It’s ok to not feel ok. We’ve all been down this road when stresses of life– big or small– become too overwhelming and then leave us literally frozen in action. Helpless. It’s a weird feeling when you feel helpless, worse when you are completely not in control and feel the walls closing in on you. It’s a spiral down the rabbit hole and you have nothing to grab onto and you don’t see the end of the tunnel. I cannot speak for everyone’s experiences and distresses but I can say that this feeling is temporary. Just breathe.
Personally, I have a few tricks that I do on my own to get over this overwhelming feeling. Even as someone who has a great network of friends and as someone who loves the social space, I still find it hard to open up to people. It truly takes a lot for me to really let the raw emotions and unfiltered thoughts out, even to my closest friends. I rationalize my implicit actions as not wanting to burden others with my troubles and worries but what I’m not realizing is how detrimental it is to my mental health.
Of course, unloading it off to someone who cares and listens is extremely helpful and soul-healing. But what if you are like me and you struggle to truly open yourself up to others? I talk to myself sometimes, out loud. It’s like practicing a speech, you hear everything: the raw emotions and feelings buried deep in your heart that are finally seeing the light of day. I see this as a baby step– to those who find it hard to open up intimately– to unleashing some of that burden like exhaling air from within. This is an exercise that you can do, again like practicing a speech, before you prep yourself to open up to someone close. You get over that initial stage fright and self-consciousness by hearing your own thoughts out loud.
I’m not saying this will solve your problems like magic but at least you can finally let it out and breathe. It helps you straighten out your thoughts and maybe, just maybe, you will find your path out of your distress. It’s like you are laying the problem or state of mind out in front of you and you have a chance to see it objectively. For a moment, you might even feel like you are in control again, seeing the pieces laid out and finding that solution. It’s a dialogue with yourself and it steers you away from suppressing your troubles inside you like poison killing you from within.
The key rule is: let it all out. I like to talk to really hear my thoughts out loud and it sometimes makes me realize that some things you just never say out loud. But you catch yourself in the act and think, “Is that true?” Then you begin to realize what you actually believe in deep down and that’s usually a starting point to reshaping your outlook on your situation.
Talking isn’t my only way of coping with distress– it’s just the usual go-to. Crying always helps. Yes, crying. It’s not a sign of weakness, no, it’s a way of relief. Other than the swelling aftermath of a good bawling, the tears have cleared your system; washing all the uncomfortableness, the sadness, the anger– whatever it may be– out of you. I’m usually a quiet person but when I’m alone in my car, driving to places, I sometimes put on some music that speaks to my mood and start singing along to it. Music always helps because you relate to the music and you can take comfort in the idea that someone else gets you. You are not alone.
So when you are feeling overwhelmed on a bad day but you are unsure how to bring it up to people, try these methods out. The key is to just let it all out. The first step might be hard and awkward because who likes to hear themselves talk, sing, or cry? Certainly not me but hey, no one is watching so this is the best time to do so. Believe me, everyone gets stressed out so we can all relate on some level. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, it’ll come a long way.