Dealing with Life’s Chaos

Often, life seems overwhelming – absolutely, positively overwhelming. Health challenges, expenses, career issues, perhaps children to care for, we can find ourselves, seemingly all of a sudden, dragged into a swirling maelstrom that seems to be going nowhere but down. What to do? What indeed?

Here are some ideas that might prove helpful when life seems overwhelming:

Breathe – I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I get stressed I realize I am taking somewhat shortened breaths. It is the kind of breathing that takes place when I am afraid. There is no more fundamental activity to sustain life than to breathe. We can go without water for a few days and can go without food for even longer. However, if we stop breathing for a few minutes, we are gone.

When I am really stressed, taking a breathing break helps. Some people do meditation, others do self-hypnosis. To me, those seem like reasonable things to investigate. I simply take a few minutes, sit in a quiet spot and calmly breathe in and out. It helps to center me.

*Note: The above information is not medical advice. If you have trouble breathing, contact your physician.

Make a List – Do you feel like life is closing in on you from all sides, that there is too much to do and not enough time to do it? I know that feeling. Making a list can help. Write down everything you need to do. Put things in priority order, from what is most important to what is least important. Then, step by step, begin doing things on the list. When you have finished the first task on the list, cross it off and go to the next one.

Seek Help – We might take breathing breaks, meditate, make lists and still feel quite stressed. Perhaps, seeking professional help might prove valuable. Sometimes, the act of simply talking to someone about our fears and perceived burdens can bring us some relief. Professional help can be worthwhile. Not only will these professionals listen to what we have to say, based on their training they can help guide us in ways that can help alleviate our stress levels.

Always remember, when the sky is gray and things seem grim, the sun will shine another day. When we are overwhelmed, we can help bring sunshine to our own lives by taking action.

Image courtesy of [Evgeni Dinev] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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