Ever feel overwhelmed? Like you’re in over your head? As if life is swallowing you whole in one big gulp?
That was me last week. I found myself drowning in all that was before me. Schedules, deadlines, meetings. Mounds of paperwork and moments of panic. Posts to write, phone calls to return, preparing for RAGBRAI. Maintaining our home while maintaining my sanity didn’t happen either. Sleep escaped me and so did healthy eating.
It was a downward spiral if I ever experienced one.
Life is too short to live it overwhelmed. Isn’t it? Sure, overwhelmed in good is a wonderful experience. But, that’s not what I dealt with last week.
overwhelm :: to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush
I’d rather live overjoyed, wouldn’t you?
overjoy :: to cause to feel great joy or delight; elate
How can we live overjoyed when we feel overwhelmed?
Is it possible? I believe it is. I believe it depends on how we view what’s going on around us and how we react to it. Last week I didn’t view my circumstances in a positive light, and I allowed the whispers of defeat and discouragement to fill my thoughts, emotions, and actions.
We can choose differently. What if we viewed life from this angle of Psalm 37:4-6 (VOICE)?
Take great joy in the Eternal! His gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires!
Commit your path to the Eternal; let Him direct you. Put your confidence in Him, and He will follow through with you.
He will spread out righteousness for you as a sunrise spreads radiance over the land; He will deliver justice for you into the light of the high sun.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Let’s choose to live overjoyed.
5 Ways To Live Overjoyed When Feeling Overwhelmed
1 – Be thankful.
There’s something that happens within us when we choose to look at and appreciate the good in our lives. Yes, that can be easier said than done when we’re feeling overwhelmed. But, when we view life through thankfulness, life shines a bit brighter. What or who can we be thankful for today? The blue sky? The people around us? The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others? Jot down a quick list in your planner or notebook and thank God for these.
2 – Ask for help.
I’m the worst at this. Really. I don’t like asking for help, but I need to more often than I do. Asking for help relieves us of stress, anxiety, and the weight of having to do it all on our own. Others around us are willing to lend a hand, but they won’t know we need the assistance unless we ask. Plus, they get the blessing of helping another. (Why do I always make it about me?) We weren’t meant to travel this journey alone.
3 – Make a list.
This helps me every single time I’m feeling overwhelmed. The list in my head tends to grow into monster-sized proportions until I put the list down on paper. This frees up my mind, it helps me see reality, and it gives me something tangible to work from. I put everything on this list that I can think of… even buying toilet paper if need be. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can cross the items off one by one after completing them. Yes!
4 – Place the next puzzle piece.
Focusing on the big picture can be paralyzing, can’t it? No wonder we’re feeling overwhelmed! Smaller pieces are just simpler to manage. It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together, when placing one puzzle piece at a time helps the big picture to come together. What’s the next puzzle piece we can place? Is it to call that customer back, or to write one more paragraph? Just focus on the next piece.
5 – Pray
If this list was in order of importance, this one would be first. There’s just something about partnering with God at the beginning of my day, asking Him for guidance, wisdom, and His equipping in serving Him and others. Praying is key in helping us live overjoyed when we feel overwhelmed. It gives us a brighter perspective and helps us keep our focus on what’s important. Praying makes all the difference.
What’s one thing you can do to live overjoyed if you’re feeling overwhelmed today? Join the conversation below!
Linking this post with my friend Kelly.