Feeling overwhelmed? That can seem like a silly question, especially if you’re running your own business, like me. In this fast-paced and on-demand world we live in, being overwhelmed and having “so much to do!” seems to be the new norm. But living day-to-day feeling trapped under the quicksand of time’s hourglass is no way to enjoy your life, and can be truly detrimental to achieving your goals.
So how do you convert stressful energy into productive energy? My fail-proof solution is gratitude.
When you take a few minutes (or even seconds) to shift your weighted mind to gratitude, that overwhelming panic you had disappears, and the more blessings you count, the less stressed you feel. It sounds simple, but when you practice this on a daily basis, it can change your whole lifestyle.
Don’t know how to start? Try this: The next time you say, or think (because your thoughts have immense power over your reality), “I’m overwhelmed with [fill in the blank],” whether it’s with work, with the household, with people, replace those issues with gratitude.
So your statement becomes, “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Go even farther and list personal blessings, which may even be the good side of what you’re stressed about. If you feel overwhelmed at work say, “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m thankful for this career. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this job and it’s helping me provide for my family, who I love. I feel so blessed to have this work to do!”
It takes all of 30 seconds, and now look at you! You’re whistling while you work, tackling those work projects with a great attitude, and that exasperating cloud of stress that was hanging over your head has now passed. You may have just as many things to do as before you thanked your lucky stars, but you are no longer stressed about it.
Cakewalk. The difficult part can be keeping it up. When more and more ‘stuff’ gets added to our plates, it can be easy to slip back into old habits. It’s amazing how negative our thoughts and words can get in the hustle and bustle of our worlds, and we’ve gotten so used to it that we don’t even notice it.
If a random ten days out of the past year of your life were secretly videotaped, how often would you hear yourself say things like, “I’m overwhelmed. I can’t do this. I don’t have enough time for this. I can’t deal with this. I’ll never get this done. I’m stressed out. I need a vacation” when reviewing the tape?
Get in the routine of an attitude of gratitude, and really feel what you say. Let your positive thoughts seep into your mind and spirit. Feeling overwhelmed will soon be a thing of the past, stress will no longer hold you hostage, and you’ll conquer more than you ever dreamed possible.
Katie Garibaldi is a San Francisco based singer/songwriter, who just released her seventh album, Follow Your Heart. It features some of Garibaldi's most personal songs, and includes performances by notable musicians, including the Magik*Magik Orchestra.