Feeling Overwhelmed? Same – Here’s a Simple Guide to Help You Cope

Feeling overwhelmed is very common in today’s society. It happens to nearly everyone at one point or another. A 2020 study of about 3,000 people found that 60% of them were feeling overwhelmed by one thing or another.

Being overwhelmed is common and exhausting – source

This guide is meant to help you get out of feeling overwhelmed and into a better mental state. It includes things you can do physically, mentally, and emotionally to combat those negative feelings that creep in.

What is Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed is when you feel like you are dealing with more than you can handle. It’s that emotion where you just want to cry and feel like you can’t do something. You can feel flooded with emotions and physical sensations that leave you exhausted and drained, and it can happen for a variety of reasons.


Someone may report feeling overwhelmed for many different reasons. It can be due to stress from work, stress from your relationship, or family issues.

Maybe there is a health concern, political issue, environmental problem, or financial worry plaguing your mind. Perhaps a deadline is coming up and you don’t know where to start. Or maybe living through a global pandemic is catching up to you.

People with certain mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and ADHD may be more susceptible to feeling overwhelmed in general.


Symptoms of this negative feeling can be withdrawal, negative thoughts, pessimism, irrational mood, paralysis, panic attacks, and anxiety. Feeling overwhelmed can also cause insomnia, fatigue, and physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, headaches, aches, pain, upset stomach, and breathing issues.

A Complete Guide to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed 

Here it is. A guide that can help dig you out of the metaphorical hole. This includes steps you can take, and even ways you can prevent feeling overwhelmed in the first place!

Best Ways to Cope with Difficulties

These are some of the best ways you can try and deal with this negative emotion that can feel debilitating. Use any of these tips to stop the negative feeling and redirect energy towards something more practical, joyful, and useful. Plus, check out a step-by-step guide below to stop feeling overwhelmed the moment it happens!

Plan Things Out

Big things can be overwhelming, whether it is for school, work, trips, family things, etc. The bigger the responsibility, the more overwhelming it can be. Take large tasks, events, and responsibilities and make a plan. Instead of trying to tackle everything all at once, do steps instead.

Break Steps Down into Small Achievable Goals

Furthermore, it might be helpful to break down goals and steps into even smaller components. This makes anything achievable. Even if one of the steps is making a phone call, this turns huge tasks into something manageable.

Celebrate Small Victories 

Remember to celebrate the little things. Made that important phone call? Celebrate that! Treat yourself to a small break, take a walk, or eat a treat. Do something to make yourself smile. Think of it as a small dose of self-care.

Think About Control

In any given situation, the most helpful mentality is this: what can you control and what can you not control? Focus on this mentality, assess what you can do, and change. Take note of the things that are out of your control. This allows you to focus your time, energy, and attention on the things that you can control. Check out this guide which details what you can control and what you can’t.


Appreciation can scientifically improve your mental state, increasing baseline happiness. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to list out some of the things you are grateful for. Journal about them, think of why you appreciate them, and feel gratitude for them. This can help you focus on the positives in life, as opposed to stressing about the negatives.

Breathing Deeply and Consciously

A couple of deep breaths is a biological hack that can almost instantly make you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. You see, deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for de-stressing you and turning off fight or flight. This biological hack reduces blood pressure, calms the mind, slows the heart, and can help boost endorphins, a happiness chemical.


Worrying, and feeling overwhelmed usually stem from either stressing about the future or ruminating about the past. Mindfulness, a practice that grounds you in the present moment, can help clear the mind and reduce negative thoughts.


Meditation is a mental exercise that trains the mind to be in an optimal state. Just like you train the muscles of the body, the mind also requires attention to be at its best. Meditation improves mental health, decreases inflammation, reduces blood pressure, and gives you a boost of energy and clarity.


Physical touch can be a good way to work ourselves out of a mental pit. This study found that physical contact with a friend, partner, or family member reduced stress and negativity.


Use affirmations to retrain the mind towards more positive mentalities. Instead of thinking the worst about yourself and any given situation, think better. Use empowering I am affirmations for mental change, positive self-talk, and these sunny summer affirmations for better vibes.

Steps to Cope, In Order

Here are the steps to take to stop the negative feelings in their tracks. 

  1. Breathe – taking deep breaths will calm both the mind and body. Take a couple of deep breaths to activate this calming biological hack.
  2. Walk Away – take a step back from the situation so you can plan it better. Sometimes stepping back is just the break you need to adjust and improve.
  3. Assess and Plan – from a less stressed mental state, assess the situation, what can you control and what can you not control. Plan things out.
  4. Refocus – refocus and get back into the thick of things with a clear mind and an open heart

Ways to Prevent it in the First Place

Many of the tips in the guide to coping with feeling overwhelmed can also help prevent it in the first place.

Use meditation as a way to prevent feeling overwhelmed in the first place. Science shows that the brain of people who meditate often is physically different than the brain of someone that doesn’t. Regular meditators have more emotional control, more cognitive thought, better memory, and better reactions to challenging events.

Even a mindfulness habit can be a great way to cope, and people who practice mindfulness also experience positive changes in brain structure. Use a habitual breathing technique to regularly deal with stress, try to journal to get thoughts out of your head and into the real world, and always practice gratitude. Small daily habits make a world of difference when dealing with difficult situations and challenges. 

The Takeaway

Feeling overwhelmed can happen to everyone, but you don’t need to stay in that mental state for long. There are certain tricks you can do, including mental and physical exercises, to help combat that negative feeling. Just know that it is normal, common and that there is help.

Remember that health comes from within, so eat nutritious meals, exercise daily, and take care of your mental health. Daily habits become building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health.  Take care of microbiota health too! The gut microbiome affects muscle health, skin health, immune system, mental health, digestion, and much more. Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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