Feeling Overwhelmed? Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Strategies
Do you want to know how I avoid feeling overwhelmed in my life as a work-at-home, homeschooling wife and mother of four? In under 5 minutes, I’m going to share the mindfulness-based stress reduction strategies I use to avoid feeling overwhelmed and depressed when life just doesn’t go my way.
The Real Reason You’re Feeling Overwhelmed with Life
Feeling overwhelmed with life and like you’re at the mercy of everything and everyone around you? Here’s a quick video to watch.
I Can’t Control When I Feel Overwhelmed!
So many people need your help, pull at your shirts, and add to your to-do list that it’s completely understandable if you’re thinking, “I can’t control that I feel overwhelmed!”
There’s always a reason when you’re feeling cranky or irritable:
PMS has you easily agitated and annoyed
your partner is in a mood so you are too
your mother-in-law made that comment
your kid is whining and clinging
…or your boss, or the news, or the weather, or the traffic…
The truth is that there are so many imperfections and facts of life that aren’t necessarily your preferred realities.
People will behave in all sorts of ways that you don’t prefer.
And there is so much beyond your control, but giving your emotional state to anything on the outside is giving away your power.
What’s Really Happening When You Feel Overwhelmed
When you feel overwhelmed you’re actually giving the keys to your kingdom over to something as trifling as the weather, or as random as a two-year-olds tantrums.
The truth is that you get to decide how to feel.
You get to decide what you will allow to infiltrate your protective bubble.
When you let outside influences shape how you show up day-to-day, and shape how you feel and act, you’re letting excuses run the show.
You aren’t taking responsibility for how you show up to your one precious life.
When you pin your irritability on being hungry, or being tired, or having too much work… you’re allowing all the minutiae of your life to affect:
- who you are as a person
- how you show up
- how you feel throughout the day on a deeper level
When you allow yourself to be offended by other people’s comments…
When you allow your mood to be deeply affected by the rain…
When you allow yourself to speak sharply to the people that you love, because PMS…
…you are giving away your power, making excuses, giving into a victim-mindset, and shirking your responsibility to show up as your best self.
When Overwhelmed and Depressed, Remember This
Remember this one important point when you feel overwhelmed and depressed because of life’s circumstances.
You get to choose what to feel.
The truth is… you can detach your emotional reaction from the vast majority of outside influences.
You Have All the Power
You alone have the power to decide what to focus on.
You alone have the power to decide on how to interpret events and reality.
You never need to deny the reality or ignore the facts. Your toddler may indeed be having a tantrum. You may in fact have PMS and there might be really big events in the news, but the facts are just the facts. they’re just the reality.
You decide what meaning you attach to those facts and how much you allow them to penetrate your consciousness and burst your “feeling good bubble.”
You are allowed to and have the power to stay inside a feel-good bubble, even in the face of the most morbid and grave facts. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but ancient wisdom teachings have always known this.
So What Do I Do When Overwhelm, Annoyance, or Frustration Creeps In?
Here’s what I do when I notice I’m overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, or feeling all the stressed feelings…
I set up an 80/20 rule.
Here’s how you can set up the 80/20 Rule and enjoy your life so much more, even if it stays the same as it is now.
Allow yourself to be influenced by outside stimuli like the news or someone else’s’ mood about 20% of the time.
But 80% of the time, you must be in your impenetrable bubble. It’s where your power is. It’s where you ground yourself and protect your inner experience. It’s your backbone that supports you staying strong throughout your life. It’s where you exercise your free will to choose how to interpret the facts of life, what to focus on, and choose how to feel.
Conclusion: How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Depressed
By setting up an 80/20 rule with yourself, you’ll be so much less irritable, cranky, and easily annoyed. When you ground yourself and maintain your power over your feel-good bubble, you won’t fluctuate so dramatically in your emotional response. And you certainly won’t be at the mercy of others, world events, or social media. I hope you’ll use these tips to stop feeling overwhelmed and depressed by outside forces, and commit to showing up as the steadier, more reliable, best version of yourself.
What are your go-to strategies when feeling overwhelmed?