What to do when you are overwhelmed - Part 1
What do you do when you are in a state of panic? What is your response when you are frustrated and overwhelmed by your situation, and you start to think everything is hopeless?
Today, I would like to share with you a few techniques to use when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
1. Do NOT make any rash decisions. Wait until you have calmed down and are thinking clearly before you decide to do anything.
It is very likely that your situation is more manageable than it presently appears, and if you make a bad decision in a panicked state, you could make things much worse.
2. Breath. When you feel stressed, your body reacts as if it's in danger and enters the “fight or flight” response. Your heart beats faster, your palms sweat, and your breathing quickens. Even if you're not in danger, your body reacts this way.
Deep breathing can help you calm down by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest-and-digest system. This slows down your heart rate and helps you relax. You breathe in more oxygen, and your mind becomes calmer.
But how do you properly breathe deeply?
Breathing Technique Number 1:
1. Sit in a comfortable seat in a quiet location.
2. Breath in slowly through your nose. Your belly should push out as your lungs fill with air. You can place a hand on your belly to help you feel this movement.
3. Exhale slowly. Your belly should go in as you breathe out.
4. Continue breathing this way until you feel calm. You could also set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Breathing Technique Number 2:
1. As above, sit in a quiet and comfortable place.
2. Breathe in through your nose and count to three.
3. Exhale through your mouth and count to three.
4. Do this until you feel calm. As above, you can also set a timer for 5 - 10 minutes.
Next week, we will deal with what you can do after you have calmed down to really take control of your situation and make a plan.
By the way, making a plan is another way to counteract your body’s fight or flight response!
Remember: when you are in a panic, do not make any rash decisions and take some time to just breathe!