- that Monday morning feeling,
- a huge new work project sprung on you by the boss,
- the state of the house after a weekend rampage by those lovely teenagers and their mates,
- reams of a seemingly endless to-do list, or
- working out how to use a complex new system … when tech really isn’t your thing,
Overwhelm can sneak in and settle, heavy and fizzing, in your body and in your mind.
It feels … well, horrible—all at the same time overpowering, flat, scary, paralysing, and with an undercurrent of anxiety and helplessness.
And, if food has offered a go-to relief from the times you feel bad, it makes total sense if overwhelm leads you straight to snacking on the foods you wish you didn’t want.
Try the next 7 steps and you’ll be blown away with how you can switch off overwhelm in just a few minutes.
It takes having a little bit of fun with your thoughts. But a little bit of fun’s good, right?
I guarantee, these steps are really effective. So much so that I use them often — daily when I have a significant new tech challenge (nope, tech really isn’t my favourite thing!)
Experiment and see how just 5 minutes can reduce the charge of overwhelm and keep you moving forward rather than staying stuck & numbing with food.
A journal or piece of paper can be useful to jot down notes if you want to.
Seven Steps to Reduce Overwhelm
- Describe the feeling of overwhelm. Maybe you notice other feelings resting alongside feeling scared, hopeless, frozen, sick, tense, or another emotion or sensation. Add those too.
- Write down all the reasons why you feel like that. In other words, what’s running through your mind that’s leading to the feelings you’ve described in step 1.?
- Notice what you do when you feel that combination of feelings. You may come up with something you don’t do, which is just as important to be aware of. Whatever the actions—or lack of actions—notice if they reinforce or provide evidence for the thoughts you noted in step 2.
- Have some fun playing with the thoughts you wrote down in step 2. For example, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- Are those thoughts true? Can I be absolutely certain they’re true?
- What are 3 reasons the thoughts might not be 100% true?
- Are there any examples of my prior achievements, times I’ve overcome other types of adversity, or reasons why I might be able to get through this current challenge?
- Think of a dear and supportive friend, partner or colleague. What spin might they put on this situation?
- Highlight one or two ideas from step 4. that resonate and give you a mental or emotional boost.
- As you reflect on the ideas you’ve highlighted, what new feelings come up? Does this group of new feelings have a different emotional charge? When you feel these emotions and sensations, what are you likely to do next? Do you want to keep this perspective? If so, move on to step 7. If not, go back to step 4.
- When you’ve identified the thoughts that you believe and that feel more positive and empowering, remind yourself of them throughout the day. An old fashioned post-it note works wonders, but so do reminders on your phone, screensavers, a calendar entry or to simply repeat the new thought every time you do a regular task like washing your hands or stopping at traffic lights.
I’d love to hear what you discover!
P.S. You’ve moved through that overwhelm and want to know the next KEY SUPPORTIVE ACTION that will help you change your eating, starting today … Find the unique step that’s right for you in my FREE Starter Guide: The First Key Step to Stop Binge Eating. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY.