As busy mom’s with demanding schedules and hectic lives, we oftentimes find ourselves drowning in stress and overwhelm and it takes everything we can to keep our heads above the water. But is this what God really desires for our lives?

In this episode, Lorissa shares some tools from her toolbox on how to manage stress and overwhelm and how to live full and vibrant lives filled with joy and peace.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Subscribe: iTunes

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW

Click Here for a full transcript of the show.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to episode 35 of Made For Greatness. I am your host today. Lorrisa Horn, and we are talking about a topic today that’s near and dear to my heart, and that is stress and overwhelm. I know you might be thinking, okay, Laura said near and dear to your heart, what are you talking about? Well, let’s just say this. I’ve spent a lot of time living a life, filled completely with stress and overwhelm. And I’ve also lived the last several years of my life, studying stress and overwhelm and learning how to manage it in my life. And so I hope that you have some powerful takeaways from this episode today. Hope that there’s something in here that can help you. And because I just know that God desires for us in our lives to not be consumed with stress and overwhelm it’s in scripture over and over.

We see God’s speaking to our hearts, telling us he wants to give us his peace. He desires for us to trust in him, to not be consumed by the things of this world, to not have anxiety. All of that we see over and over in scripture. So we know that when we’re living lives filled with stress and overwhelm, we know that that’s not God’s dream for us. And I knew that very clearly that became very clear to me in my own life, that although I was doing a lot of things to build up his kingdom, I was not doing it in a way that he desired for me to do it. I know that he did not want me to live like that. So maybe if you find yourself kind of relating to what I’m saying today, hopefully some of my tips can help you also, if this is an area that you really struggle in, I want to let you know that in our master’s program, we have a very comprehensive course on stress and overwhelm.

I’ll share a little bit more about that at the end, but I wanted to let you know that everything that I have learned and everything that I’ve experienced in, in the process of learning, how to manage my mind around stress and overwhelm, I have shared that completely in a full extensive course in our master’s program. So I know a lot of our masters members have gone through that. They’ve, they’ve sent me emails, they’ve expressed to me how powerful that has been for them. And I just want to let you know that that’s available. If it’s something that you would like to dive into now, let’s get started. I’m going to just share very quickly, kind of my backstory. I go into depth with this in, in our program. But for many years, you know, here I was you know, got married and then we had five children and under five years, and at that time I was working full time taking on extra projects and putting on events outside of my, my job.

And my husband was working full time. So we just had a lot going on. There’s no wonder when you’re, when you’re having babies and toddlers and you’re pregnant and all of that. I mean, it makes for the perfect storm, as far as stress and overwhelm laundry out of control the house, always a mess getting very little sleep, all of that. So I just felt like I was living in a vacuum of stress and overwhelm. And for much of those earlier years in my marriage and, and in raising children, I felt that all of the stress and overwhelm was caused by the circumstances in my life that I had very little control over. For example, I couldn’t just ship my kids away. Not that I would have wanted to, but the reality of having that many children was that was our reality. I’ve after having them, I couldn’t change that.

I couldn’t change the fact that I needed to be. I was a working mother. I needed to be a working mother at that time, and I couldn’t change that. And so I just felt very much like stress note. Like I was a victim to stress and overwhelm that this was just my reality because we had so many things going on. And so I always felt like I had no control over it. I felt out of control most of the time. And in many ways I just believed that this was my life, that I was going to be living this life of stress and overwhelm. And it was just kind of a part of my identity of who I was as a busy working

Mom. And

And I started, I really learned how to just live with it. It just became part of my daily existence. And until it got to a point where, where I couldn’t live with it anymore, it really, and this is what happens with stress. It really starts to wreak havoc on our bodies. It starts to Rob us of the joy that we should be experiencing in our life. It absolutely robbed me of any peace and it really started to affect my marriage. It started to affect my relationships, how I was showing up every day. Because here we are, we’re moms we’re having these children, but stress causes you to act very irritable, to feel irritable, you’re snappy and short with the people that matter most in your life. But for me, it also took on some very drastic health issues. And there was a time that I was you know, had a bunch of kids.

