What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed can leave you feeling trapped. The world around you seems to be moving so fast, it’s almost hard to keep up with what’s going on. Everything can feel like it’s spinning as you slowly go into a panic. You may be wondering, what do I do when I feel overwhelmed?

Although you may not show it on the outside, you know you are overwhelmed on the inside. This can look like being overwhelmed on the spot with the environment you find yourself in or overwhelmed by various aspects of your life. 

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It can feel like being a deer in headlights. People around you may be joking or laughing; making noise. There may be lots of movement around you. And you stand there, still, trying to take everything in.

When we do not work on our anxiety that leaves us feeling stuck, it makes the next event harder to process. Therapy can be preventative in the fact that it helps prepare us for the next event with coping mechanisms and new perspectives.

Sometimes the reason why we are overwhelmed isn’t always so clear. We may be juggling a lot in life, with relationships, finances, and our job. We can identify why we feel overwhelmed sometimes. Other times, it may take some patience and self awareness to better understand.

Anxiety therapy near Simi Valley, Ca, helps you strengthen steps to take while you are feeling overwhelmed.

Here are the first steps to take when starting anxiety therapy!

Take a walk 

If you’re able to exit the situation and take a moment for yourself, do so. Being stuck in a buzzing environment may leave us feeling worse as the time ticks by. You may be looking around constantly, not being aware that you are trapped in your thoughts.

Taking a moment to exit the situation and take a walk away is huge. You will be able to breathe better and refocus your attention. Maybe where you’re at is loud and noisy, and you are needing a quiet space to recuperate your thoughts.

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If you find yourself standing there stuck with everything on your mind, take a moment to walk alone. Try to momentarily distract your mind from what is currently stressing you out. Utilize the 5-4-3-2-1 method during your walk.

The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a grounding technique that many anxious individuals find useless in settling their nerves. Identify 5 things you can see, any thing in your sight. Identify 4 things you can touch with your hands or body. Such as the road beneath your feet. Identify 3 things you can hear. Whether that be cars zooming by, a gutter leaking, or laughter. Identify 2 things you can smell. Whether it be a nearby rose or the scent of the sewer. Identify one positive thing about yourself in this moment – whether it be your snazzy outfit or your ability to remove yourself from the situation.

Practice deep breathing

If we are feeling anxious or in distress, we may be unaware of our breathing pattern. A sign of a panic attack is hyperventilating, or quick, rapid breathing. This can leave us feeling light headed. 

Breathing exercises will calm you down and force your nervous system to calm down and accommodate. Start by placing one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. One way is to take slow, deep breaths. Use a pace of inhaling for 1…2…3, holding the breath for a few seconds, and slowly exhaling with the 1…2…3 pace.

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Belly breathing is another exercise is many to try out. When you are breathing, focus on your belly. Focus on breathing deeply to where your belly concaves in, hold it for a moment, and exhale to feel your belly return to its natural state. Put your hands on your belly while breathing to pay attention to the motions. 

Ocean breathing is where you close your throat a bit so that you can hear yourself breathing. Constrict the back of your throat (which may take practice) so that your breath resembles a sound of the ocean. Inhale and exhale out of your nose. Pay attention to the sound of your breath.

In online anxiety therapy near Thousand Oaks, Ca, therapists are trained to walk you through breathing exercises to ensure you have them down correctly.

Practice self care

Remember to take care of yourself through it all. Life is overwhelming and can be a lot to process. Taking time dedicated to treating ourselves is important. Down time allows us to relax, let go of stressors, and focus on repairing. Self care is crucial to improving your life.

Self care activities to engage in include having a set skincare routine, whether that be extensive or short with a quick cleanse and a face mask. Scheduling time to light a sweet smelling candle and sit in silence. Having a basket of your favorite snacks and foods. Taking a warm shower or bath. Taking a break to play a video game or browse the internet.

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Whatever it may be that relaxes you, schedule in some time for that. If you are neglecting your needs, you may find yourself feeling frustrated and tense.

Praise yourself for taking breaks from things and for allowing yourself to relax. It can feel unproductive to relax, but sometimes we just plain need to. Maybe you want to kick your feet up and take a nap. A hammock is a great way to feel like you are floating and only need to focus on yourself.

Remember to be kind with yourself and work on reducing your self doubt. You can learn how to become the boss of your anxiety and conquer your negative self talk!

Consider starting anxiety therapy to receive additional support, understanding, and tools to regulate yourself. 

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Learn more about Simi Psychological Group today.

Now Offering Online Therapy in Los Angeles and Online Counseling Ventura County 
At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.