Do you ever feel like life is throwing more than you can handle? Like there’s this never-ending list of things to do, but not enough hours in the day to get it all done?
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed is all too common, but what if I told you that even when you’re swamped, you can feel totally calm and in control?
In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through the 3-step strategy that I personally use to maintain calm and focus, no matter how crazy things get or how overwhelmed I feel.
- How to identify the root causes of overwhelm (internal and external).
- Why I’ve been feeling the most overwhelmed I’ve ever felt and how I’m overcoming it.
- Tips to optimize your mental and emotional state.
- New perspectives are just a conversation away.
- Multiple strategies you can apply immediately to overcome feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
- Brianna Greenspan
- The Inner Work: An Invitation to True Freedom and Lasting Happiness by Mathew Micheletti, Ashley Cottrell, The Yoga Couple, and Mat & Ash
- The Yoga Couple
- The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer
- Lucy Osborne
- AJ Yager
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Copyright © 2023 Miracle Morning, LP and International Literary Properties LLC
Hal Elrod: Hello, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, friends and family as we all are. Thanks for tuning in today. I can only imagine how busy you are. I know I’m busy. In fact, it was hard to fit this podcast in today but I want to thank you for taking the time to listen or watch this episode because I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that you end this episode feeling better and more in control of your life and your work and your to-do list. I think it’s fair to say that most of us are stressed out, at some level, we’re feeling overwhelmed but possibly for different reasons. And by the way, I’m no different. I’m in this camp of feeling stressed and overwhelmed, which is why I’m recording this episode because I’m arguably the most overwhelmed and stressed I’ve been in as long as I can remember. For those who don’t know, I’m in the middle of, yeah, the middle of, I guess, planning and executing the Miracle Morning book launch for the new updated and expanded edition, 40 new pages of content, rewrote every page of the book, brand new stories from the last ten years of Miracle Morning practitioners that have transformed their lives. You name it. So, anyway, we’ll talk more about that later.
But here’s the point. Two different reasons that you might be stressed and overwhelmed. The first is because of your circumstances right now. If you’re facing difficult circumstances, whether it’s financial challenges or challenges at your work or in your relationships, you might feel like you lack the resources to meet your needs, your financial needs, your physical needs, your mental and emotional needs. Right? So, that’s number one. You might be stressed and overwhelmed because your circumstances are simply difficult right now and it is stressful and it’s overwhelming. The second reason is you might feel stressed and overwhelmed because you have more to do than there are hours in the day and you might feel like you’re drowning, like you’re constantly falling behind and you can’t get it all done. In fact, this is the camp that I’m in right now, and I’ll explain why and how I’m dealing with it in a few minutes. But whichever camp you find yourself in, whatever your causes of feeling stressed and overwhelmed are, I’m going to help you overcome overwhelm today. And there are three big-picture ideas that we’re going to cover today.
Number one is identifying the root causes of feeling overwhelmed because as with anything like a disease, if you’re not clear on what the root cause is, then you’re only addressing the symptoms and the cause remains, and then the symptoms continue. Right? Symptom management is not actually curing a disease. And in this case, the disease is feeling overwhelmed, feeling stressed out. And here’s the thing, at your best, feeling overwhelmed causes you stress. At worst, it can cause you to be suicidal like it can cause you to go, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t handle my life.” And I’ve been there before. In fact, I’ve been there recently where there’s thoughts of like, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to live like this anymore.” And the reason I’m sharing what I’m doing today is because I’ve had to be really proactive or I’ve chosen to be really proactive at overcoming overwhelm. I’ve been really intentional, really strategic on how to overcome this so that I can manage all the things that I have to do, which is so many things. And it’s been effective and that’s why I’m recording this episode so that I can pay it forward and share it with you.
So, number one, we’re going to identify the root causes of feeling overwhelmed. And I’ll give you a little foreshadowing. There is an internal cause and there is an external cause. Number two, we’re going to focus on elevating our consciousness because as with anything, your level of consciousness determines how you experience your life. If you’re in a level of consciousness such as fear or guilt or shame, you’re not going to be effective at implementing any of the strategies that I share with you today. You’ve got to elevate your consciousness to a place of being at peace with what you can’t change, being hopeful, optimistic, enthusiastic, energetic. You’ve got to elevate your consciousness to a place where you can be resourceful, you can be effective, and you can enjoy the process along the way, even if you’ve got a lot on your plate. And then number three, once you’ve identified the root causes of overwhelm and you’ve elevated your consciousness to be able to better handle the root causes and handle everything you’ve got on your plate, number three is integrating a strategy. I’m going to give you some actionable steps, kind of a buffet. I was starting with three steps and then I kept realizing, “Oh, I’m also doing this. Oh, this is also important. Oh, right.” So, I’m not sure. I think we’ve got five or six now but I’m going to give you just a buffet of some steps, some strategies that you can implement to overcome feeling overwhelmed.
