School might be the toughest job around. Long days, horrible pay, short lunch breaks, almost impossible due dates– and overtime is expected nightly. Not to mention social pressure. It’s certainly no mystery why students can become so easily and frequently overwhelmed.
When a person feels overwhelmed, it becomes impossible to move forward. Frustration, anxiety, and fear build up inside and cause a toxic mix of emotions. It can be so mentally paralyzing that even the thought of taking any action feels like an unbearable weight. The resulting inaction only adds to the internal stress overload and prevents anything from being achieved.
That sounds pretty grim. There’s good news though. The state of being mentally overwhelmed is completely self-induced and can be thwarted before it goes too far. Here are some tips to stop it in its tracks:
- Make a list. Add everything single thing you have to do to it. Make multiple lists if you want. At first it can seem to make everything worse, but keep going. By organizing your thoughts into a list (or lists), you empower yourself to feel more in control.
- Take a break. Even if you’re under a crushing deadline, go away from everything for at least ten minutes. Make it “me” time. Take a shower, talk to a friend, do anything besides what you really have to do. When you get back to it, you’ll feel refreshed.
- Go for a walk. Twenty minutes of physical exercise raises endorphin levels in the brain for a natural dose of “feel good.” Working out with weights is great if you’re so inclined, but a physical activity as simple as walking is known to ease mild depression.
At its root, being overwhelmed is caused by feeling a loss of power due to intense pressure. Even though you can’t always remove the source of whatever causes it, you can find ways to take back control and get back in the game again.
This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
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