Dealing With Overwhelm

Overwhelm is a huge part of life. It happens to the best of us. Eventually there’s a point where we just can’t keep up. As life gets ever busier & more distracting, the likelihood of it happening continues to climb. Obviously it’s also a huge contributor to stress (and all the nastiness that entails).

So, what to do about it?

Remember that saying “Trust in God, but paddle your own canoe” or my personal favourite “Trust in Allah, but tie up your camels”?


I noticed when I was much younger I would get stressed (feel overwhelmed) any time I had too much in my head.

Sitting down & writing out every thought that was buzzing around would help enormously. It would also show me that 90% of them were variants on the same issue (eg “Where am I going to find money to eat?”)

Getting things out of your head & into some kind of system – whether that’s an app, a piece of paper or a personal assistant – is the core of the Getting Things Done approach. There’s a reason GTD is so popular. It works.

There’s been a million books & blogs written about it, so I don’t need to go into more detail here. The key aspect is this: Get every thought that’s burbling inside OUT of you.

Us humans really aren’t very good at holding too many thoughts in our heads at one time (the apocryphal number is 7 +/- 2). Thus, getting them out helps enormously. Then, any time a thought recurs, you can immediately dismiss it with “Yep, it’s on the list.”

Clear head = no overwhelm = no stress.

Once you have your list(s), group, sort & order them in whatever ways feels best for you, then take action. For me, “things to do today” and “some time”, then ordering by “most important” with a smattering of “quick, easy” in there so I can get my coding momentum up seems to work best.


Ok, it’s not a perfect analogy, but hey, roll with me here. Also, if you do have a camel, please let me know, I’d love a ride – crazy awesome!

Aside from getting everything out of my head, hands down the single best thing I’ve found is to use EFT (& ooh, I refound the video I had up there. You should check it out, it’s really quite snazzy).

You don’t even have to say anything while you tap. Usually, after I’ve done a single round (tapped from my head down to under my arms) I’ve already calmed down enormously. Two or three rounds – just while my thoughts are burbling around will clear a ton of energy off, and get me back into a super calm space.

Once you’ve calmed down a bit, feel free to rant (out loud is best, but not critical) to your heart’s content. It really doesn’t matter what you say. Just yabber about all the junk that’s been flying around in your head. Tapping your meridian points will help take the energetic sting out of it super quickly.

In fact, I’m just amazed I haven’t mentioned this earlier. I’ve used this on myself, and watched friends use it, literally hundreds of times over the last few years – always to great success.

There’s no need for overwhelm to take over your life, your day, or even more than 5 or 10 minutes. Dump it and get the hell back into awesome-space.