7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself If You're Feeling Overwhelmed
There are moments when just living your life feels utterly overwhelming.
Your emotions are everywhere, your mind is being pulled in 30 different directions and settling down to meet your goals or fulfill your responsibilities feels totally impossible.
If you're starting to feel like everyday stresses and anxieties are getting to be too much for you to bear, you might benefit from taking a moment to center yourself and examine where all your negative emotions are coming from.
Keep scrolling for seven questions you need to ask yourself if you're feeling overwhelmed.
1. What's causing these emotions?
Working through your tumultuous emotions starts with identifying what's actually going on under the surface. Therefore, it's important to ask yourself where your feelings of defeat and hopelessness are coming from. Maybe you're feeling unsupported by your friends and family. Maybe you have too much on your plate. Or maybe you simply need a night to yourself to relax and recharge. Whatever the cause may be, asking yourself where your feelings are coming from will allow you to identify your problem areas and subsequently work to fix them.
2. Am I overreacting?
When you're in the middle of feeling overwhelmed, it's easy to spiral into all your negative emotions. Instead of looking at your situation logically and planning for a solution, you allow your negative thoughts to take the lead, thereby convincing you that there's no way of fixing your problem, when, in actuality, the solution might be fairly simple. Although it can be hard to admit, you need to ask yourself if you're overreacting and do your best to answer honestly. If you can recognize that your "major problem" actually isn't that big of a deal, you'll ease some of your panic and give yourself a clearer head to find a solution.
3. What's the worst that could happen?
Sometimes spiraling into pits of worry and stress starts with internal issues, and sometimes it's prompted by external situations. If something is happening around you that you're concerned about, it's natural to start imagining all the worst-case scenarios. The thing is, most of those terrible situations have no chance of actually happening. Before you allow yourself to freak out, consider the worst possible situation that actually has a chance of truly happening. Odds are, it'll be much tamer than what you imagined. Once you have a new perspective, you'll be more equipped to calm your emotions and face the situation with a level head.
4. What can I change?
Your emotions are signals of what you need in life. If you're feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it's due to the fact that some of your crucial needs aren't being met. So it's important to ask yourself: What can you change to meet those needs? Of course, that also requires examining what is crucially important in your life and what might need to take a back seat for a while. School work, family commitments, social time and self-care are all critical to your mental health, so what else can you give up to ensure you're adequately taking care of yourself? Once you identify what you can afford to lose, you can free up time and mental space to ease your negative emotions.
5. What's the final goal?
Sometimes overwhelming feelings can start to take over your rational mind because you get too caught up in the details. There are a lot of little things that need to happen when you're pursuing your goals and dreams, but the most important element is the destination. In other words, little things can go wrong along the way and the final result can still be everything you need it to be. When you're starting to feel those overwhelming emotions, ask yourself what your final destination is. Then, consider if you can still reach those goals, even if everything isn't perfect at that moment. If the answer is "yes," take a deep breath and remind yourself that the outcome is what matters most. If the answer is "no," figure out what you need to change to get yourself back on track.
6. Is worrying helpful?
Frustrating as it might be, certain things are simply out of your control. Therefore, it's important to examine whether worrying can actually change your situation, or whether your level of concern is totally useless. If worrying about a problem can help you reach a solution, worry away. But if you can identify that worrying and stewing in your emotions does nothing to improve your situation, it will probably be easier to let your concerns go and ease some of the stress on your frail nerves.
7. Do I need help?
Some feelings require a personal commitment to easing your stress, but other emotions need some outside intervention. It's always okay to ask for help when trying to manage your feelings, as there are moments when you need an outside perspective to keep you honest about taking care of yourself. If you feel like you can't overcome your emotions on your own, don't be afraid to ask parents, friends, teachers or other trusted figures in your life for help. Outside assistance might be the crucial thing you're missing in getting your stress under control.
Sometimes your tumultuous emotions occur because you're just too darn busy. If that's the case, click HERE for tips on how to talk to your parents when you're feeling overwhelmed by your busy schedule.