It was baseball season, my life, the stress and overwhelm in my life, amped up. I had an, a number of kids on different teams. My husband was coaching one of the teams, we were going in a million different directions. And I know that any moms out there who have kids in baseball, like you totally get what I’m saying, because it just amps up your stress level when you’re, you know, going from game to game at different parks and practices. And and so my stress level went up significantly. At this point, I was pregnant with my sixth child and started showing really major symptoms of what I thought I was. I thought I was having a heart attack, but excessive weight on my chest where I couldn’t breathe like tingling sensations in my body where my like, arms would go numb or my legs, my feet would go numb.

My lips were turning purple. I just really couldn’t breathe. And I was like day after day was having these symptoms that just kept getting worse and worse and being pregnant. And I didn’t, you know, it was, it was definitely freaking me out. And I was reading all this stuff about heart attack tax, and it was absolutely like 36 years old that I was having a massive heart attack so much. So that one night during a baseball game, I couldn’t breathe. And I had my husband take me to the hospital and after hours worth of tests my doctor came in and assured me that my heart was fine, but he looked me straight in the eyes and said to me, is it possible that you have some stress in your life? Like I remember like laugh, even when he said that. And I said, yes, it is.

I’m very stressed out. And he said to me, he said, well, I think what’s happened is I think you’ve actually had a series of anxiety attacks. And he asked me, have you ever had an anxiety attack before? And I said, no, I don’t. Not that I’m aware of. And so we kind of sat down and talked about that. And that was kind of my first eyeopening experience to the stress, the anxiety, the overwhelm, all of that, that was really starting to have physical consequences my life. And it was at that point, it was kind of a rock bottom moment. It was also just this time in my life where I really went to God and I started praying and I, I kept crying out to him saying, Lord, here I am like, we’re trying to be open to life. We are trying to build up your kingdom. We’re doing, you know, these ministry events, all of this,

And yet

I can barely function. And I remember asking him, is this really the dream that you have for my life? Is this how you, is this what you want for me? And it was, his voice was so loud and Claire, and he like whispered into my heart, Larissa, I have such big dreams for your life, but this is not part of that dream, the stress, the overwhelm, the anxiety. It is not part of my dream for your life. And in hearing that so loud and clear, I realized that I needed to get this under control. I knew it wasn’t God’s dream for my life. I knew that he had a big dream for my life and that I knew that if I really trusted in him that he would show me his dream and it would be a dream without the stress and overwhelm. And yet I also knew that I needed to become my greatest advocate.

I also knew that I needed to figure this out and I didn’t, I didn’t know how to figure it out, except that I knew enough to know that I could start researching and start finding out how I could deal with this. And that’s what I did. I dove head first into reading everything I could about stress, trying to understand how stress works in our bodies, what causes stress, what are the hormones that are released when we experienced stress and how do those affect our body? How do they affect our emotions? All of that. And I did a deep dive. I just wanted to understand really what was happening to me on a psychological level and emotional level of physiological level, spiritual level. I wanted to try to understand why I was a person that could so easily get stressed

Out. And

And so I really did. I spent a couple years trying to figure it out and there’s a lot, and this is what I really, you know, dive into in our master’s program. And it’s, it’s so much more than I can share in one single podcast, but what it came down to is I discovered that the stress in my life and that especially the overwhelm was self-induced now what I mean by that is it, I definitely, it is a reality that I have a lot of stuff going on in my life and that I certainly did at that time. I do even more so today, but the stress wasn’t coming from the circumstances in my life, the stress was coming from the thoughts that I was having about it. And to me, understanding that was the start of something incredibly profound. That’s what began to change everything.

And it led me down this path to learning about life coaching. I didn’t, I stumbled upon life coaching in my search for trying to overcome stress and overwhelm. And it was ultimately through life coaching that I discovered the tools that could help me to manage my mind, which is ultimately what helps me manage my stress and overwhelm. And what I came to understand was that for many years, I believed that my stress was caused by things that were out of control out of my control. And I was just living as a, you know, as a result of everything in my life, all the stuff that I had in my life, the children, the work, you know, running from game to game and activity. I thought that that was causing me the stress when ultimately it was my thoughts about all of that, that was causing me my stress.

I want to give you an example of a situation that maybe can shed some light on this. I want you to imagine you’re in an airplane, you’re flying somewhere. And all of a sudden the pilot comes on and says okay, passengers, we are about to hit some major turbulence, make sure your, your seatbelts are fastened. Just sit down. And just, I just want to give you this warning. We’re about to hit some major turbulence. And so you’re sitting there, you’re like, okay, great, thanks for the warning. You Fasten your seatbelt. You brace yourself for some turbulence and sure enough, a few moments later, you get into some major turbulence, the plane is bouncing around your, you know, it drops. And then it goes back up and it’s kind of moving side to side and it gets worse and worse and worse like, oh, you know, you start praying, okay, God.

