Monday #39: Start Small… Conquer Big


Overwhelm. We all know it. It happens and it happens again. It’s a result of many parts of our lives… social, financial, professional, personal… things seem to pile up and we feel it: OVERWHELM. Generally what happens is a variation on anxiety, procrastination or paralysis. Or, sometimes, all three of these things happen. You know it and I know it.

What to do? If you can believe with me for a moment that big changes come from very small steps then here are some very small steps to begin to deal with overwhelm. Try one or all of them to see if you can start to chip away at your own feelings of being overwhelmed and move onto a new space where you can feel more empowered and in control.

1. Breathe. Really, breathe. Take a moment and just breathe. I mean stop whatever you are doing, be still, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Try ten. Trust me, it works.

2. Ask yourself this: What’s working right now? Among all the chaos and things you must do, there are truly things that are working for you all the time. Overwhelm wants us to forget about the things that are working. Don’t forget about them. Stop to take inventory of what’s working… even if there are only one or two things. Feel the goodness of that. Be grateful.

3. Ask yourself this very important question: What if I didn’t have to do/think about/deal with all these things right now?

4. Take a moment to ask yourself this: What do I really need to do right now? What is the one thing that I could do that will alleviate the most stress?

5. Consider this question very, very, very seriously: What can I do to make this more FUN?

You may have noticed that all but one of the things to do on this list are questions. That’s because your brain loves questions. In fact, your brain doesn’t even care if there are answers to the questions, it loves them anyway. Questions get your brain working in a positive, problem-solving way. You can use my questions here or come up with your own; your brain will appreciate any and all of them.

The important thing is to stop, breathe and then let your brain do the good work it knows how to do when you slip into overwhelm. What would it feel like to know that the power to overcome this feeling is within you?!

TRY THIS WEEK: Conquer overwhelm!



About Dar Hosta James

I am an artist living in New Jersey. I write and illustrate children's books, paint, draw, blog, coach, teach and speak about creativity.
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