8 Ways to Overcome Overwhelmed From Anxiety 2023The Blurt Foundation

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In our fast-paced world, anxiety is a common struggle experienced by many. The relentless pressure to be productive and lack of time to process our emotions can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Whether work, finances, or personal relationships trigger your anxiety, it is very important to discover coping mechanisms that work for you. 

Below are eight strategies to help you conquer overwhelming anxiety and regain control of your life.

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed From Anxiety?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or a loss of control over your emotions, there are a few things you can do to make yourself feel better.

  • Focus on the present moment.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Exercise.
  • Talk to a therapist.
  • Say no to things that cause you anxiety.
  • Journal.
  • Participate in service for others.
  • Get enough sleep.

How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

overwhelmed anxiety
Journaling can help you cope when you feel overwhelmed. Photo: Shutterstock

Focus on the Present Moment

One way to reduce anxious feelings is to practice mindfulness meditation. 

Mindfulness meditation[1] is a way to reduce anxiety by noticing what is going on around you in the present while quieting thoughts about the past or future.

An easy way to do this is to focus on your five senses. Find something you can see, something you can smell, something you can touch, something you can taste, and something you can hear.

There are also meditation apps that will help facilitate guided meditation if you are a beginner to this practice.

Deep Breathing

Breathing exercises are one of the best ways to ease anxiety. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, try taking a few deep breaths[2] and focus on your breath to help you stay in the present moment.

One helpful technique for managing anxiety is called box breathing. To practice box breathing, simply inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four. Repeat this breathing pattern until you feel your body begin to relax.

Exercise 

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, fight depression, improve your focus, and decrease feeling overwhelmed. Exercise not only helps with mental health disorders but also keeps them from returning once you feel better.

You do not have to follow a structured exercise program or even spend a lot of time exercising to benefit. As little as a 15-minute walk each day can help you manage your feelings of stress. You may also opt to lift weights, play dynamic sports, or do yoga.

Talk To A Therapist

Talk therapy with a licensed therapist can be a huge help if you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed. It will provide you with an opportunity to explore your triggers, discuss traumatic events contributing to your anxiety, and gain some ideas on how to take better care of your mental health.

If getting yourself to a therapist’s office feels a little too much at the moment, you might want to try online therapy. A great online therapy program like BetterHelp can be just as effective as talking to someone in person.

Betterhelp show just how effective online therapy can be. Not only can you schedule therapy at a time that works well for you, but you can also meet with your therapist without having to leave the comfort of your bedroom.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Lack of boundaries in relationships with family and friends can contribute to anxiety. If you struggle to say no or often feel taken advantage of, it may indicate a need to develop healthier boundaries.

Holding space for yourself, such as spending some alone time when you need it or declining a favor from a friend to enjoy a stress-free weekend, are just a couple of ways to practice setting healthy boundaries. At first, it may feel rude or selfish, but it is an act of self-care that benefits yourself and the health of your relationship.

Serve Someone Else

When you’re feeling anxious, consider the option of serving others. Volunteering at a non-profit or participating in a charity event is a great way to connect with your community. Instead of staying in the confines of your room and succumbing to anxious thoughts, these activities allow you to contribute meaningfully and feel a sense of belonging.

Helping someone else with anxiety can also distract you away from your own troubles.

Journal 

Journaling,[3] an intervention focused on emotions and self-regulation, is linked to reduced anxiety symptoms and increased resilience. Setting aside time in the morning or before you go to bed to check in with yourself by writing a few lines in your diary may be helpful in managing feelings of anxiety. 

Listing down three things for which you are grateful can also help create positive thoughts that will eventually start replacing the negative ones.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep may be hard to come by when you have anxiety, and sleep deprivation can further worsen your anxiety.

Therefore, prioritizing sleep is key to an effective anxiety management plan. Implementing sleep hygiene techniques, such as establishing a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule, optimizing your sleep environment, and refraining from caffeine in the evening, can be helpful.

Using strategies to improve sleep can stop this destructive cycle of anxiety and rest deprivation. 

Symptoms

Feeling stressed is a normal part of life. However, experiencing panic attacks, intense anxiety, or constant overwhelming feelings of dread indicate a more serious problem.

Many people report physical, emotional, and mental symptoms of anxiety. If your mental well-being is affecting your social life, physical health, or job performance, it might be time to address these concerns.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders[4] include:

  • Panic attacks.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Sleep problems.

If you are experiencing physical discomfort and other symptoms associated with anxiety, seek help from a mental health professional.

Feeling Overwhelmed Anxiety

Stress is a completely normal part of life. It can push someone to study for a test or prepare for an important meeting. However, when stress persists or starts to feel unmanageable, it becomes a cause for concern.

There are many reasons that a person can feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Some causes of unhealthy levels of anxiety might include: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder. 
  • Significant life events.
  • Chronic illness.
  • Living in an unsafe or unstable environment.
  • Lack of social support. 
  • Thyroid disorders.

Struggling with anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel like you are constantly overwhelmed with anxiety, recognize that you may need to ask for help.

Conclusion

If you are easily overwhelmed, feel powerless to control problems in your personal life, or struggle to cope with the stresses of daily life, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. 

Exercise, deep breathing, sleep, self-care, healthy boundaries, and asking for help are all great ways to develop a sense of control over your overwhelming anxious emotions. If you continue to struggle to manage these symptoms despite trying stress-reducing strategies, you may find it helpful to seek support from a trained professional like a therapist or licensed clinical social worker.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between normal stress and generalized anxiety disorder?

Normal stress is a healthy part of life and is experienced by everyone at some point. Regular stress can push a person to stop procrastinating or to try their best on a project. Generalized anxiety disorder is stress and anxiety that is overwhelming and disrupts normal functioning. People with generalized anxiety disorder are usually in a constant state of stress and anxiety.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder develops as a result of exposure to a traumatic event. Symptoms may include disturbing feelings, thoughts, or dreams related to the trauma, mental or physical distress, and extreme attempts to avoid trauma-related cues.

Is therapy effective for people who have anxiety disorders?

Therapy can be extremely effective for people with anxiety disorders and other mental health problems. A licensed mental health professional can help you if you have difficulty managing your emotions.

What is the best way to handle overwhelming feelings of anxiety?

When you feel overwhelmed, try practicing mindfulness. Staying in the present moment is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. In addition, deep breathing, exercise, and journaling have been shown to decrease symptoms associated with anxiety.

What are some physical symptoms of anxiety?

Physical symptoms of anxiety include sweating, fast breathing, rapid heart rate, nausea, headaches, and muscle tension.

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