By: Shubhangi Sharma
We've all been there, the tremendous burden of a million tasks sometimes gets too much and it feels as though the to-do list in your brain is running out of space. Your mind tells you you'll never be able to accomplish all these things you have to do on time. Emotional overwhelm is a state of being beset by intense emotion that is difficult to manage. It negatively affects your ability to think and act rationally. So, I've put together a few quick tips to get you back on track when you're feeling a bit too stressed out.
The first and easiest step to regaining control when you're feeling overwhelmed is to just take a breath. Deep breaths slow down your heartbeat and blood pressure, allowing you to be in a calm emotional state. Even the military uses a certain system of tactical breathing when faced with critical situations which has been scientifically proven to help people handle stress better. Here's how you can do it: Breathe in for a count of four, hold for four, breathe out for four, and repeat.
2. Write it all down.
You could choose to write down everything that's stressing you out on a piece of paper, or open up whatever note-taking application you prefer (I suggest Google Keep or Evernote). Seeing everything put down on a surface other than in your brain makes it seem a lot less threatening and also helps free up your mind. The act of writing by hand also has proven stress-relieving properties.
3. Have clear priorities.
Once you have written down and recorded everything stressing you out, you can start prioritizing. Make sure to only focus on what's really important and don't let the insignificant things eat your time away. Break up your tasks into different categories, either by deadlines or magnitude, to get you pumped up to start off. If you still aren't feeling up to it, start by doing something you really want to do first.
4. Listen to the music you like.
Whatever tunes you chose to listen to, make sure it's uplifting for you. Music is one of the best ways to relax and de-stress, and it’s easily accessible. This tip is usually most effective when you choose music that makes you feel rested and calm. When you try different musical styles, you’ll eventually figure out what works for you. And once you’ve found it, you can listen to it whenever you need to.
5. Just take a break.
We've had it drilled into our minds that idleness is a bad habit to be avoided at all costs. On the contrary, a lack of idleness leads to indecision, mental and physical fatigue and a severe lack of interest in life. Being constantly busy for the sake of being busy is a mindless mistake and keeps us away from rest and reflection - which are both critical for growth.
So the next time your brain asks you for a break, don't feel guilty and just go ahead and oblige, and your productivity levels and health will thank you for it.