I read a piece written by Seth Godin on the web that was titled Overwhelmed is a choice. It started me thinking about what being overwhelmed really means. Is it really a choice?
It seems there are two forms of overwhelm: one, having too many tasks to do all at the same time; and two, being emotionally overwhelmed by stress or a life experience.
What’s interesting is that, for me, both physical and emotional overwhelm create a feeling of having no control over my life’s circumstances—whatever my situation is. But is that really true? I’m beginning to think that it isn’t.
Have you ever been overwhelmed by an emotion such as sadness, fear, anger, or whatever and then for some reason your mind wanders and for a few seconds your emotions disappear. Then you remember the distress and anguish that had just engulfed you and you quickly jump back into the feelings that had just swallowed you up. The fact that we are able, even for just a second, to change our point of view tells us we have the ability to do it for longer—and that is power.
Suddenly, we move from being helpless over our situation to being able to choose how we feel. Choosing is the key here; there are many times that I’ve chosen to indulge my feelings of being put-upon instead of acting like the adult I am who has the ability to decide how I want to live my life.
Seth Godin concludes with, “Find your footing and do your work. It’s a choice.”
It’s also possible that being overwhelmed is a sign that it is time to re-examine our lives. It may be an indication that changes are in order.
The point is: we have power and how we use it is our choice. Since we have the ability to choose, why not use it to make our lives better?
What about you?
Do you get overwhelmed? Are you able to snap out of it or does it linger?
Let us know I'd love to hear.
* Seth Godin Overwhelmed is a choice
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