Tricks preventing brain overload

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Tricks preventing brain overload

Our brain is truly mind-boggling.  On the one hand, it’s an amazing work of intricate parts able to assemble and store an enormous amount of information.  But have you ever felt there’s no way you could possibly stuff any more information in it?  Does just thinking about your never-ending to-do list cause heightened anxiety?  This brain-drain of information overload may result in avoiding activities, misplacing things, struggling at work, home or in your relationships.

When you already have dozens of things swirling in your mind, how can you make it stop, at least momentarily?  While all of us will always have times of overwhelming stress from brain overload, there are strategies to handle it better.  Next time you feel your brain is about to explode from too many things to handle, use these 5 tricks:

1.      Whittle down your to-do list

If you procrastinate getting things done believing tomorrow is another day, stop.  The more your to-do list grows, the more likely you’ll feel pressure from everything that needs to be done. Prevent a long to-do list taking up precious mental space by simply getting them done. Start with the easiest first – replying to an email, shopping for groceries, buying a birthday card or scheduling a dentist appointment. Stop thinking and start doing. Move towards your tasks, tackling them one by one and discover how your tension lowers.

2.     Make lists and have a schedule

The more things you have to remember or do, the greater chance you will forget something. But, not if you write it down and keep a schedule. Rein in brain chaos by planning ahead.  Not only schedule those important appointments but also schedule in time for fun.  At the same time, write down your to-do list.  Visually seeing what you need to accomplish is helpful for reducing mental overload.

3.     Cross off what’s not important

Let’s say you make a to-do list but realize you haven’t done anything about it for months.  Ask yourself, will it make a difference or does it still matter if I do this or not?  If the answer is no, cross it off your list for good. Learn when it’s time to let go.  If not doing it has not affected you or others negatively, you can feel good about your decision. This may mean reassessing volunteer commitments or forgoing sending out holiday cards this year.  Anything causing you undue stress, may mean you need some mental downtime away from it.

4.      Spend less time on social media

Social media has completely overtaken our lives. From checking emails, catching up on various social media platforms, to using apps, it’s no wonder our brain has a hard time taking it all in.  Give your brain a break by practicing certain behaviors:

·      Check email only twice a day. Don’t allow yourself to be interrupted by notifications all the time.

·      Do not take your phone to bed at night preventing temptations to check it during the night. Completely disconnect by having it in another room.

·      Designate a window of time each day of when you will check in on social media platforms you follow.

5.     Ask for help

Sometimes the hardest thing to change is to ask help from others. Assistance from family and even friends can ease a busy mind when tasks become overwhelming. Just be as generous in lending others a helping hand in return.