4 Signs You May Be Overwhelmed
Often times, we don’t realize we have been overwhelmed until we’re out of it. I’m going to share with you today how overwhelm shows up so that you can be prepared for it the next time it happens. Because when you know what to look for, you can get out of overwhelm and get back to doing all of the things that are on your plate.
Below is the quick notes version. For the full meal deal, watch the video.
First, what overwhelm is
Overwhelm is you body taking care of you. It’s your fight-flight-freeze stress response.
A bit of stress is a good thing. It can help us hit our deadlines.
If you’ve ever seen athletes compete at the Olympics, you’ve seen the positive benefits of stress – driving us to go faster, farther. Or when you or your child is in danger, boom, you do what you need to do to get your child safe.
That’s good. Stress protects our life.
But the body doesn’t know the difference between life-threatening threats and perceived threats. It responds the exact same way whether a car is about to mow you down or a new project lands on your lap Friday afternoon (and by the way, it’s due on Monday).
Here are the four ways overwhelm impacts us.
1. We feel overwhelm in the body
- Racing heart
- Shallow breathing
- Muscle tension, aches, pains
- Fatigue, problems sleeping
- Upset stomach, nausea
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Problems eating
- Sex drive, or lack of it.
2. We feel overwhelm in our emotions
- Keyed up
- Reduced confidence
- Guilty, ashamed
3. We notice overwhelm in our brains and thoughts
- Poor concentration and lack of focus
- Difficulty making decisions
- Memory issues
- Reduced impulse control
4. We experience overwhelm in our behaviours and actions
- Smoke more than usual
- Drink more alcohol than normal
- Use more recreational or prescriptions drugs than we usually do
- Fidget because of pent-up energy or the feeling we want to run away
- Withdraw from conversations and social life
- Non-stop talking (for someone who is usually more measured in their speaking)
- Zone out in front of the TV
Once you recognize overwhelm is happening, you need a way to stop the overwhelm in its tracks so that you can get calm and focused and back to being productive. I cover this in detail in my workshops. To explore having me cover how to do this in a more detailed and interactive way with your company or within your team, send me an email or call me. I can present workshops on stopping overwhelm or building resilience for the long haul, among others.
For individuals, you can receive a fr.ee copy of my in depth training at www.stoptheoverwhelm.com. This training shares the exact steps to take to put the brakes on overwhelm with a simple yet highly effective process to get back to calm, focus, and productivity.