The Secret Causes of Overwhelm
Updated: Mar 29, 2019
"You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass." - Timber Hawkeye
Most of us have a tendency to become overwhelmed at times, but much like all the other emotions we deem to be negative in our lives, overwhelm is just another signal that something needs to change.
The problem is, we often have trouble recognizing exactly where our overwhelm is coming from. The more obvious and most commonly attributed culprits are usually work, the kids, the housework, the bills, and even life in general. And while all of these aspects of our lives have their place when it comes to our sense of overwhelm, they're not always the things that are really affecting us most.
One thing that I've noticed over the years when coaching my clients, is that we often lack a sense of presence when we're in the midst of overwhelm. We actually feel off centre and off balance, and we have a tendency to be very focused on our external world. We keep looking around us at all the things we have to do and all the places we have to go and all the people we have to take care of. And we often continue to perpetuate our own feelings of overwhelm because we fail to recognize that we may be looking in the wrong places.
Coaching has a wonderful way of helping us to discover the root cause of our issues. There's magic that happens in the space where we become truly present for one another. When we are given an opportunity to really feel heard and are given the space to explore our own thoughts, feelings, values, needs, and goals, we can begin to discover things about ourselves that we weren't even necessarily aware that existed.
When a client comes to me with an issue that they believe is causing their upset, I take them through a series of questions that opens up channels of curiosity and consciousness, giving them an opportunity to pause, reflect and explore their internal world. The following is a list of questions we would consider that may help you find answers when you find yourself in the midst of feeling utterly and completely overwhelmed.
Questions to Consider: The Secret Causes of Overwhelm:
What are you not saying?
Is there something you keep hearing yourself say, over and over in your head, that you haven't necessarily said out loud but may actually need to? What has been keeping you from saying it? What would happen if you were to give yourself permission to express it?
What are you not getting?
If there was a need that you have that is not being met, what would it be? What could you do to fill that need in a positive and beneficial way today? Is there something you have neglected to communicate to others that they could possibly be willing and able to help you with?
What are you not doing?
Is there something that you've been wanting to do but haven't? Is it eating you that you have been neglecting to do what you've been needing or wanting to do? How could you take steps towards making it happen, starting today?
What are you not feeling?
Usually when we're feeling overwhelmed, sad or upset, what's missing is a feeling that we want to feel more of. What is the feeling that you are not getting to experience as much as you'd like? What could you do today to give yourself more of that feeling?
What are you denying yourself of?
Women are famous for denying themselves beyond what is necessary. Most of us have been groomed for self-sacrifice and self-denial our whole lives, usually inheriting the misguided belief that it makes us righteous or more honourable in some way. What it actually ends up doing is making us bitter, miserable and difficult to live with. What have you been denying yourself of lately? What could you do today to give yourself the gift of self-care?
What are you saying yes to that you should be saying no to?
Every time we say yes to something, we're actually saying no to something else. Consider where you've been spending your time, energy and focus of late. Is there something you have been saying yes to when you want to be saying no? What can you do to change that so you have more time and energy to focus on the things that are important to you?
What are you tolerating?
This is one of my favourite questions because it always makes people stop and think. It's a different way of thinking about yourself and your life, and may provide some valuable perspective when it comes to making some much needed change. What have you been tolerating in your life, either from yourself, from others or from life in general? What do you need to do to make that change so you can feel more empowered and at peace?
What are you focusing on?
The most common ailment we suffer from as humans is practising the habit of focusing on things we have no control over. It's the most futile thing we could ever do, yet most of us do it on the daily. Think about what has you feeling the way that you do and consider what you have been focusing on. Is this something you have any control over? And if not, begin to consider what you could focus on instead that you can actually have some ability to control.
What are you saying to yourself?
I've said it before and I'll say it again, our words become things. Whether you're spewing out profanities inside or outside your head, those words will become your experience. We are constantly in the process of creating our own reality, and we're creating that reality through our own words. What kinds of things have you been saying to yourself? Are they positive, uplifting or helpful? What is the story that you have been telling about yourself and your life? If you change that story, your life will change.
What are you giving your power away to?
Any time we find ourselves frustrated, overwhelmed or exasperated, we're feeling that way because we have been giving our power away to something that is outside of ourselves. Taking ownership of how we feel and where we are is the first step to bringing about positive change. Making someone or something else responsible for our circumstances does nothing to change our situation and only serves to make us feel helpless and stuck. What have you been giving your power away to? What could you choose to do today that could impact that in some way? Even if your situation really has been brought on by others, you always have the power to do something to create an impact and bring about positive change.
I hope you find these questions helpful and that you can utilize them the next time you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or depressed. I'd love to hear your thoughts about these ideas and what you have found yourself to be most helpful when you are suffering from overwhelm. Please feel free to provide your feedback in the comments below!
What's the biggest challenge you are facing in your life right now? How is that impacting you and what would it mean for you if you could overcome it? I can show you how to overcome this and any other kind of challenge quickly and easily. I can teach you how to solve complex problems with simple solutions, so you can get the results you want while saving you time, money and pain. Would that be something you would be interested in?
Contact me to find out how you can receive a one hour Complimentary Coaching Consultation Session. This free session can help you get clear about what has been holding you back and give you the opportunity to create a powerful strategic action plan to help you achieve your goals! Click on the link below to schedule your free Consultation Session today!
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About the author
Tamara Dodgson is a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach and Life Strategist with Forward Coaching and Consulting Services. Utilizing the most powerful principles and strategies from master Strategic Interventionists, Tamara offers a sound, knowledgeable and dependable methodology for change, whether it relates to matters of the individual, couple, family, partnership, company, organization or community. She has successfully helped her clients navigate through hundreds of unique and challenging life situations, often involving complex issues such as smoking and shopping addictions, separation and divorce, anxiety and stress and work related challenges. Tamara empowers her clients by helping them identify what they want, teaching them a successful and proven methodology for change and providing them with measurable and lasting results. You can connect with her on Facebook at Forward Coaching & Consulting Services, on LinkedIn at Tamara Dodgson, on her website at www.tamaradodgson.com, or via email at email@example.com.