3 Quick Steps to Stop Overwhelm

Jan 24, 2016 | Hypnosis, Anxiety, Stress

stop overwhelm

Do you find it hard to stop overwhelm and all those thoughts in your head just going round and round? They make your head busy, maybe feel a little fuzzy, you can’t think straight, you don’t know which thought to think about first. Yes, I totally understand that. Would you like to know the secret to create some space in your head?

Stopping overwhelm and getting space in your head is all about calming down those anxious thoughts. Stop them whirring around when they just go on and on and do nothing, change nothing and get you no-where.

1. Recognise That You Need to Stop Overwhelm

First we need to recognise that we need to stop overwhelm and notice that those whirring thoughts are there.

Think about when a small child is constantly trying to get your attention – just tapping your arm or pulling at your sleeve going mummy, mummy, mummy (or daddy!) and you are trying to have a conversation with someone else or trying to get on with something else. You can picture that right? Well that little child’s voice is like your anxious thoughts.

What happens with that child when you just stop. That’s right. JUST STOP. Look at the child. Take a deep breath and say “yes darling”. (OK, so sometimes we actually go – OH WHAT NOW????!!! But anyway …) What happens with the child?  The child’s need or issue is often quite little or easy to sort and just needs a comforting word. It might be big for them, but for us there’s an easy quick way to quiet them. Well, it’s the same with those anxious thoughts – they need noticing.  You need to recognise that the thoughts are there.

If we continue to pretend those anxious thoughts are not there, they will continue to remind us they are!  That’s definitely not going to stop overwhelm.

2.  Just Notice The Overwhelm

Then, we begin to recognise what those overwhelming anxious thoughts are and just notice them.  That’s it – – just notice them – then, with a bit of practice the thoughts can begin to seem different.  When you’ve noticed that they are there, instead of trying to stop them, avoid them, ignore them or even change them. Just let them be there. Really!

You might like to let your thoughts know you’ve notice them, that you know they are there.  You can do this out loud if you like but a little thought in your head will do the trick.  Then you don’t have to do anything else with those anxious thoughts, you don’t have to tell anyone else they are there. You don’t even have to agree with them.   Just notice them.

3.  Sort Out the Thoughts to Stop Overwhelm

When you really spend a few moments recognising they are there; you can begin to sort them out.  Are they big or small?  Are they heavy or light?  Which ones are really important and which are just little niggles?  Maybe some are busy whizzing around and others have been sat there while.   That way, whatever shape, size, level of importance they have, it gets so much easier to cope with them being there without them being so difficult / annoying / scary.

When they are less troublesome, you will get more space in your head, instead of there being a great big fighting battle going on inside your head where each overwhelming anxious thought is vying for space, vying for your attention, needing you to hear them. There will be space.  This is key to making sure you stop the overwhelm.

When You’ve Taken these 3 Steps to Stop Overwhelm?

So, what could you fill that space with? Lovely thoughts, plans, kind words about yourself and others. The list is endless. You could just enjoy having that space too!  The other fabulous things about getting space in your head is that you can have space to hear others – like your child, your family, your colleagues – even yourself.

Try it. It might seem a bit weird at first – especially if you’ve lived with overwhelm and anxious thoughts for a loooonnng time. It can be a weird in a good way!

Let me know how you get on with a comment below or join me on social media and let me know there.

Hi, I’m Emma, Hypnotherapist and Coach in York with a particular interest in helping you with anxiety, stress, fears and phobias so that you can take back control of your thoughts and feelings.  That way you can quickly and easily feel more able to cope with your busy life! There are no magic wands or quick fixes instead I give you personalised tools that work for you and fit with your lifestyle.  Find out more about me and how my hypnotherapy or coaching will help you stop overwhelm and elevate your performance. 

This post discusses: anxiety, calm, Headspace, Quick Steps, stress
Emma Langton

Emma Langton

Executive Leadership Coach

Emma hosts the Lessons for Leaders podcast. Each week she brings you lessons, learnings, tips and advice to enable you to lead with ease in business, without stress, doubt and overwhelm so that I help you to increase your performance, be resilient and thrive in life. Emma has been providing coaching, training and therapeutic support for executives since setting up her business in 2011. Prior to that she spent over 20 years with people at the top of national and multi-national training and communication businesses.


  1. shola

    Hi Emma, thanks for this useful post. I’m an anxious worrier type of person. So good to have a few strategies for clearing those pesky negative thoughts out of the way!

    • Emma Langton

      Your welcome! Glad that it helps. It does take practice! Keep looking out for more or follow the blog and I’ll be adding more about helping anxiety.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.
      Emma X


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