22 Jun Feeling overwhelmed from teenage problems
Growing up is a time to find your purpose in life, to discover your identity. Some of the decisions you need to make such as choosing a career, further education, and defining your own personal beliefs and values only comes from experiencing ups and downs – and you will encounter a whole host of teenage problems. Now is a time in your life to ask questions, to be curious and above all, enjoy yourself. You will rise above obstacles if you choose to focus on the ups and learn from the downs.
Feeling overwhelmed happens – rise above it
Feeling overwhelmed can be a regular occurrence, but it’s not about having too much homework, a long to-do list or having no pocket money! It’s way bigger than that.
Feeling overwhelmed is a state of not knowing which way to turn or what to do first. The situation can feel so big that you might fall into a state of hopelessness where you can feel paralysed. It often feels like the easy option to do nothing! This is not the best option.
“Our greatest battles are with our minds.” Jameson Frank
Feeling out of your depth – step up and step out!
Being overwhelmed is a loss of control. Can you think of a time in the past when you felt this way?
Maybe you don’t understand a mathematical equation or you’ve been given the responsibility to organise a presentation at school and it’s way out of your comfort zone because you have to manage other students. What have you experienced over the past year, at school, at home or within a social setting, where you have felt truly out of your depth?
• What do you think caused this feeling of being overpowered?
• Was it something you did or didn’t do?
• Was it something that someone else did or didn’t do?
Tackling teenage problems and overwhelming feelings
Let’s get some perspective on feeling overwhelmed and think about a current situation you are going through.
Consider the following questions – what is worrying you right now?
- What is your main bugbear and what are you uncertain of?
- If you could choose to create a positive outcome for this situation, what would it be?
- How would you feel? (Think about your situation as a blockbuster movie and what the happy ending would be)
- Is the thing you’re anxious about in your control? Remember, you cannot control the outside world.
- If the answer is yes, list five ways to make the outcome less scary and unknown.
- Think about what you need to do to get ready. What do you need to organise or find out?
- Are there times, routes, or access information you need to source?
If you don’t feel ready for something that is about to change or something that you need to do it’s because you don’t feel in full control of the situation. Planning ahead and asking questions about the future will help you to be more prepared, relaxed and less overwhelmed!
There is a PDF available on the website to help you with this activity.
When you feel like it’s hard to be superman/woman in all things in life
Remember this … you do not need superpowers to be remarkable.
Part of the problem of feeling overwhelmed is how you perceive yourself. If you can overcome hindering behaviours, a big one of which is feeling overwhelmed, is to acknowledge them. Once you have done this you can work through them.
When you tackle each task be present in the present and remove all distractions. Choose an environment where you feel comfortable … in the garden, in your bedroom, or in a café with a view, and take in some deep breaths before you begin. If you are able to check in with nature I guarantee you’ll feel more grounded. It’s important to look after yourself.
I couldn’t possibly ask for help
Even though you are learning the skills to stay in control of your emotions and situations, it can help to ask for support. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, but you may see it as a sign of weakness. It’s not. People love to be asked to help, because it makes them feel worthy and wanted.
When you next start to feel overwhelmed, ask yourself, ‘in order for this to be done, does it have to be me?’
Think about who else could help? Friends, family, teachers, mentors or trainers? Working with others can make a daunting task appear much easier and will be quicker too.
“Nobody is perfect, so stop trying to be perfect.” Lisa Lieberman-Wang
If you want to explore this concept in more detail, please read my other book “PerfectShun – Permission to be Human.” It’s packed full of insightful information and useful exercises to get stuck into and strengthen your resilience.
Choose the life you want to lead
It is safe to say that you will encounter teenage problems as you grow into an adult. You have to go through testing experiences because it’s the only way for you to become stronger. If you are challenged and stretched you are able to become more resourceful through newfound knowledge and skills developed from your experience. Share these with the Back on Track community and let us know what has worked and what hasn’t.
Believe in yourself and you’ll soon start to cope well with teen pressures and overwhelming feelings will subside or be much easier to cope with.