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Understanding Overwhelm and Mental Blocks

Overwhelm and mental blocks are common experiences in today’s fast-paced world, but they can be difficult to define. Overwhelm is a feeling of being completely consumed by a situation or task, while mental blocks refer to an inability to concentrate or generate new ideas. Both can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and even physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches.

According to Dr. Ashley Hampton, a licensed psychologist and owner of a private practice in Florida, overwhelm and mental blocks often stem from an inability to prioritise tasks effectively. She explains, “When we feel overwhelmed, we tend to view all tasks as equally important, which can make it difficult to prioritise and take action on anything.”

Identify what you need to do, not what you think you need to do

Research supports the idea that overwhelm and mental blocks are linked to confusion to identify what will create impact. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that employees who identified and prioritised their tasks effectively were less likely to experience stress and burnout than those who did not.

The Impact of Mindset

Our mindset can greatly impact how we perceive and handle overwhelm and mental blocks. According to Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to view challenges as opportunities for growth, while those with a fixed mindset may view challenges as threats to their abilities.

Research supports the idea that mindset can impact our ability to handle stress and overcome mental blocks. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals with a growth mindset were better able to regulate their emotions and cope with stress than those with a fixed mindset.

 

“Personally I think a growth mindset can make things alot more complex, but what do I know?” – Self Drive Psychology

 

Autism and Burnout

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be more prone to burnout due to the demands of navigating a world that is not always accommodating to their needs. According to a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, individuals with ASD may experience burnout due to social and sensory overload, as well as a lack of support and understanding from others.

To reduce the risk of burnout, it’s important for individuals with ASD to prioritise self-care and advocate for their needs. Dr. Hampton suggests, “Individuals with ASD can benefit from using sensory tools such as noise-canceling headphones or weighted blankets, as well as seeking out support from friends and family members who understand their needs.”

Perfectionism and Overthinking

Perfectionism and overthinking are common traits that can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and mental blocks. Dr. Hampton explains, “Individuals who are highly sensitive or have perfectionistic tendencies may be more prone to overthinking and high unrelenting standards, which can make it difficult to prioritise tasks effectively.”

Research supports the idea that perfectionism and overthinking can impact our ability to handle stress and overcome mental blocks. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals with high levels of perfectionism were more likely to experience negative emotions and be less satisfied with their lives than those with lower levels of perfectionism.

Strategies for Reducing Pressure

To reduce the pressure on ourselves and start prioritising tasks effectively, it’s important to practice self-care, break tasks down into smaller steps, and adjust our mindset. According to Dr. Hampton, “Taking care of ourselves is crucial to avoiding burnout and mental blocks. We should prioritise activities that bring us joy and relaxation, such as exercise, spending time with loved ones, or indulging in a hobby.”

Breaking tasks down into smaller steps can also be helpful for reducing overwhelm and mental blocks. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, individuals who broke tasks down into smaller steps were more likely to complete them successfully than those who did not.

Adjusting our Mindset with Compassion

Finally, adjusting our mindset can greatly impact how we perceive and handle stress. One strategy for adjusting our mindset is to practice gratitude and compassion. Research has shown that individuals who practice gratitude are more resilient and better able to cope with stress than those who do not. Another strategy is to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, instead of thinking “I’ll never be able to finish this task,” try thinking “This task may be challenging, but I’ve faced challenges before and succeeded.”

It’s important to note that taking time out to recover can feel like an even bigger burden if our mindset is not in the right place. If we’re constantly thinking about all the things we should be doing instead of taking a break, it can be challenging to fully relax and recharge.

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, individuals who took a break during the workday were more productive and had lower levels of stress than those who did not. This suggests that taking time out to recover can actually increase our productivity in the long run.

However, not everyone finds it easy to take time out for themselves. Some people may feel guilty about taking a break, while others may feel like they don’t have the time or resources to do so.

To reduce the pressure on ourselves and start prioritising self-care, it’s important to challenge these negative thoughts and beliefs. We can start by asking ourselves, “What’s the worst that could happen if I take a break?” and “How can I make time for self-care in my busy schedule?”

By challenging negative thoughts and beliefs, we can start to create a more positive and self-compassionate mindset that prioritises our wellbeing.

In conclusion, overwhelm and mental blocks are common experiences that can be difficult to overcome. However, by understanding the impact of mindset, recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals with ASD, addressing perfectionism and overthinking, and implementing strategies for reducing pressure, we can begin to prioritise tasks effectively and overcome these obstacles. Remember, it’s okay to take a break and give yourself the time and space you need to recharge. By taking care of ourselves and adjusting our mindset, we can reduce stress and achieve our goals.

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