Not By Chance Podcast

Overcoming Overwhelm

February 12, 2020 Season 1 Episode 12
Not By Chance Podcast
Overcoming Overwhelm
Chapters
Not By Chance Podcast
Overcoming Overwhelm
Feb 12, 2020 Season 1 Episode 12
Dr. Tim Thayne

Dr. Tim Thayne talks about overwhelm and stress. He acknowledges the universal nature of this frequent emotion and even opens up about his own recent struggles and how he dealt with it. He offers several easily implemented ideas that will help you know how to overcome your overwhelm and even nurture optimism and hope.

Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Tim Thayne talks about overwhelm and stress. He acknowledges the universal nature of this frequent emotion and even opens up about his own recent struggles and how he dealt with it. He offers several easily implemented ideas that will help you know how to overcome your overwhelm and even nurture optimism and hope.

Speaker 1:
0:01
If you're not excited right now, you better check your pulse because you might be dead.
Speaker 2:
0:09
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
0:09
welcome to the not by chance podcast. I'm Talmage Tim Thane son and podcast manager. Today dr Thane is going to be talking about something that everybody in the world has gone through at one point or another. The title of today's episode is overcoming overwhelm.
Speaker 1:
0:32
Today I'm picking a topic to discuss that I'm currently living and it it comes from my maybe own my own personal need to deal with this issue and it is stress and overwhelm. My life is filled beyond a capacity at the moment. Some of it's negative, some of it's positive, but there's a lot going on. But you know what? This is normal and that's why I think that most of you out there listening, you might be going through a period of your life right now where you're stressed out that your overwhelmed too. There was a study done in 2018 by the mental health foundation and this study looked at 5,000 participants and asked them the questions to identify how stressed out they were. And it came down to 74% of the people that were responding to the survey had felt unable to cope with life at that time or some time in the, in the very recent past.
Speaker 1:
1:38
That's a big number. 74% of people struggle with stress to the point that they struggle with coping. And what does that look like? Obviously when we're not coping well, there's a lot of things that could manifest. It could be depression, anxiety, irritability. It could be, um, things like compulsive behaviors coming out, addiction and, uh, you know, substance abuse, et cetera. It could be trouble sleeping trouble, uh, with, with health issues. All of that can be associated with stress and overwhelm. So it's a big deal. You know, I, I like to joke with my kids a lot when it comes to things that are, I guess the human condition. And I use the same phrase over and over again and they like to row they, they roll their eyes, they do smile though. I'll tell you they think it's funny deep down, but I'll say something like, if, if we're kind of in an exciting situation, that should be, they should be excited and they look a little bit bored.
Speaker 1:
2:41
I'll say something like, if you're not excited right now, you better check your pulse because you might be dead. And of course they rolled their eyes at that. Well, the same is true with this idea. If you're not stressed right now, if you're not feeling overwhelmed a little bit from time to time and maybe even struggling to cope, you better check your pulse because you might be dead. That is the human condition. It's, it's part of life. I think it was set up that way and it's meant to stretch us and test us to help us to grow. We know that stress can be positive if there's not too much stress, it can be a good thing. It's stretching us out of our comfort zone where hopefully growing and developing dimensions of ourselves and our talents that wouldn't otherwise come out. But it can be too much too.
Speaker 1:
3:36
And that's where all these bad things can happen. And so what do we do about that? Um, the reality is stress in a family life, for example, let's say at one of the parents is severely stressed out for one reason or another, there's no way for that person to be an Island. They are going to do some things. Maybe, maybe they don't have the patience they normally would. Maybe it gets worse than that. And that starts to affect everyone. I remember as a very young child looking at my mom and I was so tuned into her emotions and she's, by the way, not a person that ever would tell you she's having a bad day. She is the one of the most steady stable people I know because she kind of keeps her negative emotions to herself. But I remember being so tuned into her that I loved it when she would get into get into a half gallon of ice cream and scooper out some, some ice cream in a bowl because I knew that I could look at her and she looked so happy when she was eating ice cream.
Speaker 1:
4:44
And I remember telling him, telling her, I love to see her eat ice cream. She said, why? And I said, because you look happy. And that that's true if we look stressed. I looked in the mirror today and I'm like, I look tired. I look, you know what's wrong with me? I look like I've aged and I'm a little worried that this being videoed right now because I don't look my best at the moment. And I think stress is taking a toll. Let me just give you a little nut not to have a pity party or have you feel bad about me or anything else, but let me just tell you kind of a little bit of what's going on with me so that you can say, Oh yeah, Tim is stressed out like I am. You know, he understands. Um, so it's been about a year, about a year ago or so that I took over the role at Homeward bound of enrollment director.
Speaker 1:
5:39
