As a man “overwhelm” is a word that rarely crops up in conversation. We often use other words to describe the feeling - stressed, pissed off etc and I truly believe that this is part of the problem. If we fail to pinpoint and acknowledge a problem then the problem is unlikely to go away. Let me tell you something, overwhelm is very real and it is deeply entwined and connected to other issues such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
Let’s look at the definition of “overwhelm” - swamped, submerged, engulfed, buried, and overloaded. All pretty significant words and all significantly more impactful and serious sounding than “overwhelmed” itself. That is why so many men brush it off as being trivial and brush it under the carpet.
Firstly we need to look at what being overwhelmed looks like in an everyday scenario
- Having financial difficulties
- Mounting issues at work
- Too much work
Some people deal with certain situations more effectively than others. But the key here is to highlight and acknowledge the problem at hand. It’s typical of us men to hide emotions away and bury our head in the sand when things get too much.
The next step is to define what it is that’s actually causing you to feel overwhelmed - no shit Sherlock I’m sure some of you are saying! But bear with me for a minute. How many times have you found yourself pissed off and you can’t actually put your finger on the reason why? Your wife or girlfriend, boss or just pissed off with life? This can often be because you’re feeling overwhelmed with an issue subconsciously. If we fail to acknowledge certain issues which is commonplace when we feel overwhelmed things can manifest internally and affect other areas of our life. Over time one problem suddenly causes numerous issues in our life and small manageable problems become bigger causing us to feel even more overwhelmed. It suddenly becomes a merry go round until the problem blows up and we find ourselves in shitville.
My tried and tested advice
A problem shared is a problem halved -
It might not be original but it’s very true. As with many things in life, getting somebodies opinion and insight can provide clarity and the answer could be staring you in the face, but because you’re feeling overwhelmed it can be hard to see certain scenarios clearly.
Acknowledge the problem at hand -
It’s hard to fix something if you don’t know what's causing the problem in the first place.
Clear your head and get some clarity -
That might be a walk, some form of exercise or breathing technique. My advice is something that allows your mind to wander somewhat. Slow cardio as opposed to high intensity. The key here isn’t to forget your problems it’s to think of them subjectively and process them with a clear frame of mind.
Take action -
Without it, the problem just becomes bigger and the burden of overwhelm increases. Think back to when you have taken action and felt worse for it. Exactly, it rarely happens.
Put your fucking phone down -
Let me repeat that...... PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE DOWN. Facebook, the Daily Mail website, and YouTube ain’t going help you, my friend. They will only add to your problems. Just to reiterate my point - PUT THE FUCKING PHONE DOWN.
As with most things in life we often play out all types of scenarios in our head and envisage the situation and outcome to be far worse than it actually is, or will be. Problems don’t go away on their own. Once you’ve highlighted and acknowledged what’s causing you to feel overwhelmed you will be in a better position to devise a plan of action and implement a clear and defined strategy to put things right.
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