Getting The Helm Back When You’re Overwhelmed

by Lance Ekum on · 48 comments

Today, it is an honor to have Stephanie Quilao as our guest writer.  Stephanie is the voice behind Back In Skinny Jeans, the wildly popular blog all about wellness on many different levels – with an emphasis on emotional wellness as a route toward a healthier body.  She is a ray of sunshine and a voice of reason in our world.   What she writes is entertaining, lively, and always thought-provoking.  Check out one of her most recent articles:  You Almighty: What Would Your Life Look Like “Wound-Free?”.

For regular updates, subscribe to her blog here, and and check her out over on Twitter as well!

Jump off the treadmill of life for a few minutes, grab a glass of water, and enjoy…

Getting The Helm Back When You’re Overwhelmed

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” ~ Louisa May Alcott


We all have days where we feel overwhelmed. You may even feel like you’re a captain who’s lost the helm of his/her ship?  And with all this economic instability we’re going through, that overwhelmed feeling can easily grow pretty quickly with everything we have to juggle and keep up with.

However, despite this worrisome sensation, an upside is that the overwhelm feeling we’re feeling takes place in our head.  That feeling of overwhelm originated in our minds usually because of thoughts of lack. At some level, if we can create this catastrophe-like “story,” that means we can also create a new story where we get the helm back and calm the waters.  Okay, good!  So how do we do that?  Here are five ways to start:

  • The moment you are conscious of your lack thoughts, start to reason with your mind and say, “Okay, now that we have made a list of everything we don’t have or could lose, let’s take equal time to make a list of what we do have and could gain”.  It’s only fair.  Why should the lack thoughts get all the limelight?  The abundance thoughts should get equal time as well, yes?  Starting off with the lack thoughts will put you in a bad mood, but ending with the “what I have” thoughts will bring you back up so you end feeling on an up note.
  • It’s okay to say no.  That overwhelm feeling is easier to keep at bay when you set boundaries with others and take on only what you can handle at one time.  Now I know some of you have a really hard time saying no because you can’t stand to see people disappointed or you want to feel like you can always be there for your loved ones, but think about this.  If you are saying yes to others way more than to yourself, how much can you really be present for anyone (including yourself) if you are spreading yourself too thin?
  • So, you want to say no but don’t know how?  Here’s a very simple way to say no, use the economic crisis excuse.  “Oh sorry, wish I could but ya know with the economic crisis and all I’m just trying to stay afloat. Maybe next time.”.   Or “Because times are a bit tough, I have to cut back on things like…”.  The economic crisis might as well be useful for something, yes?  And besides, how can anyone argue the economic crisis card? Because of the economic crisis, everyone is pinching, cutting back, and saying no, so this gives you an easier segue to say no as well.
  • Prioritize and tackle three things at a time. Take a moment to write down everything you need to take care and then number them from 1 to the end # in order of what is most hot or pressing.  Then focus on the top 3 until completion, and then move onto the next 3 on the list. One big list can be very scary and daunting but when you break it into small chunks of 3, the list starts to look way smaller and less threatening.  Plus, as you plow through the groups of 3, you start feeling more immediate feelings of accomplishment which helps to boost your confidence.
  • Slow down!  In our instant gratification culture, it’s easy to feel like you have to have everything done right now at this very instant.  But really, does it?  All that pressure is just causing you stress.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  So why are you putting so much pressure on yourself to get everything done at lightning speed.  Take care of the things that do need immediate attention, but if there are things that can go slower, take that time.  Runners learn the art of pacing themselves because they know if you don’t you can injure themselves or burn out of their energy supplies much sooner than expected.  So, pacing yourself is good.  The “slow down plan” can make life much more manageable.

There we have five things you can do to help you alleviate when you start to feel overwhelmed. What others things have you tried that worked for you when you started feeling overwhelmed?

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Rupal February 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing this post from Stephanie with us Lance!

My favorite and the ones I myself could work on a bit are losing my ‘lack thoughts’ and adding ‘gain thoughts’ as well as the prioritizing and cutting it down into chunks! Love these ideas!

Thanks Stephanie!