The problem with that is that I already had two or three other hats. You know, we're starting rally as to technology that's going to uh, we hope dramatically improve outcomes after treatments. We've had have high hopes for that and, and a lot of passion, a lot of drive and it takes a ton of energy to do that. So that's going on. I already had the, some of the other hats at Homeward bound and then I had to put on the enrollment director hat. That means that I get to speak to every single parent that calls into Homeward bound and wants to know about our services. That sounds good. But then you add that to everything else. I guess the good part about that is it's been so fun to get back in touch with the, with all the parents to really understand again at a, at a close distance what they're going through.
Speaker 1:
6:30
But it's been, it's been too much on top of that. There was a point in time, well, you know, I could go through a lot of things. You know, it's, it's my, my family and anybody who has children, you worry about each one for different reasons and you just want the very best for them. So that's another added stressor in your life. Uh, there's, there's other things in the church and responsibilities there that takes time and effort and concern for different people. Uh, there's, there's just my personal help. You know, there was a time last year I went in and checked in with the doctor and I had no energy. I ran about a block and it wasn't long before that I was running a couple miles and was okay, but a block had to stop, found out that I didn't have enough blood and, and all of that.
Speaker 1:
7:23
So all of that together is really kinda been difficult and I've been overwhelmed. I woke up this morning though with this kind of this sense of hope and, and that's what struck me as I want to talk about overwhelm and how do, how do we gain hope in that situation and how do we start to turn it around so that we are, we're not behind the eight ball when it comes to stress. We're actually managing it well because life is coming at us. We've got to get good at dealing with stress and managing it in the right way. So that's what this is about today.
Speaker 1:
8:01
So let's talk about a few of the things that, that we can do. First of all, I think it's really important for us to not just have it be this massive stress that we really haven't defined where it's coming from and what we can do to take action on it. We need to start by really identifying what is it that stressing me out. You know, I might have this underlying feeling of stress and anxiety, but if I don't put my finger on it and identify it, then there's very little I can do. I'm just kind of stuck in this place. So that would be one thing. No, yet it's about your knowledge of the stress, you know, self-awareness, looking inside, really understanding where it's coming from. And then you know, your, you know, your target, right? Uh, that's of the preparation. So I'd say tip number one or strategy number one is your own knowledge and your own preparation in dealing with stressful situations and events in your life.
Speaker 1:
9:08
That'd be the first thing. The next thing is really, um, your ability to manage your emotions in, in any given sift situation. That's something we all can develop. We can develop strategies for that. You know, what we see with teens, for example, when they first come into a treatment setting, they, um, may be pulled out of their home, for example, because they're, they're really in a place that they're not going anywhere and may even be, uh, on a track that could be incredibly detrimental to their future. And so their parents have to make the really difficult decision of placing them in a treatment program. Well, the first thing they do is they start using all the old coping resources they have to try and get out of the situation they're in. They'll start to maybe tell their parents stories that are not true, like, you know, the staffer mean or abusive or they might, uh, so try to manipulate their parents who are, get them to take them out early.
Speaker 1:
10:15
So that's a coping strategy that they, they might use. It's not a productive one though. And so they kind of have to go through all the old coping strategies they've had in the past and then look at that and say, wow, that's not really helping me right now. And then there might be ready to say what are other ways to start to feel better? And that's when good treatment starts to take effect. Well, we can apply that to ourselves too. You know, what, what are the coping strategies we've used in the past? It might be Netflix. I mean, think about it. We might be stressed and overwhelmed. So instead of addressing the thing that's stressing us, we escape into watching movies or we escape into a gaming addiction or reading a novel or something like that. So things that could be fairly benign might actually be the the thing in the way for us to actually start to address the issue in the right way.
Speaker 1:
11:15
So that's something I'd say is, you know, know what the issue is and then start to work on your ability to manage that stress and that challenge in your emotions in a good way. We've all heard about self-soothing, for example, you know, Darwin practicing self-soothing techniques. Do we think that we don't need techniques because somehow we can handle it in a different way. I'd say, you know, try it. Practice some of those things. Practice mindfulness, practice breathing, intentionally practice. Noticing the intrusive thoughts of all the worries and issues that are coming into your mind at rapid pace and see if you can quiet your mind. Pretty powerful stuff out there if we'll tap into some of those techniques. Another thing I'd say with really being aware and insightful about what's going on is we can start to put together a plan and prioritize, you know, if for example, we're just overwhelmed with things and we don't know where to start, kind of lining them up and saying, you know, if I tack tackle this thing first, I'm going to have the clear mind to then tackle, uh, issue number two or start to address issue number two.
Speaker 1:
12:40
