I didn’t know how to not feel overwhelmed.  I couldn’t stand up, I had to crouch and crawl my way forward. It was dark. It smelt musty, like wet dirt. Death even. I was in a narrow tunnel, descending to a tomb. In the moment of overwhelm, I couldn’t turn around and go back because people were behind me and there was no room to get past them.

One definition of Overwhelm is
“to be buried or drown beneath a huge mass of something.”

Descending deeper into the abyss, I sensed everything compacting. Recall, if you can the scenes in scary movies where the walls start to move in on you. Impending doom washed over me. Being buried alive felt real.

You know that feeling – when everything bears down on you, pressure from every direction and the sensation of being crushed under the weight is real. You feel like you are running out of time, as it somehow speeds up. Maybe you feel like you are spinning out of control and not coping. No matter where you turn, there is no escaping the tension. The stress becomes overpowering and you just want to crawl away and hide or run.

Overload may not be obvious. Daily struggles, tasks and pressures become normal. Not being stressed becomes a lost memory.  You work through it. Yet there can come a time when it all feels like too much.

That overwhelming feeling in the tunnel caught me off guard. I’ve had a blessed life, not too much stress – or so I thought. I coped with everything thrown at me. Yet it isn’t until you experience having completely no stress or overwhelm that you can see how stressed you actually are most of the time.

I recall my terror listening to stories of the Beaconsfield Miners or Stuart Diver(the man who spent  65 hours (2.7 days) trapped under rubble in 1997 after a landslide at Thredbo.  I wondered, what did they do to not feel overwhelmed by that situation.   Entering the tunnel to climb down to the Tomb was a conscious decision.  It was not an uncontrollable experience, yet I felt out of control at times.

how to not feel overwhelmed

Find Out All 7 Steps by downloading the e-book

What on earth was I thinking, or obviously I wasn’t. It’s often difficult to know how to not feel overwhelmed.


Good question!

When overwhelm hits you, it feels as if  you are being hammered by everything and everyone. Overwhelm sneaks up on you. Before you know it you feel inundated, defeated, and overpowered, or whatever other strong emotional effect a situation can bring.

When you feel you are not coping and you have too much on the go and can’t get it all done, or and you don’t know what choice to make, your motivational circuits shut down and stop you from thinking. As your unconscious stress and fear levels increase your mind takes over and you work on autopilot. With your mind working on autopilot that means you fall into patterns of avoidance, procrastination and laziness. You may even have other strategies that you use.   You then only do things you have to do. Your mind doesn’t let you make decisions, prioritise or change anything that may need changing.   Your logical mind shuts down and your emotional mind just pumps adrenaline around your body, waiting to fight or flee.

You know overwhelm is coming at you because you are aware of what you have to do and yet are afraid to do what is required, or you may not see it coming because it’s totally out of your control.


Your mind is always looking at your problems. Trained to focus on the negative, the cons, the issues, we miss the solution.   In order to protect ourselves we limit ourselves to our own problems. Unfortunately how you think about things stops you from expanding and feeding you with inspiration.

Caught up in the moment, in the sheer joy of being in Egypt I was fascinated as I stood in front of a monumental pyramid..  I did not think when it came time to enter the tomb – I just dove in.   Then, in the middle of a tunnel, a panic attack hits,  anxiety sets in and it’s too late.  Committed you have to continue.


The secret to How To Not Feel Overwhelmed is to ACT.

Now, you know how to stop overwhelm in it’s tracks, but what about setting yourself up to not feel overwhelmed right from the start.

Here are 7 Steps to How to Not Feel Overwhelmed.

  1. Know Your Triggers
  2. Create a Margin
  3. Carry A Different Load
  4. Create A Stability Zone
  5. Know You Have Choices
  6. Laugh More
  7. Minimise

In my next blog post I’ll go through each of the steps in detail. You will then know why you feel stressed, pressured and overwhelmed and also how to not feel overwhelmed and live a more joyful life.

You can go here to download the 7 Steps to Overcoming Overwhelm and Escaping Emotional Exhaustion. 

Learn how you can eliminate overwhelm, calm chaos and reduce stress so you can enjoy life more. Book a Discovery Session with me today.