9 Ways to Ease Overwhelm
Science-based ways to ease stress and regain peace
Posted Sep 28, 2016
Ever feel like you are constantly drinking from a firehose of information? We have more information (and stuff) coming at us than ever before. In 1976, supermarkets stocked, on average, 9,000 items. Today, they stock an average of 40,000 items. According to cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, information scientists have quantified how overwhelmed by information the poor human brain is. “In 2011, Americans took in five times as much information every day as they did in 1986–the equivalent of 175 newspapers. During our leisure time, not counting work, each of us processes 34 gigabytes or 100,000 words every day.”
That’s a lot of freaking information. No wonder we feel overwhelmed.
Here are 9 of my favorite ways to regain your peace:
- Make your bed. There is something true about the adage that the state of your bed is the state of your head.
- Set your phone to automatically go into silent mode an hour before your bedtime. Enjoy the stillness and quiet.
- Develop a way to “give good no.” As in: “Thank you so much for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me right now.”
- Turn off your TV unless you intend to watch something specific. Never watch commercials — record your show and skip through them.
- Eat at least one meal a day without doing anything else at the same time. No driving, reading, emotionally upsetting conversations, or email.
- Make decisions about routine things once. Buy the same brands at the grocery store every time; get the same outfit in different colors so you don’t have to decide what to wear every morning; prepare the same basic meals most week days.
- Clean out one drawer or shelf a day. Eventually, everything in your home will have a place, and this will make it easy to find what you need when you need it.
- Establish “predictable time off” with your colleagues and family. When will you commit to not working? Start with dinnertime, work up to weekends.
- Stop multi-tasking. It makes you error prone, and even though you think you’re getting more done, it’s actually quite inefficient.