Over the past month or so, I have come into contact with so many people who are simply overwhelmed!

young woman with computerBeing overwhelmed can mean alot of things to different people.  The obvious question is, “What do I do when I’m overwhelmed?”

It’s pretty easy to stand on the outside of a person’s situation and ‘tell’ them what to do.  So I won’t offer any distant and disconnected advice.  I’ll tell you what I’ve done in those times and moments when I was overwhelmed.

1. I go to sleep! 

Sometime, when I’m overwhelmed it could be that my brain is not able to create the necessary margin it needs to process all that’s currently happening or being thrown at me.  It’s sort of like when your computer freezes up. When the computer freezes up, that’s the computer’s way of trying to say it needs to stop and play catch up.  The best thing to do is turn it off and let it process and breathe.  We’re the same way! Sometimes you just need to go to sleep (or take a nap!).

2. I get some nourishment!

At least for me, sometimes if I hadn’t eaten or gotten enough water for the day, I can become physically weary, which may lead to mental exhaustion.  It’s amazing what a balanced salad, fruit, yogurt, nuts and raisins, and pure water will do for you physically.  Which then, empowers you mentally.  Sometimes, that nourishment includes getting outside.  I am always amazed when I consider how God has naturally wired the environment to supply you with some of the vitamins and nutrients that you need to thrive.

3. I step back and reflect!

There are moments when I was thinking too hard.  I was working on a solution or project and just felt overwhelmed in the middle of working through the details.  I have learned that at some moments, I just need to back away, let the situation sit, redirect my attention on something else, and come back to it.  Giving me and the project some space, oftentimes allows me to have a fresh perspective and to see things with new eyes.

4. I ask Why’s & What’s!

I know this may sound really simple or misplaced, but I am amazed at how often we never stop and ask, “Why am I overwhelmed?” or “What should I be doing?” in this situation.  Many times we are so responsive that when something happens that requires our input and/or work, we’re only reactionary, with no opportunity to really digest and reflect.  Take the time to reflect.

5. I pray!

Say what you want, Prayer Works! It is a dialogue,  not a monologue.  Over time, I have learned (and still learning) that there is more significance in me listening in prayer more than me talking.  Supernaturally, it empowers every part of my life, provides insight, allows me to purge those areas of my life that don’t reflect Jesus Christ, and settles my heart, mind, and spirit to reflect the counsel of God’s Word. It’s simple for me – prayer works – it changes me, my perspective, and lastly, my situations.

6. I dig into God’s Word!

When the situation warrants, it, I dig into God’s Word to evaluate what God’s opinion is about a particular topic and/or idea.  God’s Wisdom and thoughts are priceless.  As 2 Timothy 3: 16 (NLT) says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”

7. I read other relevant materials!

Sometimes there are spiritual and I refer to the Bible as my foundation.  But oftentimes, God will use other authors, leaders, and professionals to guide the process of our learning and provide us with wisdom in various life circumstances.  I once heard a minister say, “All I need is God’s Word. I don’t have time to read someone’s opinion!”  I couldn’t disagree with him more! It is clear that God’s Word serves as the filter for our lives FOR EVERYTHING!  But I am too blessed today because I’ve also had a balanced reading regimen that has helped me at every stage of my life. Here are some of the books that I’ve read.

8. I get advice!

We are not better than the advice we get.  Proverbs 11:14 (ERV) says, “Where no wise guidance is, the people falleth: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Nuff said!

9. I prepare!

I literally mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically prepare for those seasons of my life when I know that it’ll be busy and hectic.  There are seasons like that.  That’s just life.  So, because I know that life is a series of seasons, it’s best just to prepare for it instead of complain about it.

10. I do nothing!

There are times where, when you are under pressure and you have walked through the necessary steps to process where you are and discern truths about the pressure, that all that you can resolve is – to do nothing. Our human nature is to always be doing something or make something happen.  But, amazing wisdom, lets us know that there are some things that are simply out of our control. Get that – Out of Our Control! Remember, the Serenity Prayer?!?!?! It’s a good place to insert it here!

How do you handle pressure when you’re overwhelmed?

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