Can’t see the wood for the trees? Welcome to overwhelm.

Stress is something that all of us face – it is pretty much inevitable. Certain levels are healthy, helping us to be motivated and achieve our goals. After a point, however, stress tips into overwhelm, which can have the opposite effect. When we become laser focused on the things that are stressing us out, our peripheral vision goes and we lose the ability to see the bigger picture.

  • Learn to tell the difference between good stress and bad stress. Becoming anxious, irritable or unfocused are warnings that your stress is becoming unhealthy – headaches, illness or trouble sleeping are clearer signs still.
  • Stress is a prehistoric survival instinct, a vital warning system which evolved from our ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction. This is what causes an increase in blood pressure or heart rate. You can learn to combat this with relaxation techniques to chill you out.
  • Managing your time well is key to avoiding stress. I know from experience that I feel better almost immediately once I have a schedule (written down!) to stick to.
  • Taking time to both exercise and relax can help you deal with stress. Exercise reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins, and relaxation is key to improving your mood and stifling potential illnesses.
  • When stress gets the better of us, it impedes our ability to see other solutions and paths – instead we tend to shut ourselves down. I have recently experienced this, and it focusing on stepping back to see the bigger picture is essential.

The most important part of countering stress is being positive – never let it get you down. Learn how to recognise when stress is leaning towards the unhealthy, and acknowledge that this is happening. Commit to dealing with negative stress head-on, and create an action plan to prove you can.

For help with how to do this, feel free to reach out to me on sarah@sarah-j.com.