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Are You Feeling Overwhelmed? How Intentional Margins Can Help

Are you feeling overwhelmed? These emotions can consume you. Fortunately, intentional margins can help.

According to the Mental Health Foundation's 2018 study, 7% of young adults "reported never feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope in the past year."

Of course, what that really means is that 93% of us have felt exactly that overwhelmed at some point in the past year.

Feeling overwhelmed isn't unusual. In fact, it's extremely common. Fortunately, since this is a basic human struggle, many people have worked very hard on finding solutions for all of us.

Read this piece to learn a little more about why we feel overwhelmed, and how we can find ways to feel more in control.

Why Am I Feeling Overwhelmed?

When I feel overwhelmed, I usually think it's because I have too much to do. But that's not the real cause of that overwhelmed feeling!

In fact, the real reason I am overwhelmed is that I feel like I'm right at the limit of my ability, and if even one thing goes wrong, it'll be too much and I won't be able to take care of it anymore.

Living so close to disaster is what causes that constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It's like living in a house right on the side of a cliff, and knowing that, at any moment, my house could finally tip over the side. Of course I'm going to be holding my breath and walking on eggshells all the time!

But what if there was some way to move away from the cliff's edge? Even just living 10 feet away from the edge could go a long way to relieving my anxiety.

Intentional Margins

A margin for error is when you think you're prepared and you've got the right answer, but you also know that if you're off by a little, you'll still be okay. In other words, margin for error is breathing room. It is a must if you want to be able to relax.

Margins for error can be slight or they can be wide. When they're slight, you're just hoping (and praying) that things will go okay. When your margins are wide, you can feel certain that things will work out, the only question is if you'll get barely where you'll need to be or if you'll be well ahead of where you need to be.

Intentional margins mean intentionally building margins into your life. When you have intentional margins, you have control of your life. When the next little thing goes wrong, it'll eat up a little of your margin, but you'll still get what you need.

For example, if you know you need to save about $50 for grocery shopping Wednesday, don't just put $50 aside. Intentionally put aside extra. That extra money gives you a margin.

If something goes wrong (and there's a good chance something will), instead of not having enough money for groceries, you'll be able to handle it calmly. And you'll still have enough to buy what you need.

This one principle, intentional margins, can be applied to your finances, your exercise, your schedule, and every part of your life. This one principle can help you take back control of your life.

Getting to a Place Where You Can Feel Peace

I hope you learned something helpful about feeling overwhelmed, where it comes from, and how to get rid of it.

To learn more about how to overcome beliefs that block your ability to grow, check out my other pages!

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