Overcoming Overwhelm

Overwhelm. We all know what this feels like, right. Our mind are full of decisions we need to make, emotions we have not dealt with, lists of things we feel like we “should” do and much more. We are trying to balance home, work, health, and often kids. And sometimes it just feels like TOO MUCH..

So where does this overwhelm start.

We are a society that believes more is better. More will make us happy. So, we fill our time, our brains, our smart phones, our houses, cars, offices, with more stuff. As a result, we end up with 50 thousand emails in our inbox, garages we can no longer fit our cars into, and to-do lists that never get done.  With all this “stuff”, it is not surprising that overwhelm seems to be one of the most common problems that we hear people complain about today.

So what can we do about it? We hear a lot about de-cluttering our environment and minimalistic living, but the truth is, we also need to de-clutter and organize our mind.

How do we do this? The best way I have found of overcoming overwhelm, is to do a mind download. To do this we take a blank piece of paper and start writing. Write everything that is going on in our mind. Every thought, worry, decision, … Everything. We don’t stop until we are finished and there is nothing left in our mind, that is not on the piece of paper. We can write it like a list, or we can write it like an essay. It does not matter.

When we are finished, we will often feel some relief and clarity, just because our mind is momentarily empty. We may also feel more in control, as we can now “see” all of our thoughts, tasks and worries. They are no longer an endless mess in our mind, that we keep looping through.

But what do we do with our list now?

Author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins, suggests we take a highlighter and mark 3 things that we can work on, that will advance what matters most, to us. She recommends we focus on these 3 things and discard the rest.

On the other hand, Brook Castillo from The Life Coach School, suggests that we do a mind download on a daily basis, and choose one thought each day, to work on. That is 30 thoughts every month. Ask ourselves questions about our chosen thought, such as, is this thought serving me? Can I change this thought? If I change this thought, what result will I get in my life?

We get to choose which method suits us the best. The most important thing is that we do the mind download. By doing it regularly, we will start to organize and declutter our thoughts. This simple exercise will help us overcome overwhelm, and help us feel more in control of what is happening in our life.

Written by Lynda Timperley Btch, Dip psych, Cert Life Coaching


Mel Robbins, author and motivational speaker.

Brook Castillo The Life Coaching School

Image 1, by Gerd Altmann

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