"Real difficulties can be overcome. It is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable." — Theodore N. Vail
It's a fact of life: sometimes, it gets overwhelming. Especially when going through changes or starting something new, you're bound to run into some problems along the way. And sometimes, those problems will seem insurmountable.
I don't know about you, but when I'm struggling with something, I tend to inflate in my head to the point where it seems completely impossible. That gets overwhelming fast and causes me a lot of unnecessary stress if I don't address it. I've learned to take a step back and recognize: every problem has a solution; I just haven't found this one yet. Over the years, I've found a few of things that help me regain perspective:
- Write it down. Whether it's through journaling, list-making, or jotting it down in a planner, I've always processed things best with the trusty old pen and paper. Getting it down on paper makes it seem more concrete, which is a lot easier to deal with than a vague mass of stress flying around in my brain. When it comes to work, the simple act of taking a few moments to write down my priorities for the day in a planner makes a huge difference. I'm much more productive on the days I do this. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of the things I need to get done at some point, it gives me a bite-sized action plan and keeps me focused on today.
- Talk it out. When you keep problems inside your own head, they have a tendency to keep growing. I've found that when I verbalize them, either to my husband or a close friend, the struggles that were gigantic in my mind suddenly seem a lot more manageable. Plus, having someone else's input can give you a whole new perspective, and maybe some solutions you hadn't thought of yet.
- Take a break. Go for a hike. Make dinner. Read a book. Play with your dog. Find something to get your mind off the issue for awhile. Sometimes, your brain just needs a break. Give it some time and then come back to it later with fresh eyes. It's amazing what a change in scenery can do!
What about you? What have you found to be helpful when you're facing a stressful problem? I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments!