My 4 Habits to Turn Overwhelm to Happy
Do you feel overwhelmed or wiped out like there just isn't enough time in your day? No matter what your life is like, we all have those moments!
Do you ever look at a project and get those "AHHH, I don't want to deal with this" thoughts?
Yes, I get it! What farmer doesn't? What mom doesn't? Who says life is easy?
We can feel like giving up, getting agitated, or being overly controlling. Why resort to those coping methods? Why not use a few healthy habits and feel amazing?
That's exactly what I'm doing. And it's REALLY working!!!!
My 4 Habits to Manage Stress & Overwhelmed Thoughts
1. Take time to think.
So much is grabbing for our attention these days that it is easy to just be in the reactive mode.
Every day, first thing, I take time to think. First, I spend time thinking on God's Word. That keeps me oriented in the direction I want to be going. I like to be intentional about the direction I'm going rather than being pulled in any direction that my day throws at me. It's like the rudder on my ship. It's like the tractor driver for a tractor.
In the moment of overwhelmed feelings, pause and think. What am I thinking? Is that really the way I want to think? Will this thinking actually help me? If not, what thinking would serve me well?
Take 1 minute, 10 minutes, or an hour to think/plan on 1 specific thing. It frees you from being Mr. Stuck.
2. Choose inspiring thoughts.
Have you noticed your thoughts have a huge impact on your feelings, actions, and results of your day?
The amygdala part of our brain is the reactive part of our brain. It's good to listen to it, but then sometimes the "I'm scared" or "I hate doing this" thought really doesn't help me.
I then tell my amygdala, "thanks for letting me know that thought, now get back in your corner. These dishes really do need doing and I am looking forward to the satisfied feelings when I'm done. So, I'm going to do them."
I let the frontal lobe (control center of my brain) take over. The more I do this, the stronger it gets.
When I think, "oh, it is so hot right now, this is so uncomfortable, I can hardly stand it." This gets me in the looping of frustrated feelings. If I think, "I would love to be cool" it gets my mind thinking in the direction of how to get cool.
What thoughts/feelings would you LIKE to have? Satisfied. Happy. Calm. Then your brain/thoughts and then actions will start moving you in that direction.
3. Move towards my goal.
Now that I have my goal in mind. I move towards my goal. What does this look like?
In the Moment...
- I can start on this drawer.
- I can make 1 phone call.
- I can write on the newsletter for 1 hour.
- I can take 2 seconds to hang up my jacket.
In My Day...
I am known as the sticky note person in my family. At the beginning of each day,
- I make a do-able to-do list for myself.
- I then number them in the priority I'm going to do them.
- If there is one item that I really don't want to do, I set a time limit for myself to work on it.
In My Week...
Every Friday or Sunday I do a brain dump. Yup, no use keeping stuff rattling around in my brain overwhelming me. I write down all the different things I have to do.
Yes, this could overwhelm you. But, get it out and see the big picture. Then, I prioritize it. Put a 1, 2, 3, Delegate, or Cancel beside each one. I work on the number 1's and "Delegates" for the week.
If I get looping in my thoughts I write it down. Pause and think. Make a decision or tell myself, "I'm going to deal with this at ____ time."
In My Month...
Get a calendar and jot down some of your to-do's on it.
When you schedule your tasks and stick to your schedule, you teach your brain that you keep commitments to yourself.
If you feel overwhelmed at any moment, go back to "In the Moment" and fix your thoughts and goal.
4. Take Care of Myself
It is easy to be overly hard on ourselves...work too much, think how unaccomplished or "stupid" we are, and just plain down ourselves in our thoughts. This really doesn't help us. What truly is freeing?
- Tell myself the truth and be kind to myself in my thoughts.
--Say things like, "I can do differently next time."
--This really is do-able. I CAN sit on the swing for a moment. I CAN pause and pet the dog. I CAN put exercising into my day.
- Make space for simple pleasures & recreation
--If I don't have time for this, I'm too busy. The simple healthy pleasures and recreation add pep to our step and a smile on our face. Write a few ideas down and do at least 1 a day.
This is my biggest challenge area at the moment. But, like the plants in the field and you my friend, we can...
Keep growing!!! Remember, a seed doesn't become a flower the next day.
Oh, the satisfied feelings of accomplishment, confidence, calm, and happy...I love it!!!