Doug and Lynn Nodland

Doug and Lynn Nodland

Are you feeling overwhelmed in any areas of your life? If you’re like many people, the stress of what’s going on in the world, and maybe in your life too, has contributed to feelings of being overwhelmed.

You probably can’t find anyone who hasn’t struggled with overwhelm at some point. Whether you get easily overwhelmed or not, the resulting feelings aren’t pleasant. Overwhelm breeds worry. Then worry sometimes contributes to us doing things that we think will make us feel better but they only mask the problem. Behaviors such as binging on food or alcohol are behaviors that can actually make us feel worse. This doesn’t solve the issue. It just avoids it temporarily and the worry and the overwhelming situation remain.

We’ll share a time when we felt pretty overwhelmed. We wanted to sell a property in Florida during the real estate market crash in 2008. There were lots of foreclosures in the county and we started to worry that it would be hard to sell. We couldn’t control the market so we thought about what we could control. We prayed that if we made our property looking the best it could be, it would increase our chances of selling. So, instead of just worrying about it, we got busy and made that place look great. We believe that when you take action, your Higher Power and the Universe come along to help! Fortunately, we hadn’t even put it on the market yet and someone came to us asking if we wanted to sell. They bought it!

So, instead of worrying, we encourage you to take these seven simple steps to help you get rid of overwhelm and feel calm again:

1. Identify what’s in your control and what’s not. It’s wasted energy to worry about things that are outside your control. Decide what you can control and place your attention there.

2. Focus on finding the best solutions. Obsessing over the problem will only drive up your stress levels. Instead, spend time and attention on what are the solutions to get you out of the situation.

3. Create an action plan. Remember the adage, “Starting is half done.” Figure out what you need to do and as you put in some time and effort, you will see progress.

4. Engage in good self-care. It’s important to take care of body, mind and spirit. Rest and relaxation are needed and so is eating well and getting exercise. You already know those basics. And don’t forget that meditation, mindfulness and prayer can be helpful. It’s so easy to put these healthy ways of living aside when you’re overwhelmed, but they’re even more important to do during stressful times.

5. Be grateful for what you have. It’s easy to be so rushed when overwhelmed that we forget and take for granted all the good in our life. It can help to make a list of all the things and people you have in your life that you appreciate and remind yourself that you are fortunate and blessed.

6. Celebrate your successes. Do one small thing that can help you move ahead. Maybe it’s cleaning out one drawer or making one telephone call. Every little progress is worthy of celebration. Allow yourself to get excited and motivated about moving forward as one success leads to another.

7. Get some help. Whether the task is one of moving furniture, paper or mindset, these tasks can be shared. So, get help. You are not alone. Ask for help and see what happens. Caring friends, family, and neighbors may be able to assist you. If needed, help can also take the form of professional assistance.

Everyone can relate to overwhelm. It can keep you stuck if you fail to address it. Also, it’s surprising how many situations can be handled if you truly work on solving the challenge.

What about you? What do you do to overcome overwhelm? We hope the ideas we’ve shared are helpful. The important thing is, don’t give up. Marie Forleo says that “Everything is ‘figureoutable’.” As you focus your time and energy on solutions, it can help you get rid of overwhelm. Worrying only makes you feel worse and less capable. As the saying goes, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” So give up worrying and take action. You probably won’t find any useful answers by fretting about it – or by just rocking in a rocking chair.

Chanhassen residents Doug and Lynn Nodland are success coaches and owners of The Balance Center in Excelsior. Contact them: