Too Much Too Soon: Overcoming Emotional Overwhelm
Changes come and go like the seasons. Some can challenge you, just as some can bring about wonderful opportunities and outcomes. When change happens, some adjustments may need to be made. Having too many things going on at one time can hinder your ability to adjust. This can result in “emotional overwhelm.”
While change is constant, your response to it may not be, particularly when it involves negative feelings that bring about pain, sadness, fear, anger, grief, or anxiety. Overwhelm can potentially result in things becoming more complicated. And because change will occur, overwhelm can happen to anyone.
It is important to stay hopeful, though, because there are ways to resolve your feelings of overwhelm. One way is through counseling or therapy.
Overwhelm is defined by Good therapy as “a state of being beset by intense emotion that can often affect a person's ability to think and act rationally or perform in an efficient and functional manner.” It is usually associated with negative changes and emotions. For instance, if you are in the stage of grieving, an ailment in the family, pressures at work or studies, or marital conflicts – this can prove too much, resulting in your being more predisposed to overwhelm.
It may also be triggered by having too many things on your plate. If you are set on getting a job promotion or a career goal, getting married, having children, developing relationships or other personal goals, the idea of attaining them may weigh heavily on you. Being eager to succeed and doing a balancing act can become more difficult.
This is particularly tough to do when other challenges complicate your schedule – health, parenting, relationship issues in the family, financial troubles, work issues, etc. Introverts, extroverts, easy going types, those living in the fast lane, and almost everyone in-between, can be overwhelmed at one time or another. No one is immune, know that there is hope.
Reasons for Overwhelm
People get overwhelmed because intense emotions are powerful and inherently tough to accept consistently. What you can do is gain an understanding of your responses to your feelings. Your powerful feelings can become more challenging, however, when you are faced with added responsibilities and complications, such as aggravating thoughts, difficult life situations, or other emotional conditions.
A single, impactful event can lead to experiencing an overload of emotions. Overwhelm is, nevertheless, more likely to occur when there is a string of challenges happening in quick succession or when your ability to adjust is somehow impaired.
Your vulnerability or resistance to emotional overwhelm is also unique. Your “threshold level” for stress is different from others just as the amount of support you need to protect yourself against overwhelm. This implies that though resilient people can have high tolerance levels, like anyone else, they too can be emotionally stunned when their given threshold is reached.
The reasons of overwhelm may differ between individuals, as well. Challenges at work or school, for example, may unduly pressure a person while there are people who seem to respond in a more productive manner. According to Good Therapy, some of the “common causes” of emotional overwhelm are:
- Relationship problems
- Underlying physical or mental health conditions
- Career demands
- Financial difficulties
- Life transitions, such as buying a house or having a baby
- The death of a loved one
- Insufficient time to complete tasks or rest
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor diet
Recognizing the Symptoms
Are you overwhelmed? Because your threshold level and need for support differ from others, it may not be easy to say what level of distress can trigger it. To be able to promptly and properly address the condition, it can be critical to know and pay attention to its symptoms. What then are the signs and symptoms to watch out for?
Overwhelm could be an extension of emotional conditions, such as depression and anxiety. If it is, you may experience negative feelings and exhibit some signs and symptoms like these disorders. Some of these could be excessive despair, unjustified and extreme guilt, unexplained fear, unreasonable irritability or anger, and/or intense and persistent anxiousness.
If you are isolating yourself socially, it may be best to seek help soon to prevent hesitating on your daily challenges, finishing regular chores and tasks, and/or manifesting behavior changes. Know that changes in your responses and behaviors could be important indicators of significant tension or emotional turmoil.
In its advanced state, emotional overwhelm may also cause you to experience disproportionate anxiety and panic, you may stress over trivial matters, and/or have difficulty distinguishing what is real or not. You may also feel tired and physically ill.
Working Through Overwhelm
Amid deep emotional turmoil, working through emotional overwhelm may seem impossible because, like your emotions, many things in your life are beyond your control. In addition, recognizing the symptoms could be a real challenge in itself. One reason is because they are nonspecific, resembling the signs and symptoms of the other emotional conditions. And two, you can have difficulty sorting out and focusing on several stressful emotions and events all at once.
A wise and methodical approach is to seek help from the right professional – a counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – West Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC. Though overwhelm can happen to anyone, know that it can be addressed. To do that, it is important to be proactive in recognizing the signs. Therefore, actively seek help to resolve the underlying factors triggering this avalanche of your emotions.
Overcoming Emotional Turmoil
Your intense emotions can impact your life in many ways. It can distract you from your achievements and possibly waste valuable years of hard work. It can do harm to your relationships, and result in withdrawing. It can also affect your physical health and immunity, which can result in your becoming more vulnerable to other medical disorders. It can at times leave you feeling hopeless.
Attempting to “go with the flow” can be a mind-over-matter, defensive response that many overwhelmed people tend to embrace while facing their turmoil. While it may seem to help, it is only temporary. There is a better way to
resolve the power of the emotional overwhelm
you are feeling inside, and that is through counseling or therapy.
Counseling can be the best approach to assess and treat overwhelm. With the assistance of a trustworthy and proficient therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – West Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC, you can understand and gauge your responses accordingly, which might be that crucial step in resolving the issue. If you are ready to alleviate the grips of overwhelm, call CCS today!
We can help!
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