Mar 3, 2014
Felt overwhelmed recently?
I totally relate. It’s one thing to deal with the day-to-day stresses of everyday life, but some days, the stress can feel like just a bit too much. Perhaps it’s because one of our “overwhelm triggers” got hit.
- Overwhelm trigger (my definition): identified by the slow sense of drowning followed by slightly bizarre behavior in response to thinking about a personally difficult subject.
It’s totally normal to deal with overwhelm triggers, but sometimes things can get a little out of hand.
- Signals of out of hand overwhelm triggering = catastrophization, to the point where you respond to your fears about the personally difficult subject instead of tackling what’s actually bothering you about the subject.
I’ll just come right out and say it. The subject of student debt is a massive overwhelm trigger in our society. Widespread default, a pervasive sense of frustration, believing that life will never improve because they took out student loans, a general shutting down and giving up on life.
Classic signals that many of us are living our lives in fear because we think we’ll never control, much less Conquer., our student debt.
Raise your hand if you relate. (I’m raising my secret third hand too.)
Well, what are we supposed to do?
Check out the 4 Steps I’ve created below to deflate overwhelm and exercise your powerful ability to make your own choices about your life. Take a look, and share examples of ways you’ve overcome student debt overwhelm in your own life in the comments.
4 Steps to Beating Student Debt Overwhelm
When we feel overwhelmingly panicked, stressed (or terrified about how your life could be permanently screwed up because of student debt) breathing (almost!) gets thrown out of the window. It’s hard to think clearly when we aren’t getting enough air to our brains. Plus, it’s amazing how deep breathing can be an awesome reset/relaxation tool in our lives. Remember: You’re not going to solve your student debt problems through panicking.
- Get really specific about exactly what is triggering your overwhelm.
Get a piece of paper and give this nifty fill in the blank tool a whirl. I’m afraid I can’t ___________ because of student debt. Repeat, repeat & repeat until you can see the fears driving your overwhelm on the paper in front of you. Doesn’t it feel just a bit more manageable when your fears are written down in ink where you can see them?
- Brain dump.
There’s volumes of research on the value to our well-being of writing down our thoughts. Grab another piece of paper and writing down everything that comes to mind when you read the following prompt: I’m responding to student debt with fear because ___________….. No self-editing, no self-judging. Just write. This is a great exercise for getting a better grasp of why you’re afraid.
- Establish a 4-point plan of action by filling in the blank (as many times as you’d like) to each of the following action-steps below:
Daily, I’m going to reduce my student debt stress by __________.
I’m going to get support around dealing with my student debt by ___________.
The next practical step I’m going to take to begin conquering my student debt is to _____________.
The next time I feel overwhelm threatening to suck the energy out of me I’ll stop it in it’s tracks by ____________ (fill in the concrete action you’ll take. E.g. practice deep breathing, go for a walk to clear my head, use the brain dump tool etc.).
P.S. You’re not alone in struggling with overwhelm, and you definitely can choose to live your life, step by step, with strength and courage. Check out this great website by Caren Baginski for some great tools, and don’t forget to leave your comment below!