “If you don’t pick a time to rest, your body will do it for you”? Life can bring us situations and circumstances that make us feel overwhelmed. Once this time or situation has passed, we may then be able to return to greater balance and we can recover. But we simply cannot exist in this state for a sustained period and continue to function well. If overwhelm becomes the normal, sooner or later something will give and if we do not address this it can result in burn out, and it can impact our health and our lives in sometimes significant ways.
If you would like assistance with your experience of overwhelm or burn out, contact me to arrange an obligation free chat about how I may be able to assist you.
Inner Mind Therapies
Ph 0403 357 656