When Stress Causes Overwhelm – 3 Strategies to Feel More in Control

Have you ever experienced a situation in which you begin to feel stress and anxiety overwhelm you? Sometimes, it doesn’t take much for this to happen.

Perhaps an offhand comment at a party might make you feel self-conscious. The obnoxious pile of assignments seems so overwhelming and impossible.

No matter what the circumstance, you might feel frozen and are overwhelmed with emotion. But what can you do about it?

It helps to focus on what works and is useful for feeling more in control. Here are three strategies that genuinely work.

1. Take a step back

First, it helps to take a step back to get the bigger picture of what’s going on. Often, advice posts will say, “be in the moment.” But there’s a problem with that advice. Although it’s useful in some instances, people with severe anxiety are overwhelmed because they are in the moment!

They are so locked-in to what’s triggering their anxiety that they can’t stomach it. The result is that many people become overwhelmed and shut down.

Instead, when you notice yourself hyper-fixating on something overwhelming, pause for a moment. Take a step back (both metaphorically and physically) to consider the bigger picture.

2. Ask Questions

Perhaps it’s better to say, “Ask questions, calmly.” That’s because people with anxiety may have a stream of consciousness going when they are overwhelmed. This stream might honestly feel like a flood of “what ifs” swirling around.

However, if you slow down a little, you can begin to ask questions as to why you’re anxious, such as:

  • What is causing this anxiety?
  • Why am I so upset?
  • In which ways am I contributing to the problem?
  • What are the ways that I can calm down right now?
  • Is it worth getting anxious over this issue?

You’ll find that by questioning your anxiety, it’s possible to regain control. These are more intentional questions and are less reactive. Being intentional, logical, and systematic in your thinking will help you feel in control.

Also, being intentional converts the anxiety into more of a thought exercise, which helps to reduce the impact of its severity.

3. Name the Problem

It’s common for those who struggle with anxiety to apply a label to their anxiety. This approach helps to loosen the grip of anxiety on your consciousness. No longer is it anxiety, but perhaps your “thought process” or “Mr. Worry” or whatever you wish to call it.

The idea is to take away the power of the word “anxiety” and replace it with a name of your choosing. This strategy helps you take back some of the power you lost from anxiety. No longer is it an outside force that you can’t control. Instead, it merely becomes part of who you are.

When The Stress and Anxiety Is Too Much

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the stress and anxiety become too much to bear. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying to bring it under control. However, when it reaches this point, the next step is to ask for help.

Talk to a therapist who specializes in anxiety and stress management counseling. You’ll learn more tricks for keeping stress and anxiety at bay. Plus, you will also have someone in your corner who understands the impact of anxiety on your life — and wishes to help.

Everyone has issues with stress and anxiety. But for some, the anxiety can be too much to handle. Practicing the tips listed above is an excellent first step toward bringing anxiety under control. It’s also essential to seek professional help and participate in anxiety counseling.

If you’re ready to feel more in control, please read more about anxiety counseling and reach out to me today. I want to help.

Getting Started With Anxiety Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado

We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with.  We look forward to hearing from you!