Rupal´s last blog post..Weight-bear your way to healthy bones


Caroline February 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Nice to meet you Stephanie!

Great post! Thankfully I have no problem saying “no”. I learned that there is only so much I can do. I am also very careful what projects I take on…it’s very easy to put too much on your plate these days!

P.S. I just followed you on twitter.

Caroline´s last blog post..What do you know about Reiki?


Sagan February 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Great post, love Steph and her blogs.

The idea for tackling 3 things is a really good one. Not too much, not too few- just the perfect amount.

Sagan´s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Living Healthy in the Real World!


Robin Easton February 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Oh this is another beauty Lance. I love the playful tones in this post as well. Very endearing on your part They made me chuckle and gave even more sense of YOU.

Now you ask at the end of your post what things your readers do to help alleviate the overwhelmedness that we can all feel from time to time. Well, you know how I love Nature. In light of that, I only need physically remove myself from the house and my office and walk out the door and do something in the Nature that requires me to hike or simply sit alone under a tree until the chaos washes out of my body.

BUT there have been a few days where I’ve become swallowed up with the work pressures and I can’t initially “feel” that this will help. BUT…I am learning that if I “make” myself go out the door and into nature ANYWAY, even if it is initially done mechanically, I will ALWAYS slow down, reconnect to who I am and return home completely at peace with the world and myself. There are days where I’ve had so many deadlines that I simply let it ALL go and walk away. Because I know there is no way I can possibly do it all in one day. And I’ve found that the world simply waits. Nothing falls apart. It’s like maagic! 🙂 If I do what I need to do for ME, the world somehow accomidates me. It’s wonderful, empowering.

I also have become very very good at saying “no”, calmly and politely and with no emotional attachment to it. And that feels very freeing. The amazing thing, again, is that people seem to accept it. I LOVE it!!! As you so say, it’s all in the mind, or mindset.

Thank you so much Lance. You are such a joy. You really are.

Robin Easton´s last blog post..Goodbye Old Friend


Amanda Linehan February 26, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Hi Stephanie – I like your distinction of “lack thoughts” and “abundance thoughts.” Those lack thoughts can be dangerous – they are much more tempting to have than abundance thoughts. But, as you point out, when we acknowledge them we can move our thoughts towards thoughts of abundance. Thanks for the great post!

Amanda Linehan´s last blog post..How To Be Flexible


Robin February 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Hi there Stephanie and Lance – saying no, setting boundaries and making lists of what need doing maybe combined with getting out of the houses and going for a walk, are what work for me. Great articles! I’m off to visit ‘skinny jeans’ now!

Robin´s last blog post..The Fountain Of Youth Gets An Update!


LisaNewton February 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I have such a hard time with this, so many things going on, no time to stop and smell the roses, and it’s just hard to say no sometimes.

I’m getting better, but it’s a daily struggle.

Thanks for the suggestions……………:)

LisaNewton´s last blog post..Architecture as Art


Daphne February 26, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Wow, Lance. You’re really going places with your blog! It’s great to see all the good things happening here, like this guest post.

Stephanie, you’re so right that it’s okay to say no. I did recently, when someone asked me to go for a karaoke session that I really didn’t feel like going for. I said no, that person never talked to me again, and that’s fine! It simplified my life in two ways: the time I saved by not going was more productively spent, and the person is out of my life so I don’t have to stress anymore about being pressured to do things I don’t want to do.

I also like your advice to focus on three things at a time. Three is a number that has always worked for me (and many others) whether it’s a daily priority list, or annual targets. Great post!

Daphne´s last blog post..Book Review: The World Without Us


Evelyn Lim February 26, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I just do the complete opposite: I take a break. Instead of tackling my tasklist head on, I choose to find some space for myself. I find that I work much better when I am in a better state of mind. I am less in a rush. I also do not feel all stressed out even if I still cannot manage to complete all that I want to do. Giving myself grace helps me to breathe much easier!

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..How To Get To Enlightenment


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now February 26, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I know that I try to do too much and I need to set more limits. If someone asks me to do something I say yes, then either don’t try hard enough or try too hard and fail. I need to speak up and try to get people to be more practical with their needs.

