Introduction For Feeling Overwhelmed

Photo of a woman feeling overwhelmedFeeling Overwhelmed is a common emotional response that many of our readers ask me about.

The world is a busy place with lots of distractions. This makes it very easy for us to feel overwhelmed on a regular basis. Once we feel overwhelmed it’s not easy to move ourselves to a better mental space without the knowledge of how to do so.

However, learning to deal with overstimulation and anxiety is a skill that anyone can learn and develop.

With enough practice, you can quickly get yourself back on track from any negative emotional state.

Know how to ground yourself under any circumstances! Follow these strategies.

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5 Effective Techniques to Ground Yourself When Feeling Overwhelmed.

1 Feeling Overwhelmed: Holding a Ball  

Yellow Tennis BallThat sounds weird, right? However, from the first-hand experience using this in meditation, I can attest to its effectiveness. 

I’ve used variations of this technique on people suffering from overwhelm, anxiety to panic attacks. 

These emotional conditions trigger when we get caught up in our heads.

This technique’s purpose is to reorient you to the physical universe. The ball is a way of anchoring you to reality, something solid, something you can touch and feel.

Grounding Technique One

  1. Hold something in your hand. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick up an object. The more interesting the object, the better it will work for this exercise. Nearly anything will work: A pen, a flashlight, a saltshaker, paperweight, and even a shoe are all fine.
  • Hold the object in your hand and focus on the texture. Avoid looking at the object. Just feel it in your hand.
  • Move the object around in your hand and imagine the shape of the object as you’re feeling it. Try to form a mental picture based on what you’re feeling.
  • Describe the texture and shape to yourself.
  • Ask yourself what is the weight of the object?
  • Continue until you feel calmer and more relaxed

2 The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique for Feeling Overwhelmed 

Photo of the old countdown graphics from TV stations

I love this technique. I’ve done many guided meditations using this technique. Jay Shetty uses this technique a lot in his meditations.

This is another technique that forces you to focus on your senses. But this time you’re going to use all of them.

  • Look around your environment and describe something you see. You can do this aloud if you like. Describe its physical appearance in detail for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this until you have described five items.
  • Now, describe four things you feel. This can be an object in your vicinity. It can also be a physical sensation, such as the chair beneath you, the temperature of the air on your skin, or your itchy nose. Repeat this until you have described four different feelings
  • Next, describe three things you can hear. You might have to close your eyes and really concentrate, but you can always find at least three sounds in your environment if you try. Repeat until you have heard 3 different sounds.
  • What are two things you can smell? Pick something up and smell it if necessary. Repeat until you have smelt two different things. 
  • What does your mouth taste like right now? Have a drink if necessary. My answer right now is lemon citrus because I’m drinking lemon water.
This takes a few minutes to do. Nevertheless, the result is to get you grounded from the immediate impact of the overwhelm. 

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”

3.  Call A Trusted Friend

Head shot of a man as a friend

This technique for feeling overwhelmed calls on your social network For help.

One of the best ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed is to reach out to a friend and have a chat.

  • Don’t call that friend that always seems to complain about everything.
  • Call an upbeat friend that knows how to make you feel better.
  • One that won’t sympathize with you but pushes you to look for ways you can grow and learn from the situation.
  • You are looking for that friend that doesn’t offer advice as much as ask you questions to get you to find your own solution.
  • Kind words and soothing advice might appeal to you in the moment but in the long run, it’s the friend that challenges your assumptions and questions your motives who will help you grow and overcome your feeling of overwhelm.


4 Focus On Your Breath

Graphic of a man in the yoga position breathingThis is another simple but extremely effective technique when you are feeling overwhelmed. 

  •  Feel the air go in and out of your body.
  • You can only think about one thing at a time. If your attention is on your breath, it can’t be on whatever is making you feel overwhelmed.
  • Breathe in through your nose to a slow count of four. 

  • Hold the breath for a count of two.
  • Exhale through your mouth to a slow count of four. 
  • Continue for five minutes or until the feeling of overwhelm passes. 


 5. Go for a Mindfulness Walk

graphic image of a boy scout walkingThis is one of my favorite ways to deal with overwhelm. More than just going for a walk it is about noticing things in your environment.

More importantly, it’s about seeing things in a new light. 

As humans we tend to be lazy, so instead of actually looking at a particular tree we really look at our idea of what a tree looks like We see the forest but not the tree.

When you truly notice a tree or a blade of grass or a bird, or a pebble on the road, you come into present time. You see what is there. Now instead of seeing your idea of a maple tree, you see a maple tree. You noticed how on this particular tree all the branches lean to the south, that the truck has a strange twist to it and that the leaves are turning color earlier than other maples. 

The idea is not to get lost in thoughts but to actively notice objects.

As you come into the present time you leave past troubles and future worries were the cause of your overwhelm lies.

We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.


5 Effective Techniques. Try one of these to help overcome your feeling of Overwhelm

  1. Hold a Ball
  2. 54321 senses exercise
  3. Call a Trusted Friend
  4. Focus on Your Breath
  5. Mindfulness Walkin

Ideally, you’ll use these grounding techniques before your feeling of overwhelm is at a high level. Ground yourself as soon as you feel your emotions starting to head south. It’s easier to stop a moving train while it’s still moving slowly.



Further Resouces

My name is Nick Grimshawe and I help people seeking to live extraordinary lives to use the tools of affirmations, gratitude, mindfulness, and Meditation to live the life they envision. I share one new video a week on one of those topics. Wednesdays I do a Facebook Live at 2 PM eastern. Each week I include a free piece of content either a check sheet cheat sheet or resource to help you move forward with your adventure. You can connect to me on social media through the links below.

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