Also, if you line them up over time, you can say, that's something I'm going to tackle later. That just clears that out of your mind. That takes some weight off you. You can, you can start with the first thing. And the thing I feel about, uh, this is, that's so powerful about this idea is that when, whenever we put a lot of our energy towards the thing that matters the most, we will see traction start to take place in our life. And when we see progress happening, that gives us hope, right? It's like, Hey, I'm tackling this thing, I'm doing it well, and I can see alternatives. And where I didn't see alternatives in the past. Now I do. And suddenly hope starts to, to really play a role in the energy we have, the confidence we have, the, the way we approach that problem.
Speaker 1:
13:34
So I'd say, you know, that next thing after, uh, working on our abilities to handle our emotions would be to create a plan to move ourselves out of that place of being overwhelmed. Focus on what you can do today. That's the next thing. You know, there's, there's the worries about all the stuff we got to do in the future or things that could happen, fears about what might happen. There's all the things in the past that we could have negative feelings about or we could, uh, we could be carrying with us into the future. But the thing that matters is what's in front of me right now. And if my stressor has to do with, um, something at work, you know, the best thing I could do is prioritize what I'm trying to do there and just deal with what's right in front of me and to give all my effort, you know, my complete, uh, presence to that, be in that moment and do it to your very best of our ability.
Speaker 1:
14:33
And at that point, all we can do is say we did our best and we made progress there. And then when I go home at night, now what is it that's right in front of me? It's my family. How do I bring my best to that and let go of the things that may have, uh, may otherwise be carried home with me from work? So create the plan, develop a focus, and, and that really has to do a sense of control. You know, part of the problem with being overwhelmed is if we feel like we have no control over the way we feel, but if we have a plan and are starting to kind of tackle those things one at a time and letting go, the things that we can't tackle right now, the sense of control will come back and overwhelm will start to abate and move, move backwards.
Speaker 1:
15:22
Another thing is don't feel like you got to do big things to make a difference. I think that a number of small things can be done that will start to turn the tide. Um, for me this morning there was this feeling of we might have the right person for a particular role here at Homeward bound that would take that enrollment director hat off me. And so we've been just, you know, putting the word out. We've been advertising the, the, the, uh, the job. We've had some great applicants come in and with every interview I do, and with every person that applies, it's interesting that sense of control and sense of weaken effect. The future is growing. And so, uh, as we are narrowing, narrowing it down to the person that we think we want to offer the job to, it is really already lifting the burden and guess what?
Speaker 1:
16:21
Nobody's here yet helping me with this hat but it's close. And so that sense of overwhelm is starting to go backwards. Um, the, the, so the new hire, another thing that started to happen as a result of that is I started to have some ideas for some of the challenges at work, new ideas that started to started to come to me. And the next thing I would say is connection to others. Major, major source of dealing with stress and overwhelm is to have somebody that you can communicate with face to face, that you can sit with them and they're a good listener and they are good reflector and they can give you a perspective that you can't because you're in the weeds dealing with, with those issues that you're dealing with, you have someone that can do that for you. Luckily for me, I'm married to one of those people and I just found out today that she has been deliberately skipping her morning routine, which I feel bad about in a way.
Speaker 1:
17:25
You know, it includes, you know, just, just meditation time, prayer time, uh, physical exercise time for her planning her day and she's been instead staying with me in the morning and talking to me. And sure enough, you know, some of that overwhelm is, is, is going away because she has been there to talk to me. So find in your life that you can connect with that can listen my hope for you. So those are a lot of those things that, that are there. You know, there's some other things, obviously eating right, getting the sleep that we need, learning to actually disconnect from our cell phones and disconnect from the stressors in our lives that we can't do anything about right now. Uh, learn those skills to do that. All of that is good. My hope for you that are listening today is that you can access your strengths.
Speaker 1:
18:22
All of you have strengths. All of us have strengths. You know, just like we all have stress, we actually all have strengths too and that we can use those to build new strengths and new abilities and expand our capacity. I hope also for you that you can in prioritize what's important and that you can find a way to let go of a few things and maybe a lot of things that really don't matter that maybe you're holding onto that that you shouldn't be. And the third thing I just hope for you is hope itself. I want you to feel the enlivening energy and the wonderful feeling of having hope when you have maybe had a dark cloud over you for a long time. And I'd say capture that moment. Begin to plan something. Take the first few steps towards creating action, developing your knowledge about the stressors in your life, focus on the good things and the progress that's happening and watch as stress starts to dissipate in your life and you'll make room for more and more wonderful things. I hope you can share some of these thoughts with people that you love, that you can also practice these things and see the benefits of that in your life. Thank you so much for listening and please share this with others.
Speaker 1:
19:51
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. We're really grateful for the people that have been commenting and sharing these episodes, and we're excited to hear how you've taken the things you've learned and made your family's life not by chance.
×

Listen to this podcast on