Overwhelmed? Try These Steps to Peace--and Your Clear Next
by Diane Eble, CHCCP and editor of The Healing Code
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all that’s coming at you,
all there is to do or decide?
I know I do. As someone with the inborn trait of High Sensitivity (or
Sensory Processing Sensitivity, its technical term), I take in a lot more information than non-HSPs, and process it
more deeply. Understanding this has hugely helped me to understand what’s going on, but I still have to deal with
On top of that, there’s this tendency to “overthink” things. One of my gifts is that I can often
see down the road to just how something will play out, for me or others. I’m usually right. However, I’m finding
that you still have to walk through all the steps to get there. (I just want to leap frog to the end that I can see
So what do you do when you have to make decisions and move ahead, when there’s so much to sort
through and it’s difficult even to know what’s most important to do so you can set
Remember that famous quote by
Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind? ("I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another
day.") That's what we feel like doing, isn't it? There are times when we do have to just
take a break, but you know
the “mañana” attitude doesn’t get you very far in life.
Here’s what I’ve found helpful.
Step 1: Pray. I pray for wisdom, knowing that God
desires to give it and to guide me.
Prayer also reminds me that it’s not all up to me, that there’s a lot I can’t control, and that a
loving God desires to help me.
One of my favorite verses is, “For I, the LORD your
God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps
you’” (Isaiah 41:13). Such tenderness and kindness in that
Here’s another one of my favorite promises: “The
LORD himself goes before you, and is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be discouraged; do
not be afraid” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
this: " Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Acknowledge Him, in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight"
Reminding myself of these promises from God’s Word helps me to trust that he will guide and help
me as I step out in faith.
Step 2: List out all the things that I’m dealing with, all the
decisions to be made. This is how I mind map. I do this on paper
usually, to get things out of my head, where it can feel overwhelming. Seeing it all written out helps me look
at everything more objectively.
Step 3: Triage the decisions. When I’m facing a lot
of decisions and not sure what to do, I look at the probable outcomes of acting now, acting later, or not acting at
all. The decisions that have the worst outcomes if I don’t act now get priority. The trick here is to make sure you
take into account the not-so-obvious, and/or longer-term consequences.
Conversely, you can ask the famous One
“What’s the ONE
Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or
Between looking at the worst outcomes and the one thing that will yield the best results, it
should become easier to prioritize. But there are other factors to consider.
Step 4: Clarify what I do and don’t want. I have a
tool for this that I use with some of my clients, which helps tremendously to clarify my real desires and fears.
It’s important to take these into account as well, because fears can block you and desires can fuel you into
getting what you want.
Step 5: Tune in to my Heart and intuition. Having
gathered all this information, I then pray again and tune into my Heart/Spirit. I know there are factors of which
my spirit or subconscious may be aware, that my mind is not. I have learned to trust that vehicle of transmission
from Spirit to mind, my intuition. I wait to things to “jell” into a Clear Next Step.
Once I get that Clear Next Step, I then have peace. All I need to focus on is my own Clear Next
Step. Everything else is up to God and perhaps other people to do their parts.
Another important thing: I don’t proceed until I get that Next Clear Step. I continue to
pray, and wait. I only act when I have a Clear Next Step.
This is a process, a continual process.
Often when I take one Clear Next Step, the next clear step presents itself. If it doesn’t, I wait
and pray, or go through the above process again.
Try this with any decisions or tasks that tend to overwhelm you, and let me know what
And if you would like help with this or any other “heart issue,” check out my coaching