Don’t worry? Yeah, right.
Feeling overwhelmed with life? Life is complicated. From your work life to your home life, you have to manage a mind-numbing series of challenges and stressors on any given day. Some of those challenges are serious, even life-changing. Others are minor irritations that grind away at your patience — and your sanity.
Whether you’re facing big challenges or small ones, sometimes you just find yourself feeling overwhelmed with life.
In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to worry. He says to seek the kingdom of heaven and let God worry about the details because God knows everything you need. There’s a lot of truth and comfort in Jesus’ words. But it’s not that easy when you’re in it up to your elbows and feeling overwhelmed with life.
Trusting God is one thing. Living through the anxious feelings you experience when you’re overwhelmed is something else entirely.
How to Cope When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed with Life
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, it’s important to use a combination of common sense strategies and spiritual tools to work through your anxiety and get back on your feet.
- Breathe. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, the first thing you need to do is breathe — figuratively and literally. Take a step back, take a deep breathe and know that a day/week/year from now, the problems you’re facing right now will be a distant memory.
- Tackle one problem. Maybe the reason you’re feeling overwhelmed with life is because you’re trying to solve several problems or challenges at the same time. Instead of trying to do it all, start with one problem that you know you can solve and move on from there.
- Stop worrying about outcomes. You’re not responsible for outcomes — outcomes are God’s job. Your responsibility is to make yourself available and take life one step at a time. When you give up control and let go of outcomes, you create space to enjoy the present moment rather than feeling overwhelmed by it.
- Find your center. One of the most important things you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with life is to find your center and remember the things that are most important to you. Pray. Meditate. Reflect. Do whatever it takes to bring your problems and your life back into right perspective.
- Do something fun. Dwelling on your problems only makes a bad situation worse. So, rather than wallowing in self-pity, go out and do something fun. Your problems will be waiting for you when you get home, but you may find that you’re better equipped to deal with them.
There’s no failure in feeling overwhelmed with life. It happens to the best of us. The only failure is when we use our challenges as excuses to behave badly or treat the people around us poorly.
So when life gets you down (and sooner or later it will), hit the pause button, look for God and put one foot in front of the other — knowing that you will get through these challenges and anything else life throws your way.