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Prevent a Downward Spiral When You’re Overwhelmed and Stressed

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Once (or maybe more than once…) I found myself having a major technical fiasco in one of my businesses.  Things kept breaking down, problems seemed unsolvable, and just when I thought I couldn’t screw up or embarrass myself more, the waves just kept rolling in.  The more I tried to push to force things to work and try to control the situation, the worse it got.  Here’s how to prevent a downward spiral when you’re overwhelmed and stressed.

Once (or maybe more than once...) I found myself having a major technical fiasco in one of my businesses.  Things kept breaking down, problems seemed unsolvable, and just when I thought I couldn't screw up or embarrass myself more, the waves just kept rolling in.  The more I tried to push to force things to work and try to control the situation, the worse it got.  Here's how to prevent a downward spiral when you're overwhelmed and stressed.

Once (or maybe more than once...) I found myself having a major technical fiasco in my tech business. The more I tried to push to force things to work and try to control the situation, the worse it got.  Here's how to prevent a downward spiral when you're overwhelmed and stressed.
When you find yourself getting overwhelmed, stressed, or feel like things are going to spiral out of control, here are a few steps you can take to prevent a downward spiral.

Normally when I had a bad week before I recovered from my depression, I would get really upset and start on a downward spiral of bad habits.  This time I prevented it.  When work was overwhelming, I slowed down and just stopped taking action.  And because of that, I was able to prevent things from getting completely out of hand and stay happy and level-headed amidst the stress and frustration.

When you find yourself getting overwhelmed, stressed, or feel like things are going to spiral out of control, here are a few steps you can take to prevent a downward spiral.

First, stop what you’re doing.

Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we can make things a lot worse if we keep taking action.  Make sure you’re safe.  Just stop whatever it is you’re doing and look at the situation objectively.  What’s really going on here?  How do you feel right now?  And why do you feel that way?

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Talk it out.

Chances are you wont be able to easily view this situation through an objective lens, so that’s where talking to other people can be helpful.  You know what your frustrations are, now talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or someone on 7 Cups about what’s going on and get their take.  Is there another way to see this?  Are the answers there but you’re just not seeing them?  What is really going on here?  Why do you feel like you need to go back to destructive habits?

Let it go.

Next, let go of however you feel about this situation.  Forgive yourself for whatever part you played, and forgive anyone else involved.  Breathe in and exhale the stress.  Go for a long walk, dance, run, or do yoga.  Get your body moving so you can distract your mind. Take a hot bath, read a book, take extra care of yourself during this stressful time.  Let it go, let it goooooo……

Give it some time.

Sleep it on it.  Wait a few days.  Wait a week.  Take as much time as you need away from the frustrations of the situation at hand that you can go back and see it without having an emotional attachment.  Most importantly, never make decisions when you’re emotional.

Take stock with fresh eyes.

Now that you have a little distance between yourself and whatever happened, it’s time to take stock of how things are.  What are your current problems and frustrations with this situation?  Is there any way you can fix it?  Can you get help from someone?  Your two main options for dealing with a bad situation are to either change your situation or change the way you feel about it.  Which one seems more appropriate?

I hope these tips have helped you prevent things from getting out of hand when something bad happens in your life.  Take care of yourself first and the other things will fall into place.  You, especially, deserve your own love and compassion.

If you’d like more depression tips, you might also be interested in our 30 Day Negativity Detox. 🙂

“Our stresses, anxieties, pains, and problems arise because we do not see the world, others, or even ourselves as worthy of love.” – Prem Prakash

Prevent a Downward Spiral When You're Overwhelmed and Stressed

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