And all of a sudden there’s a major crash. And some things go flying in the cabin. And all of a sudden someone on the plane starts freaking out like hysterically, like screaming, crying, yelling out, like we’re gonna die. And then, you know, other people are on the, you know, you hear somebody else on the plane starting to cry. And then there’s people on the, on the plane that are praying. And it’s just one of those kind of scary emergency situations. And all of a sudden you realize that people handle these types of things completely different. And I wanted to just say this. I was kind of like a person on the plane when things get stressful for me, I used to kind of panic freak out. My brain would go to that place of like,

Oh my gosh, I can’t handle

This. There’s too much going on. And I would, my brain would go into freak out mode and the stress, I would magnify the stress in my brain and in such a way that it would consume me. And this just shows how, you know, our human brains work. Some people like, you know, some times our brain is really calm and collected and other times our brain totally freaks out. But we know in emergency situations, we’ve all probably been in enough emergency situations to know that when people freak out in a situation like that, it doesn’t help the situation. It just, it makes us, it makes it worse for everyone as somebody who’s like screaming hysterically, that’s not going to help the turbulence. It’s not going to magically make the turbulence go away just because someone is screaming or freaking out. It’s why emergency personnel, like they’re trained to calm people down in those types of situations because it just doesn’t help to totally freak out.

But the recently the reason somebody is freaking out is because they’re not able to manage their thoughts. They just go into this place in their brain where their brain camp that, you know, the freak out part of their brain just totally takes over. And for me, that was ultimately what was happening in my life around stress and overwhelm. Whenever things would, you know, get really busy, I would kind of, I would allow like my brain would just go into a complete state of total stress and total overwhelm, which feels like you’re completely out of control. You feel like your life is spinning out of control. You feel like that you’re just trying to, you know, right away then hang on for dear life. And so when I started to learn these tools about, really about how powerful our emotions are and how our emotions are caused by our thoughts, I started to take a really close look at the thoughts that I was having.

And I can see very clearly how so much of the stress and overwhelm in my life was completely caused by a mind, my own mind that was being completely mismanaged. And so I started two, I take responsibility for my life around stress and overwhelm. I, and that was probably one of the first things that I realized was like, oh my gosh. And it was one of the most moments in my research. And in figuring all of this out was this reality that I actually was totally in control and that I had control over this and that I could actually manage my stress. I could get rid of the overwhelm and I could completely rewrite a total diff totally different narrative around stress and overwhelming I life. And that is what I did. I used to started to take really clear inventory of my thoughts. I started to reshift my thoughts around stress and overwhelm, and I started writing a new story for myself.

It’s super powerful. And I know that you might be thinking, okay, well, Loris, like how do you do this? One of the things that I did, and I know it’s going to sound really funny is that I started looking at the stressful situations in my life. And instead of thinking to myself every day like, oh, I’m so stressed out, which is actually something I’ve probably said to myself, thousands of times, oh my gosh, I’m so stressed out. I’m so stressed out. I’ve got so much stress. I can’t handle this. You know, and this is the crazy thing. When we tell ourselves that when those are our thoughts that are streaming through our brain, hundreds of times a day, then it causes us to feel completely stressed. And it causes us to feel like we can’t handle things like we can’t get things under control. So all of a sudden I realized those thoughts were no longer serving in any capacity.

And I needed to replace them with thoughts that would decrease my stress and help increase my productivity, because I want to tell you this. And this was one of the biggest eye-openers for me, the emotions of stress and completely stop us in our tracks. You can see time and time again. I see it so often with the women that I coach is that when we feel stressed and when we feel it, the emotion of overwhelm, it paralyzes us. It’s the emotion that stops us in our tracks. It completely decreases our productivity and stress and overwhelm is those are the number one and two emotions that actually drive us to procrastinate, drive us to to buffer and to distract ourselves. Like when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, what do I do? I do a number of things. I turn to food oftentimes to buffer or I’ll turn to social media.