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Putting on Your Underwear Mindset


Stephanie Quilao February 26, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Thank you everyone for all those positive vibes! Glad that I can offer some help & insight. These are things I do myself and they’ve really helped.

I know isn’t Lance’s place fabulous. You always leave with a smile on your face. Thank you Lance for being a source of light!

Stephanie Quilao´s last blog post..Now Here’s A Magazine Cover I Like


Gennaro February 26, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Nicely-executed post. I’ll second the top 3 method. Or even top 1. Focusing on a task or a few tasks makes all the difference in the world. I’l’ even break it down to completing task 1 by a set time of the day. While multi-tasking is great, it’s important to have tunnel vision on most vital work.

Gennaro´s last blog post..Take A Hike! Into The Wilderness


Vered - MomGrind February 26, 2009 at 11:01 pm

“it’s easy to feel like you have to have everything done right now at this very instant.” I do this so often. In fact, I’m doing it right now, feeling compelled to go through my feed reader just one more time even though it’s 9pm and I’m tired.

Thank you for the reminder. I needed it. 🙂


Mindful Mimi February 27, 2009 at 1:56 am

Great post. I know I can handle many things. But when a bunch of new things arrive at the same time, my mind starts racing. Too many ideas, too many images of all the things that have to be done and the lack of time to do them pop up. I can then very quickly become overwhelmed by it all and react in a not very lady-like way 🙂 I try to step back, breathe and say that I am only human, that I should just start with one thing at a time and even if I do not get them all done, the world will continue turning. I think that was my big revelation: what happens if I can’t do something or if I fail? Nothing really 🙂 the world remains the same, people might think a bit less of me but who cares (I’m human). It is all in our thoughts.
Thanks for sharing.

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear – Cheri Huber


Glen Allsopp February 27, 2009 at 4:20 am

I love this part:

It’s only fair. Why should the lack thoughts get all the limelight?

So true, switch the thoughts around. If you are going to think, at least make it positive 😉


Glen Allsopp´s last blog post..Visualization: 4 Mind Tricks to Change Your Life


Lance February 27, 2009 at 7:21 am

Stephanie – You’ve shared a wonderful post, and a message that is timely for so many of us.

It’s great having you here today! Like I said above, your words are always thought-provoking, and you really write with a lot of heart and soul. That’s what really makes your words have such meaning. It’s an honor and a joy to have your words grace this “jungle”! Thank you, Stephanie!!!


Lance February 27, 2009 at 7:22 am

@Rupal – Stephanie is great, isn’t she! It’s easy to focus on “lack”, and forget about all the “gain” in our lives. Thanks for stopping over Rupal!

@Caroline – Saying “no” – I have to work at being more like you Caroline! Too much means that nothing gets done well… Great thought, thanks!

@Sagan – Steph has awesome stuff – it’s an honor to have her here in the “Jungle” today! The idea of three things – a nice manageable number…

@Robin Easton – Thanks Robin – this one was all Stephanie! She has a great way of putting “fun” into her posts (something you’re pretty familiar with!!). Your message here today, Robin – is wonderful! Nature has a way of bringing us back to our senses. And, the world doesn’t stop because we slow down – it just waits. Things work out… And that’s pretty great news! And, I’m working on the “no” thing myself yet – your words help. Robin, thank you for always taking the time to give meaningful feedback. YOU are the joy!

@Amanda – I agree Amanda. “Lack thoughts” seem to come easier to us. And so it’s good to be mindful of this. And then move on to the abundance we have in our lives. Thanks Amanda.

@Robin – Getting out into nature – the second time I’ve heard that! Goes to show just how nurturing that nature can be for our souls. Enjoy your visit over to “Back in Skinny Jeans”!

@LisaNewton – I can relate very much to what you’re saying Lisa. I get caught up in everything I want to accomplish – and don’t take the time to really “be”.

@Daphne – It’s great to have Stephanie here, she’s a great person! You bring up a great point Daphne. Sometimes there are things/people in our lives that can be bogging us down. Sometimes the best thing is to move on. Good for you in doing this.

