What to Do When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed
Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. When you find your head spinning and you’re having a hard time knowing what to do or how to take care of yourself, you need to take a moment to check in. At the Well House, we think of the acronym “RAIN” when it comes to overwhelming emotions. Here are some quick, concrete steps you can take to help yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, let it RAIN
R – Recognize what’s going on
A – Allow the experience to be there, just as it is
I – Investigate with kindness
N – Natural awareness which comes from not identifying with the experience
Let’s dive a little deeper into the “RAIN” acronym.
R – Recognize what’s going on
When you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s helpful to shift your perspective from BEING the overwhelm to NOTICING the overwhelm. This is a subtle shift where we simply notice: “I’m feeling overwhelmed”. This alone may not make your feelings go away, but it is a crucial step in the process. When we do this, we get a little space from the overwhelm and our nervous system can begin the process of calming down.
A – Allow the experience to be there, just as it is.
This is where you intentionally show yourself love and compassion. With the same tenderness you would reserve for a child, give yourself compassion for feeling some hard stuff. In these moments, you may look in a mirror and tell yourself: “I’m feeling _______” (fill in the blank with however you are feeling).
“Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you managed to do today is breathe.”
I – Investigate with kindness.
Gently look at your situation and find ways that you can show up for yourself. If you are still looking in the mirror, ask yourself what you need. Do you need to scream, cry, move? Would it be helpful if you committed to just completing one thing from your list? Or do you need to put aside your list for now and do something fun or relaxing? This is a great time to take some slow, deep belly breaths.
N – Natural experience which comes from not identifying with the experience.
Through every step, you have been practicing non-judgmental attachment with your feelings. As you finish with the RAIN process, remember that there is no such thing as a bad emotion. Emotions are simply signals – telling us how something does or doesn’t work for us. In other words, you are not an overwhelmed person so much as you are feeling overwhelmed at this moment.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it again for a few minutes, including you” – Anne Lamott
If you struggle with feeling overwhelmed more often than not, counseling can help. When we feel overwhelmed this is our body and mind telling us that there is something that is too much for us to handle. You don’t have to push through these feelings. The RAIN process is a helpful way to handle difficult emotions as they come up, but it will not help you address the root issues.
How can counselors help you with feeling overwhelmed?
At The Well House Group, we empower you to live your best lives. Whether this is teaching you how to dive deeper into stress management strategies or unpacking some of the root issues that cause your stress; we are here to help. Our compassionate and professional staff are here to help you find what you need to make it past whatever difficulties you may be facing.
Life does not have to feel stressful all the time. You can learn how to manage the overwhelm and live a healthier and happier life. We are available to schedule your appointment today via text, phone call, or email. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals today.