Tips to Manage Overwhelming Thoughts
posted: Feb. 20, 2021.
Managing overwhelming thoughts can be exceedingly tricky. These thoughts can sneak up on us when we least expect them to, and they can be tough to get rid of. They can continue to build on themselves until you are completely debilitated and can wear you out more than if you were running a marathon. Sometimes thinking about becoming overwhelmed can snowball those types of thoughts and worries. Well, we are here to tell you that this is entirely normal and happens to everyone! While it differs for everyone, we are here to give you some advice on managing them.
Focus on Right Now
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you are thinking about the future. For some people, even thinking about what they have to get done in an entire day is too much to handle. If this sounds like you, it is essential to focus on what is right in front of you. It may help to make yourself a list at the beginning of the day and check each task off as you go. This allows you to focus on one thing at a time and feel productive in getting them accomplished. Taking small steps and making smaller achievable goals can help to ease that sense of dread. By the end of the day, you will feel more relaxed and more productive with what you can achieve in a single day. It is good to remind yourself that you have been in this position before, and you have felt these same thoughts in the past. This is nothing new. You can and will overcome these thoughts just like you did last time. Overwhelming thoughts can act like a fog and keep us from being able to move past them.
You must put wholesome and healthy foods into your body to get the best performance out of it. Caffeine is a stimulant, and its effects can cause increased nervousness because it stimulates your fight or flight response. Too much caffeine can send someone with anxiety into a panicked and overwhelmed state. Now looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, alcohol, even though it is a depressant, can also cause fluctuation with your serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters, thus worsening overwhelming thoughts. Your anxiety can have its own diet too, without you even knowing it. It can feed off of substances that you provide for your body. For example, anxiety loves sugar, and while sugar can make your stress levels decrease momentarily, the overwhelming thoughts eventually come back. And so we continue this cycle by eating more foods with sugar. Does this reaction sound familiar? It almost classifies itself as its own addiction. We could go on and on with all the different foods you should avoid, but what is really important is learning how to eat to lessen your anxiety. Eating natural and unprocessed foods can allow your body to manage food more naturally and thus leave less room for a chemical imbalance to occur within your body. Some foods that can help lower your anxiety are leafy greens, fish, zinc-rich food, probiotics, and food with vitamin B. Start incorporating these foods into your diet to help battle your stress!
Exercising is a good release of excess energy. Sometimes overwhelming thoughts can come over you simply because your body is trying to use up the extra power it has somehow. Working out during your day will allow you to sleep better at night and not feel so anxious while falling asleep. Regular exercise also releases a chemical into your body known as endorphins. When endorphins are released, they provide your mind and body with a sense of well-being. Exercise also allows time for yourself; this can enable you to gain more confidence in yourself and can be the best solution to enable you to tackle the day without letting your feelings control you.
Writing can be a great form of self-expression. Journaling can be a rewarding way to externalize your feelings and emotions. Getting your feelings down on paper can give you more clarity on how to handle them. Allowing your emotions to build inside your body can be detrimental to your mental state. Journaling also allows you to determine what specific overwhelming situation may be a trigger for you. Focusing on the now, eating healthy, and exercising can allow you to keep away overwhelming thoughts, but journaling allows you a space to assess the thoughts you are having and what the reason is that triggers these thoughts. Identifying your triggers allows you long term success in handling stressful thoughts.
Overwhelming thoughts can happen to anyone and never completely go away, but managing them can become a lot easier if you know why they happen and ways to quiet them. Knowing when you feel stressed and working at it is crucial for living a healthy lifestyle. These tips that we have provided should help you to start living and stop wasting your days away filled with worry. So what are you waiting for?! Start practicing these tips and find yourself in a more peaceful and calm state of mind!