5 tips to quit being overwhelmed

There was a time when I used to ignore my stress.

I'd have conversations about it over a glass of wine with my friends and that's it.  Something to complain and forget about. Not something to do anything about.  

Did you know? Statistics indicate that 60% of corporate workers feel stressed, on edge and overwhelmed trying to balance work and life. Our minds are in a constant state of partial attention and it takes 23 minutes to get back on task after our attention is yanked away. Even being stuck in traffic can now expose you to burnout, especially when your commute is longer than twenty minutes.

It's official. Almost everyone is feeling overwhelmed.

When you ask anyone today how they're doing, how often do you hear 'great!' or even 'fine!'? It's pretty infrequent. Now, it's far more likely the response you'll get is 'busy', 'stressed' or 'tired'. 

Consider this... how many times do you think to yourself I wish I hadn't said that or you lie awake making mental to do lists all night long. What about the minor disagreements that leave you with knots in your stomach, or the deadlines that give you a tight feeling in your chest?

We seem destined to ignore stress until it hits us over the head so hard, we're forced to pay attention.

Only when we have awareness of how stress plays out in our emotions, thoughts and physical body sensations can we change our relationship with it.

Only then, can we thrive and live a remarkable life.

I want that for you.  

To be empowered with tools that allow you to reframe your relationship with stress and create a happier life.  

Consider this helpful guide to becoming less stressed:

#1 Cut yourself some slack

We tend to be highly critical of ourselves as opposed to celebrating our achievements. There's always something we could have done better. Try being less judging of yourself. At the end of each day, reflect on the things you did well as opposed to the things you didn't get done. When we are compassionate towards ourselves, it helps us be more compassionate with others.

#2 Take things one day at a time

There is only so much we can do in a day. Really. We also happen to spend a good chunk of our day with wandering mind syndrome - which means we are not paying full attention to the task at hand.  Start your day, don't let the day start you. Set three intentions for the day and then pay close attention to those intentions and execute them. Don't be swayed by other issues.

#3 Cultivate space in your daily routine

Creating some space in your day for solitude and silence can increase your concentration, productivity and happiness.  Take 10 minutes each day to sit in a comfortable way and gently bring your attention to your breathing or physical body sensations. When you find your attention has drifted away from the breath into thoughts or feelings, simply redirect your attention back to your intended focus.

#4 Set boundaries 

Learning to say no to less important commitments opens up a whole array of new possibilities. Start by committing to fewer appointments in your week. Schedule meetings together in blocks of time so you are not spread too thin. Let people know when you need time for thinking, so they won't disturb you.

#5 Get sleep

It seems like such an obvious thing, yet many of us don't get enough sleep. We either can't get to sleep because we are making mental to do lists all night long, or we go to bed too late and get too few hours.  We cannot overstate the benefits of sleep and how it makes us feel calmer and better able to handle the stress that life throws at us. I recommend watching this two minute Ted Talk by Arianna Huffington on why getting sleep will help you succeed in life. If this doesn't persuade you, nothing will.

(Image Copyright: Michael Pettigrew/Dreamstime)