I try to zone out. I try to do whatever I can to numb the feelings of stress and overwhelm. But what I don’t do is exactly the things that I need to do to not feel stressed and overwhelmed, which is actually to get things done. So stress and overwhelm is so funny when we’re stuck in it, it actually stops us from productivity. It causes us to buffer. We turn to distractions. And then what ends up happening is we feel even more stressed and overwhelmed because we’ve completely procrastinated and it starts a vicious cycle. So once you start to realize this, you’re like, oh my gosh, this is what’s happening in my life. I don’t want stress and overwhelm in my life because look at what it leads to nothing that’s good for me. Plus it, you know, stress and overwhelm. It increases your cortisol levels.

Your adrenaline levels, it messes with your hormones. It affects your cycle, causes weight gain, and impacts your sleep. All sorts of negative things. On top of making us completely irritable, snappy, we become women. We don’t want to be. And it absolutely wrecks havoc in our lives. So what do we have to do? We have to take control. We have to say, okay, stress and overwhelm. This is not serving me. It’s not okay. Helping me be productive. It’s not helping me get things done. It’s actually in no way cause seen anything good to be in my life. So for me, I wanted to like completely get rid of it in my life. And I don’t want to get the impression that I’ve come like that. I never get stressed out, but I have learned when those moments happen or when I start to fill the emotional stress, I immediately go to my toolbox of recognizing that emotion of knowing.

I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to experience this. I don’t want to waste another moment feeling like this. And so I move into my next phase of saying, no, I’m in control. I’m going to run the show around this. And so that’s where I completely shift my thoughts. Instead of saying I’m so stressed, I’m so stressed. I will instantly reframe it to things like, okay, I’m so blessed. My life is so blessed right now, even though I have a lot going on, I am so blessed. And I start looking at the things that I’m so blessed with and even my full and busy life, I start feeling extraordinary gratitude for, and it’s those emotions that make me feel excited and productive to do the things that I know I need to do. I will also go into the mode of, okay, I’ve got a lot on my plate. There’s a lot of things that I need to get done today. And instead of just falling into this place of I’m so stressed, I can’t handle this. I move into

The thought of, okay,

Larissa, you totally have got this. Yes, you have a lot on your plate, but let’s make a plan. What’s your plan going to be today? How are you going to do this? And that’s where I start really identifying my plan for the day. How can I be most productive? Who do I need to ask for help? Is there stuff on my plan that shouldn’t be there that should be like, maybe that’s something that my husband can do or my kids can help with, or I need to talk to a coworker about to see if, if a coworker can help me with some of this stuff instantly, reshifting it. And coming up with a plan and discovering how I can move forward instantly will release that stress level. A lot of times, for us as women, we have this belief system that we have to do it all.

And of course, many of us feel like we have to do it perfectly. So it’s those types of beliefs that perpetuate the stress and overwhelm. And those thoughts don’t serve us. So I’ve moved to a place of who can I ask for help? And another phrase that I have is, you know, B plus is better than unfinished or, you know, B plus gets the job done because I’ve always struggled with perfectionism. And I think to myself, I want it to be perfect. I wanted it to be perfect when sometimes like a B plus job or a C plus job is enough to get something done so I can move on to the next thing. And a lot of times that thought has given me enough freedom that I, I take steps forward. And that has helped me significantly. The thing about overwhelm that I share in my course, but I also want to highlight it here is that overwhelm is an emotion that never ever serves us.

There are times this stress actually serves us where it’s a good thing. And those are usually in fight or flight situations where we actually like, it’s good. You know, we’re in a, in a, in a situation where we need to move fast or we need to act quickly. And so stress actually helps us in that situation. Other than that stress doesn’t really benefit us, but overwhelm never benefits us. And I dare you to try to come up with an ex like a time that it ever does overwhelm as an indulgent emotion that never ever serves us. It just rubs us of the joy of peace and then never helps us to make good decisions and never helps us to be productive. It just causes us to spin out of control. And so when I start to feel that sense of overwhelm for me, it takes place in like a physical sensation in my chest where there’s this heaviness.

I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I can hardly breathe that emotion. Like when I feel that I immediately will stop and say to myself, okay, I’m feeling overwhelmed. This isn’t serving me at all. There’s nothing good. That’s going to come from this. And so I immediately moved to a place knowing that the sensation of overwhelm is completely happening because of thoughts that I’m having. So I get really clear what are the thoughts that I’m having? And a lot of times the thoughts are, oh my gosh, I’m so overwhelmed. I can’t do this. And I know when I started having those thoughts like Larissa, you know that this is not gonna end well, this is not going to help you. Let’s move out of this. Also years ago, I think I was listening to a podcast or I can’t even remember what I was listening to.

