We all face different types of people, situations, and work every day, hence, it’s common to get overwhelmed by these or just life in general at some point. The important thing to learn is what to do when you get overwhelmed. Learning this helps you create a magic door of a kind for yourself such that you can calm yourself down there and make better and rational decisions.
The first crucial thing is to not brush off the overwhelming sources by either distracting or denying them, but rather to take a step back and calm yourself down by practicing a grounding technique. This technique is also known as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, it brings you back down to the present moment by identifying different things in decrement order of numbers by your different senses.
Hence, whenever you feel overwhelmed you can try looking for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. And by the time you reach taste, you feel more relaxed and calm.
After calming yourself down, you can try to understand what you actually felt when you are emotionally overwhelmed by the situation and distinguish them from your irrational thoughts. For this purpose, you can use the thought-naming technique. This technique allows you to make a list of all the thoughts in your head at the moment by asking yourself the following questions:
- What emotion/s did I feel at that point in time?
- What person/situation caused it?
- How did I respond to the situation/person?
- What am I feeling right now?
- What major thoughts were and are in my mind?
- Are these thoughts rooted more in facts or in emotions?
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Taking a short walk after feeling overwhelmed also helps physiologically, as different hormones get released due to physical activity, hence you can always do this whenever you feel burdened by your thoughts and emotions. While we may get overwhelmed from time to time, employing these techniques will help you to accept your emotions and work on yourself.