@Evelyn – You know what I love about that, Evelyn? Taking a break gives you time to reflect, and to just get away from the task. And that can be just what’s needed to give a fresh start. And the use of the word “grace” – I think honor – as in honoring “you” for what you have done. All very peaceful, and that is a great way to be less overwhelmed. Thanks much Evelyn!

@Karl – Setting limits – getting to this point is empowering. I’m not there yet either, Karl. And that leads to exactly what you’re saying – not trying hard enough (because something else is pulling you in a direction) – or trying too hard (and losing focus). Great thoughts Karl!

@Gennaro – Focusing on a few task is great – and that you give yourself time limits – adds to the urgency of it all. And if you don’t complete it, I’d think you could re-evaluate it and do more right then or assign it a different time slot later on. I like the thought, thanks Gennaro!

@Vered – Vered, I’m thankful you stopped over here today – although I completely understand also, that what I have here can wait… Hopefully you were able to get the rest you needed…

@Mimi – These are great thoughts on this, Mimi. Life goes on – that’s my take on what you’ve said. And yes, we’re all human – none of us perfect. Being able to step back when the feeling of overwhelm comes up – this can be very much a refreshing break – and just what we need to move forward. Thanks much for this Mimi…

@Glen – That is great, isn’t it! Let’s give the positive thoughts their fair share (and then some) of the limelight also!


Jewel/Pink Ink February 27, 2009 at 8:55 am

Hi Stephanie, great post.

There’s nothing I love better than to take a sticky note off my to-do “wall”. Some things I try to do to not get overwhelmed:

-deal with a piece of paper immediately (instead of leaving in a pile somewhere)
-go out and do something pysical (basketball, dance, bike, walk)
-break down a project into small tasks

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..Childhood Room


suZen February 27, 2009 at 9:18 am

Great post – and perfect picture to go with it! I’m a list person so I really appreciate what Steph was saying about using the top three. I just did a blog on lists last week. All the points she made are so key to getting control over your overwhelm. We ARE what we THINK (that can be scary eh?) but the beauty of it all is that it is JUST that – what we think – and what we think about is a choice, our choice. Beginning each day with a good cup of gratitude sets the tone of the mind zone and I try to stay there.

suZen´s last blog post..Expressing Yourself (or the only Job you were born with)


Yum Yucky February 27, 2009 at 10:01 am

Overwhelm-ification usually happens for me on the homefront. A messy house puts on me edge, making me frantic and unsettled. I hear that some kids don’t contribute around the house, but I say PUT YOUR KIDS TO WORK and breathe a little!

Yum Yucky´s last blog post..Will push ups make my breasts bigger?


bobbi February 27, 2009 at 10:28 am

this is great! What I do is stop and make sure my priorites are straight, if not I get them back in order. Then I see if I am doing TOO much and I try and put something on hold or get rid of it all together. I do this often:)


Mark Salinas February 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Great guest as always Lance! Stephanie, Thank you for sharing the insight that you have accumulated along your amazing journey! A major inspiration for many!


Stacey SHipman February 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm

When I feel overwhelmed, I acknowledge the “busyness” take a break – a walk, some silence, something to relax. I also ask “What’s really important right now” and that is usually enough to decrease the overwhelm.


Audra Krell February 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm

It was fun to come to your blog and find Back in Skinny Jeans here! I try to do what she says. Instead of only looking at what I can’t do, I acknowledge those things and then make sure to ask “But what can I do?” That way, my last thoughts about a situation are positive ones.


Jannie Funster February 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm

It is good to be reminded that it’s okay to say no. For me that’s been one of the biggest challenges, but I’ve gotten so much better at it.

Super guest post!

Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Missing things


Jennifer February 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Lance, thanks for sharing Stephanie’s wisdom with us.

These are great tips Stephanie. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but harder to get out of it. I especially like tips 1,2,4, and 5. Excellent!!! Personally, I feel a little powerless with tip number 3. When the economy picks back up I want to have a way to say “no” then as well.

