Feeling Overwhelmed? Tackle Life One Minute at a Time

Jesse Daley, Writer. The author is a PsychologyTree.com freelancer. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. All works are charmingly non-edited nor influenced in any way by Psychology Tree.

We never know what tomorrow is going to bring. As we have all witnessed in recent weeks, natural disasters and other tragedies can occur at any time and without any warning. Some of the very recent events that have occurred have tested our emotional limits. How do we continue to move forward even in the face of incredible devastation?
The answer to this has a lot to do with taking everything in life one minute at a time. In the face of anything extremely difficult or stressful that we experience, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. When we feel overwhelmed we typically also feel helpless and anxious. These feelings can be distracting, unhelpful and unproductive. While it may not be entirely possible to simply eliminate feelings that accompany being overwhelmed, learning how to manage these feelings can make a huge difference in our ability to continue to move forward and be as productive as possible each day.
Personally, whenever I am faced with something stressful and when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I have found that I tend to combine all my fears and anxieties together. In other words, I think about many things that are uncertain in my life – or many things that I’ve worried about – all at once, leaving me feeling much more overwhelmed, because I’m focusing on multiple areas of uncertainty. Now, life is full of uncertainty and most things actually are out of our control. All that we have is this moment, and focusing on one thing at a time when faced with a challenge is obviously more productive. Often that means taking each minute as it comes and doing the best that you can do to remain feeling as calm and as present as possible.
I suggest that you make it a part of your daily routine to focus on remaining fully present and aware of what is occurring around you in all your moments. Practicing meditation can help with achieving this. Meditation helps us to focus on the now which can train our minds to operate as productively as possible in each of our moments. Even when experiencing something very difficult or challenging, by staying fully present we are able to learn lessons and make well-thought-out decisions.
So, the next time that you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remind yourself that this moment is all that we have. The past is over and the future is not certain, all that we have is right now. You are a strong individual, and regardless of what you might be facing, by taking things minute by minute, you can and will continue to move forward.

Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery,
today is a gift of God,
which is why we call it the present.

~William Aloysius Keane