I don’t even remember who said it. So I can’t give credit to the right person, which breaks my heart on this. But it’s a little mind hack tool that has helped me with overwhelm. And this, this woman shared it on this. I believe it was a podcast. And she said, whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I will say to myself, these words, these three words, clean drinking water. And I remember thinking to myself, Hmm, what does that mean? And so she would say whenever I start to feel completely overwhelmed, I just say to myself, clean drinking water. And what that means is that no matter how stressful or crazy or overwhelmed I get my life, I always have clean drinking water available to me and to my family and to my children. And so I know that it’s never really that bad that there are people in this world who really legitimately have the right to say that they’re stressed and overwhelmed because they don’t have clean drinking water. Like they’re the ones that can legitimately feel these emotions. But for me, like having a messy house or, you know, laundry piling up or having to run kids all over town, those aren’t things that should be causing me to fill this overwhelmed. I have clean drinking water. We have a roof over our head. We have food on the table

That

Like that, those thoughts like reframe things and all of a sudden we’re like, you know, so when I would start to feel really stressed and overwhelmed, I would just be like, okay, Larysa clean drinking water. You’re blessed. And all of a sudden it was like my brain, like a F a switch would flip in my brain and remind like, okay, Larissa, calm down, take a deep breath. Things really aren’t so bad. Reframe it. You’re blessed. You’ve got this. You’re under control. Let’s come up with a plan and let’s move forward. Stress and overwhelm is always caused by a man a mind that is not managed well. Once we are able to manage our minds, we are able to put processes in place to help us get things under control, to get a plan in place, a schedule in place. One of the things that I teach in the master’s course on stress and overwhelm is a plan that I have put into place, a weekly schedule that has eliminated 80 to 90% of my own stress in my life.

It has been an absolute game changer. And many of the successful women that I know in my life personally, as well as women that I follow have a, have a schedule very much like this. And so not only does it eliminate the stress in our lives, but it prepares like it pushes us to living the lives that I believe God is calling us to live. When we have structure in our lives. When we have a daily plan, when we have a weekly plan, all of a sudden it gets all this stuff like this jumbled in our minds of all the stuff that we have to do. And, oh my gosh, I got, I got to do this and I’ve got this appointment and I have to be here. And I’ve got to do this for these kids. Like all of that. If that’s all just jumbled in our minds, then that is going to always lead to extraordinary amounts of stress.

When we can get that out of our heads and get it onto a piece of paper and recognize that we have plenty of time. That there’s enough time in our day, in our week to get the things done that we need to get done. It eliminates so much of the stress and overwhelm and it’s totally freeing. So this, my friends, these are a few of the tools that I want to share with you. When you start to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, realize, take responsibility for realize it’s all a result of the thoughts that you’re having start to work on. Reshifting those thoughts re like coming up with some of your own thoughts that are going to move you into a place of productivity and a sense of being in control. That’s what it really is about. I want you to understand that this stuff really works. Learning how to manage your mind really is such a game changer

For me and my life. I am at a point where my

Life, it has never been so full. I have more children than I’ve ever had before. I have seven kids. Now I have more responsibilities than I’ve ever had before in my life. And yet my stress levels have significantly decreased. As I’ve learned how to manage my mind around them. And this, my friends, this is what we teach in our masters program. This is what we coach women on every single week. It’s powerful work to do, to do this, to dive into this. So really look at how our brains are working and what our thoughts are doing. It’s powerful to watch other women get coached and to see like so many correlations. I, whenever I watch another woman be coached, I can relate so much. And I learned so much. So we want to invite you to come check out masters. If you’re not already a part of it, come join.

Our powerful community of women that are wanting to live their best lives yet. And if stress and overwhelm is something that really affects your life, I want to invite you to, to join masters, check out the course on stress or stress and overwhelm, where you get a full, deep dive into everything that I just talked about and so much more. So this, my friends is what I have for you today. I want to end this podcast episode with one of my favorite scripture passages from John chapter 14, verse 27. Peace. I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not. I give to you as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. My sisters in Christ, may you have an incredible week. One that is filled with peace and joy, and may you know that you are Made For Greatness. God bless.