To add to the prioritizing tip, I have personally found that if I really take a hard look at all these things I have written down that many of them are probably not really that important after all. They might be urgent, but are they really that important? If I have laid out a clear direction in my life I can look at the list more honestly and actually throw out many of them. This is something I am still learning, but getting a better grasp on.

Thanks again for these great helpful tips!

Jennifer´s last blog post..The Four Purifactions of Peace taught by Peace Pilgrim


Suzanne Tucker February 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm

soooooooooo true. i love the part about how to say no by playing the “economic crisis card”. i’ve played it and it works. HA. the only one i would add…and i would make it #1 is BREATHE. taking a few deep breaths always seems to give me access to a few million brain cells that i had temporarily lost access to in the insanity of an overwelming moment. thanks for your great piece.


Annette February 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm

awesome post with some great tips!!

When I get overwhelmed……….I STOP. I stop multi-tasking and just focus on doing one thing well. It’s a challenge some days—especially with 4 kids underfoot—but I find it takes the stress off of me and the drive to be perfect seems to diminish 😉

Annette´s last blog post..Sexy Workouts 🙂


Adrianne February 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I’m training to be a pastor, and sometimes it is very hard to say “no” when you could do something, but you know you need time to take care of yourself or your family. Some people have a hard time understand the need for “me time.” I was having a hard time saying no in these cases, and someone gave me great advice that always works. They suggested I always carry my planner with me, and I never, EVER, enter an appointment if I don’t have it with me. Even if I’m sure I can do something, if I don’t have my planner with me, I let the person know I need to check it, and I confirm when I have. That way people get used to me and my planner. Then, when someone asks me to do something I don’t want to do or when I have me- or family-time scheduled, I simply say, “My planner won’t allow it.” Works every time, and I don’t have to feel bad, make a lame excuse, or, worse, lie.


Lance February 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm

@Jewel – Great list of things to do Jewel – I love them all! I need to remember to take the time to do these things more often!

@SuZen – “We are what we think” — this goes along very well with the concept of the book I’m reading right now – “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. We really ARE what we think! And choice – I love that word – we all have the choice in what we decide to let dominate in our brains. And, starting the day with gratitude really does just set the tone for the day – in a very good way. SuZen, wonderful thoughts on all of this – thank you!

@Yum Yucky – “Overwhelm-ification” — awesome word! And putting kids to work is a great way to help teach them some responsibility!

@Bobbi – So the key is to ‘stop’. I think this is important too. When we stop – it gives us the opportunity to observe ourselves – and that’s a great way to get priorities re-aligned.

@Mark Salinas – I concur, Stephanie did marvelous! Great points she shared here today.

@Stacey Shipman – I like that — the idea of taking a break. Sometimes, if we just keep going and going, we’re like the hamster on the spinning wheel – getting nowhere. And what is really important? Well, we might have ourselves believing something is, when in fact, it’s just busy work… Thanks for your insight Stacey – always right on the money!

@Audra – It’s fun to see you here Audra!! Always! Finishing with positive thoughts – this is probably my biggest take-away on this whole post. Make sure I end positively. Good stuff!

@Jannie – Okay, I just said to Audra that finishing with positive thoughts was my biggest take-away. Then, I see this – the idea of “no” being okay. And now I’m wondering if this is just as big, and maybe bigger – for me personally. And, yep, Steph makes a super guest here!!

@Jennifer – The point of being hard to get out of that overwhelm – that’s a point I don’t think we’ve addressed yet – and so important. That’s why it’s so good for us to find a way to not get into overwhelm mode. And you also make an excellent point about the economy. What will we say when it picks back up? While this may work now, what will we say when the economy is in good shape? This is worth thinking about. The urgent but not important concept – reminds me of the quadrant Stephen Covey discusses in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. And this quadrant you talk about is one we should work to spend less time in. So we can get to the important but not urgent things. Thank you, Jennifer, for really adding some thought to this post!

@Suzanne – The economic crisis does give you a valid excuse for saying no. And that does work now. Like Jennifer mentioned, up above, it’s probably worth thinking about what you could do once there is no economic crisis. I think that maybe the best answer could be that we are simply too busy. I think that’s a valid excuse as well. Breathing – deep breaths – good stuff Suzanne. I’ve found that this helps when I’m feeling some added stress in my life. So, thank you for that reminder!

