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My Experience of Overwhelm - 22nd July 2015


Many of my clients tell me they are ‘overwhelmed’ by their cluttered situation. I’m pleased to say that after working with me this is replaced by things like ‘feeling in control’, ‘having a plan’ and ‘having a different point of view’.  Some are even 'excited' about decluttering!



Overwhelm is a terrible thing


I should know, because I’ve been there. My overwhelm was not about disorder in relation to my possessions, or lack of space, more about the way I coped with certain events.  I had a series of stressful job experiences some years back and can well remember how I felt. Overwhelm tends to bring with it a feeling of hopelessness. It did in my case. At one point I felt as though any job I applied for would rapidly turn sour on me.



Overwhelm has its own vicious circle


If overwhelm leads to hopelessness, those two combined certainly provoke sadness and distress. It becomes more and more difficult to make the simplest of decisions. Not being able to make a simple decision is in itself distressing and this is part of the vicious circle of overwhelm.


I began to feel as though I was losing my mind.


As if that wasn’t enough, overwhelm also leads to tiredness bordering on exhaustion. That’s no great surprise, really. Think about it. Imagine how much energy is required by your body to manage all those conflicting emotions.


Regular readers will know how much I like to refer to my dictionary - so, here’s the dictionary definition of overwhelm, the verb:


  • to overpower the thoughts, emotions, or senses of
  • to overcome with irresistable force
  • to cover over or bury completely
  • to weigh or rest upon overpoweringly

Wow! That’s a powerful word, isn’t it?



Managing overwhelm


I suspect I will always have a tendency to feel overwhelmed. At least, I haven’t yet found a magic formula to make it go away completely.

What I have discovered is more self-awareness. This helps me prepare for, and occasionally avoid, potentially overwhelming situations.


Becoming more self-aware will mean you can spot overwhelm coming from a mile off!! So, before it hits you, I suggest you share how you feel with friends or family. Tell them, ‘actually, I feel a bit overwhelmed about this’. Ask for their support. This can make a huge difference. You’re not on your own. You may even find out that others feel the same way. Give yourself credit for what you do achieve - despite the overwhelm.


Don’t get overwhelmed by overwhelm!


Be kinder to yourself. Less self-judgement and more TLC. Consider learning a practice such as meditation or mindfulness which can help you feel better. NLP is also a useful tool. We live in a busy world, is it any wonder that sometimes you feel overwhelmed?


Make overwhelm your motivator!


If your head feels like it’s about to burst just at the thought of some decluttering, wouldn’t you like to get past that? A cluttered environment cranks up your levels of overwhelm. So, a state of disorder can be both the cause and effect of overwhelm, if you think about it!


Are you overwhelmed by clutter? Or the thought of decluttering?


If so, you’re in good company - so were most of my clients! That’s why they asked me for help. I work hard to help my clients find a way that suits them. I also help them access greater self-awareness regarding their situation. Clients willing to do this are more likely to continue decluttering and maintain areas worked on.


I’d love to continue the conversation. Why not call me or drop me an e-mail? I want to help you - because I know great things lie on the other side of overwhelm. Mine got me to a place where I am doing the work I love.





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