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  • Tina Freemantle

5 Tips: Immediate Relief from Overwhelm

The best way to stop feeling overwhelmed from anxiety is to control your anxiety. But in the interim, here are several tips for overcoming these strong physical and mental symptoms:

1. Find Distractions

Obviously for something to feel overwhelming, distracting yourself is difficult. But there are some strategies that can still be effective. One that many people find beneficial is to simply call someone on your cell phone. Talking on a phone is hard for the mind to do while still focusing on your anxiety, thus reducing your anxiety from getting too out of control.

2. Go For a Walk Like talking on the phone, walking itself can make it harder for your mind and body to be as overwhelmed. When you walk, you take in lots of new information. You see things, you feel things, and you smell things with each step that you take. Walking also helps move blood around your body and is a good tool for controlling your breathing and heart rate.

3. Controlled Breathing The reason controlling your breathing is important is because anxiety symptoms can actually create new anxiety symptoms. A great example of this is hyperventilation, a common anxiety symptom that occurs during anxiety attacks. Hyperventilation occurs when you don't allow your body to create enough carbon dioxide because you breathe it out too quickly, resulting in feelings of faint, chest pains, and light-headedness. Hyperventilation also makes it feel as though you need to take deeper breaths which ultimately make it worse. So controlled breathing (breathing in very slowly, breathing out very slowly) is a great way to control this experience.

4. Journaling When your thoughts are too overwhelming, another effective thing to try is journaling. Writing out your thoughts in a permanent place has been shown to have a powerful effect on your mind. It's as though your mind relaxes about the thoughts because they're on paper. So if thoughts are overwhelming, write them down more to experience some relief.

5. Exercise: Exercise is great at dealing with overwhelm for two reasons:

  • First, it tires out your muscles and improves your breathing so that your symptoms are not as severe.

  • Secondly, it floods relaxing neurotransmitters into your brain and tires your mind so that you can't have as many overwhelming thoughts. Exercise is not just for your physical health, and can be a powerful tool to combat anxiety.

Once you have your anxiety more under control, you can also start trying various anxiety reduction strategies.

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