@Annette – Steph shares some great stuff here!! “Stop” is something I’ve heard at least a couple of times. It must be good, then, right! I do think it is good to stop when we’re feeling overwhelmed. That pause can help us to reflect and re-focus. With 4 young kids – I am thinking that “stop” doesn’t happen much at your house! Enjoy those moments when you can Annette! Thanks much for stopping in today…

@Adrianne – The role of pastor can often become one of being of service to others – all the time. You’re right, “me time” for you, just is going to make the rest of the time you have for others that much more meaningful for everyone. What I really like about your planner method – is that it’s all exactly the truth. It’s real. And it helps people to see that you have many things going on – and that what might be a priority to them, may have to take a back seat until you get through everything else you already have going on. Great stuff Adrianne – thanks much for sharing what has worked so well for you!


Vincent February 28, 2009 at 3:15 am

Hi Stephanie,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

This will definitely serve as a great reminder when we are rushing through things. Our tasks can get overwhelming at times and we need to take it one step at a time instead of trying to finish everything up in a day. This will help us to reduce stress and in also help to keep our sanity.

Personal Development Blogger

Vincent´s last blog post..Love Your Job? No? Learn To Love It Now


Tess The Bold Life February 28, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Great ideas! I love the idea of “I haves…”
Also one way I’ve always taught my clients to say no is to repeat one sentence. “No that’s not going to work for me.” Stop. Close your mouth. Pause.

Then the other person will carry on…allow it. Then repeat the sentence again. “No that’s not going to work for me.” Be Quiet and Pause.

You rarely have to say it a third time. Always remember.
1. We do not owe anyone an apology because we say no.
2. We don’t owe anyone an excuse or reason for saying no.

This will help you keep your power and privacy.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..How to Be Bold Enough to Surrender


Stacey / Create a Balance February 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Great choice Lance. Hi Stephanie. During these poor economic times I am constantly reminded about what I do have and what possibilities I have because of the current economic situation (I keep telling myself that I am buying low, I am buying low).


Evita February 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Oh this is such a wonderful resource – thank you Stephanie (and Lance)!

Lately I have been a little extra busy, as we are trying to launch a new version of the health web site and between what seems like a million tasks to do there, work got busier and a few others things and it would have been so easy to get overwhelmed. In fact that feeling did try to creep in a few times.

But…I do employ a few of the techniques you mentioned, especially prioritizing and just taking things one moment at a time….and it seems to work really well!

Evita´s last blog post..The Quote Effect E-Book – What Effect Will It Have On You?


Liara Covert February 28, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Lance, a person can evolve to detect feelings of despair before they grow and escalate to baffle and immobilize. The ego reasons as a way to distract human beings from what matters. Learning to see the ego for what it is is part of the path back to soul.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..5 Revelations to expand inner vision


Lance February 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

@Vincent – “Rome wasn’t built in a day” — I liked this reminder too, Vincent. It really helps to see that just because something isn’t done instantly, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Keep plugging away, that’s my take on this. And when we remember all of that, this certainly does help to reduce our stress.

@Tess – Tess, this is excellent advice! It really does add to what Stephanie has discussed. I struggle with this one – the whole saying “no” thing. And specifically, the two points you bring up are ones I have a difficult time with. So, hearing what you’re saying here today – this is good and reassuring for me. Thanks much Tess!

@Stacey / Create A Balance – Thanks Stacey, Stephanie writes some very awesome stuff, including this post here! And I’m with you completely on that chant of “I’m buying low, I’m buying low”!! One of these days…we’ll be buying high again!

@Evita – Thank you Evita, and thank you for stopping over today! And this all reminds me, I have to get over and check out your health site – if it’s anything like EvolvingBeings – it will be excellent! I wish you much success, Evita, in all you are working to accomplish, and that you can get it all done with minimal overwhelming moments…

@Liara – Liara, your words are always so filled with wisdom. I’ve read this several times to really let it sink in. Getting to that point of seeing the ego for what it is – what a place to strive to reach – and how good for our soul…


Laurie March 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

Great points here in this post. I had never really thought about being overwhelmed as having thoughts of lack. Makes sense though. I find it most helpful to control my negative self talk (which isn’t easy) and to break down the task into steps. Then tackle one smaller step at a time. Doing it that way has been helpful to me and gotten me through some overwhelmed times.


Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk March 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm

My favorite technique is to think of one of my role models:

She’s overloaded but centered enough not to be overwhelmed.

Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk´s last blog post..Going On an Artist’s Date


Lance March 2, 2009 at 3:22 am

@Laurie – Breaking tasks into smaller steps has a way of making progress seem more attainable – and having small successes is much better than have no success, or setbacks. You’re doing well with this all Laurie! Keep at it…

@Jean – Great picture Jean, thanks for sharing it! Working somewhere between the urgent and not urgent — that sounds like a pretty good place to work from!


Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills March 2, 2009 at 11:21 am

I thought this was a key point: “That feeling of overwhelm originated in our minds usually because of thoughts of lack.” Once we understand our personal role in creating and changing our perception, then we realize we are in control. Thanks for an excellent post.


miruspeg March 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Perfect timing Lance and Stephanie.
I was at a friend’s place yesterday and she was overwhelmed with all the negativity in her life and her “lack thoughts” were taking over.
I helped her as much as I could to stop and “Be here now” but when I forward this piece to her it will give her a greater understanding of her situation.

miruspeg´s last blog post..Reflecting On Our Words – Part 2


Lance March 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

@Jonathan – Our mind is a powerful tool – for good and for bad. And when we allow the thoughts of “lack” in, our mind becomes that tool for bad. Stephanie did excellent!

@Miruspeg – Thank you for passing this on. Stephanies’ words are ones which can impact many. “Lack thoughts” – when they take over – they really can become a negative spot devleoping in our brain. Thanks for sharing this story Peggy.


Internet Strategist March 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm

This reminds me of the supposedly true story that a wealthy man paid $10,000 for one idea: that we should focus on the most important priority first and not work on anything else until it was handled. It is often far more likely that we try to eliminate the “easy” things and never get to the most important!

There is always more to do and there is no such thing as “done” so as long as we’re focusing on the important we’re making progress – no matter what else we think is going on.

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Erin March 4, 2009 at 12:13 am

This was a really useful post. I know I can, personally, incorporate much of what you said. I’m always trying to figure out a way to channel my anxiety. As a small business owner, it can be tough, but you provide nice ways to begin the process.


Liara Covert March 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Rediscovering your true self is a process. This does not require you complete particular tasks so much as choose to be open to learning a series of timeless lessons. You can be a mountain or a mowhill and still stretch your soul. Love the scenic graphic!

Liara Covert´s last blog post..6 Ways to feel good where you are


Lance March 5, 2009 at 5:15 am

@Internet Strategist – The idea of what’s truly important – a real key in all of this. If we can make these things a priority, and really make some progress on what IS important – that’s a great way to feel more in control with our lives. Great point!

@Erin – Stephanie has some wonderful advice here, doesn’t she! Anxiety can build up, and finding a way to channel that can be challenging at times. And when we have trouble channeling it, that’s when those feeling of overwhelm really begin to creep in. I wish you well in your endeavors. And, it’s great to have you here Erin.

@Liara – Thanks for all the continuing visits and discussion Liara – your thoughts always add so much to the topic. Very sincerely, know that I appreciate your words much…


joanne July 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Hi Thanks for this, It helped me. I find that when I have a lot on my plate i then start to focus on EVERYRTHING in my life that isn’t right and needs to be done, fixed, sorted improved etc and then start to add in the ‘what if’s’ too and all of the bad consequences that ‘might’ happen…(but most likely won’t…and if they do I can deal with those problems when they are real…not just in my head, I need to stay in the present moment, when actually I am safe, and I am not in any real danger, If my house is a mess, so what, if I haven’t finished a task so what, if my paperwork is in chaos…well so what , in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. A little bit at a time, I will chunk it into threes…just three a day, thanks that will help .


Lance Ekum August 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Glad to hear this helped!


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