Something to Remember When We Feel Overwhelmed (Part 2)

Earlier this week, I wrote part one of this post where I talked about a possible approach to take when you feel overwhelmed. Obviously, there are many things we can do when feeling overwhelmed (I even wrote about some of those things last year), but this two-part post is more about the thought process we have while feeling this way, and some thoughts we can stick to so that we don’t feel too overwhelmed.

The first thought process focused on trying to see a bigger picture outside of our struggle in the hopes that minimizing the situation helps take some of the pressure off. While the second approach is slightly different, I’m sharing it with the same intentions. Maybe it won’t make the feeling go away, but it might be enough to carry you through the moment. And that approach is part of this phrase: This too shall pass.

It’s a famous phrase, actually. Obviously, it’s not easy to talk like that anymore (do people still say shall?) but the attitude has stood the test of time. When I feel overwhelmed, sometimes the only way out is to remember that what I’m feeling isn’t permanent. That even though it’s a lot to handle, and it can be a lot to handle sometimes, it will pass.

But I won’t lie – getting on this train of thought requires repetition. And the repetition of a thought or phrase can be difficult when you don’t actually believe it at first. Sometimes it’s impossible (something I’ve told many therapists), to be honest. But I do think in this case, repetition can work. Because in the moment, you believe that the feeling will never go away. That you’ll always feel this way. And while we may not know when it will end, we know for that some point, that feeling can fade.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, and it can also feel like that feeling lasts for an eternity. Some might say that you shouldn’t give that feeling any power or acknowledge it’s impact, but that’s not what’s been most helpful to me. Instead, I focus on getting through that moment, however long it lasts, and try to get to the next one. When you get through the feeling, you become more equipped and stronger for next time you see that feeling again. And while it’s never easy, continuing to fight is worth it.

Robert Frost


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