Sometimes we simply need to count to three. Inhale. Exhale. When the frustration starts to boil over, or the anxiety starts to consume us, or the sadness starts to overwhelm us, sometimes we’ve got to take a few seconds to breathe. Sometimes we’ve just got to remind ourselves that not all moments will be like this. If we’re having a bad day or a series of bad days, there’s no reason why we won’t ever have a good day. Counting to three won’t wash our problems away but it can at least bring us a little closer to an answer. Because when we breathe, we think more clearly. And when we think more clearly, well, our demons will eventually melt away.
Surprises can spark a whole array of different emotions. Sometimes we find pleasure and love hidden in a surprise. Sometimes we’re speechless, shocked and dazed. Sometimes surprises leave us frustrated, frightened or upset. But surprises always keep us on our toes. Life would be insufferable and dull if we always knew what was going to happen. With surprises, we can’t become complacent. Whether we grab spontaneity by the hand or we stumble into an unexpected and perhaps undesirable situation, we can always embrace what is thrown at us. Surprises are blessings that life bestows on us. Surprises are life’s way of saying that life is meant to be lived.
We all have limitations. We all have fears and worries. We all have things that trigger our anger and frustration. We all have gaps in our perceptions, understanding and knowledge. But walls are only in the mind. We’ll never be perfect. We’ll never know everything. And that’s okay. But we can always be better. Even if it’s just at coping. We can push the limits and break down our limitations. We just need to choose to. We need to be willing to work on ourselves and grow. We set our own limitations. And we can knock them down too.
When we face a difficulty, we sigh in despair or cry out in frustration. We’re blinded by the work, the time and the poor odds. But out of every difficulty, a seed sprouts. We can choose to be a fighter or a quitter. We can choose to be versatile or stale. We can choose to find the beauty or the hindrance. It’s hard at the time to be an optimist. But in every difficulty, we’ll find the greatest glory once we realise we conquered it.
Feeling overwhelmed can take a number of forms, often panic, stress or frustration. It is a natural reaction to feeling incapable and out of depth, feeling tired and buried in trouble, or feeling tremendous loss, confusion, or great uncertainty. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you feel overwhelmed:
- Take a minute to breathe – Whether you need to have a moment of panic, stress, or crying, do it and then let yourself have some time to calm down. When we sit down, breathe, and maybe even talk about it with someone, we can begin to see the issue a little more clearly and positively. Rushing into the problem or ignoring your emotions will only make it worse later on.
- Imagine the best outcome to the situation – A lot of the time, we feel overwhelmed because we are always expecting the worst. It’s easier said than done, but try to stay positive. If the ‘best outcome’ is too much pressure, try imagining an outcome that will please you at the very least. This way, we will become more motivated and proactive, and ultimately reach that better outcome more easily than we would when we expect the worst and feel as if we shouldn’t even bother.
- Remember that the worser outcome will not be as bad as you think – It’s in our nature to create problems in our head that are enhanced by our imagination. It’s important to remember that even if our plans don’t work out the way we hope they will, that doesn’t mean our life won’t work out the way we hope it will. Life is full of learning curves and trips down unexpected passes. Whatever happens, you will be better than ok.
- Break it down – Whether it is a problem or a goal that is making you feel overwhelmed, break it down into digestible pieces. Plan it out and write it down. Then, you can tackle each piece individually, actually accomplish it, and before you know it, the problem not only seems less monstrous, but is dealt with much more quickly.
When do you feel most overwhelmed and how do you cope with feeling overwhelmed? Let me know in the comments!
She let out a laugh, and then she put her hand over her mouth, like she was angry at herself for forgetting her sadness – Jonathan Safran Foer
To laugh is to be powerful. Sometimes, all it takes is a laugh to bring ourselves some clarity about what is important in life, to forget our troubles, how ever briefly, and to lift ourselves out of a darker place. It can be easy to get tangled in frustration, anger or disappointment in ourselves, but if we can learn to laugh at ourselves, laugh at the mistakes we make and laugh at the chaotic, we will feel lighter for it. Let yourself laugh uncontrollably. Let yourself laugh unexpectedly. To laugh is to lead mind over matter.
The initial reaction…
Frustration, anger and irritation can be consuming emotions that are hard to grasp immediately. Some of us can benefit from chatting with someone about the problem that is bothering us. They can be productive in allowing us to safely let off steam and find some perspective about the situation. But we also need to be mindful that we are not releasing all our pent-up, negative energy on others destructively, especially innocent people. If you find it hard to control your emotions, try taking some solitary time. Get outside and take a walk, release your energy through exercise, relax by taking a bath, listening to music or meditating, whatever it is that helps you calm down before speaking to others.
Let it go but face the problem…
These emotions are all rooted in an apparent or underlying problem. We need to learn to let them go after some time has passed, whether naturally or more consciously, so that they do not begin to control our lives in ways that limit us. Only then can we begin to answer these questions: what is it that is bothering me? Is this an understandable or irrational reaction? What can I do about this problem? Don’t be ashamed of your behaviour and don’t bury your feelings away. Break it down. Create a plan. Talk to people calmly and effectively. Be honest and be fair. Be self aware. Be forgiving if the situation warrants it or remove yourself from negative circumstances. Seek forgiveness and find what you need. Look at those emotions from the inside and outside. Move on. See the humour and see the beauty.
We are all human and it is natural to get frustrated, angry and irritated from time to time! What are the ways you handle these emotions?