All right. So, if that sounds good to you, if you want help in this area, here we go. I’m here to help you. So, as I mentioned, I’m going to give you just spend a few minutes sharing with you what’s going on for me, why I’m overwhelmed that’s led to where we’re going with these strategies. So, I’m feeling overwhelmed, as I mentioned because I’m in the midst of planning, preparing, and executing the Miracle Morning Updated and Expanded Edition book launch. And I’m going to be talking with you more and more about this over the coming months. I’m very excited but I have a to-do list like I’ve never had before. And I’ll tell you, I met with my team. In fact, I’ve met with my team multiple times. I’m trying to get their help. And so, for example, on our weekly meeting that we had, our team meeting on Tuesday, I shared my screen and we went through my 17 pages, 17 pages of to-do list. I’m not kidding. Like, it’s insane how many things need to be done, writing emails, recording, writing like dozens of emails, recording dozens of videos, writing social media posts, right? And so, my team said, “Hey, let’s get on a call and let us help you figure out what we can take off your plate.”
And as we went through the list, we had a little column. I made a spreadsheet, a little column, who could own that particular task, right? And the way it ended up being it was Hal, Hal, Hal, Hal, Josh, Hal, Hal, Tiffany, Hal, Hal, Hal, Hal, Hal, Veronica, Hal, Hal, Hal, Brianna. And so, we get to the end of the call and Brianna Greenspan on my team goes, “Hal, do you feel better?” And I said, “I appreciate your help so much but I don’t feel better. In fact, in some ways, I feel worse because I feel like this just solidified that most of these things fall on my shoulders. Like, even with you all trying to help figure out what you could take off my plate. I’m the person that has to do most of these things.” So, that’s why I’m feeling overwhelmed because I have 17 pages of to-dos. It’s like, I don’t know, maybe 100 to-dos. I’m not even sure. So, that’s why I’m feeling overwhelmed. And here’s how I’m overcoming it. All right? Here’s how I’m overcoming overwhelm in the form of steps that you can take to overcome your overwhelm. So, this is what I’m doing for my overwhelm.
Here’s how to overcome your overwhelm because they’re different, right? It’s a different flavor. You have different things that are causing you to feel overwhelmed than I do. You know, most of you probably aren’t managing a book launch, right? So, it’s not about the specific things that are causing the overwhelm. It’s about getting to the root causes, elevating our consciousness, and coming up with a strategy to overcome your overwhelm. So, here we go on how we’re going to do exactly that. So, number one, let’s identify the internal and external root causes of feeling overwhelmed. Pretty simple. Number one is the external cause is you have a lot on your plate, right? There’s a lot of things that you’re, you know, it could be quantity, as in a lot or it could be quality as in there’s just some major, major challenges that you’re faced with. So, whether it’s because you got a lot to do and not enough time to do it or you got some major challenges in your life right now. Either way, there’s these external causes of feeling overwhelmed, right? If those disappeared, at least initially, you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. You go, “Oh, it got taken care of. Ah, I can breathe easy.”
Now, typically our brains are problem-seeking and nurturing machines, right? We look for where’s the problem? And then we nurture that like we hyperfocus on it. We make it bigger than it is, and then we create feelings of overwhelm. And that leads to the second cause. And this is really where it ends and begins. This is the ultimate root cause of overwhelm. It’s your self-talk, your self-talk, which is based on your perspective. We’ll talk more about perspective in step number two. But it’s telling yourself things like, “I have more to do than I have time to do it.” Let me ask you a question. When you tell yourself, “I have more to do than I have time to do it,” how does that make you feel? I don’t know about you but I actually have been telling myself that a lot over the last couple of months as I’ve been working through all of this stuff. And it makes me feel overwhelmed. But the reality is, you only have one thing at a time that you can do. That’s the reality. So, to say I have more to do than I have time to do it, there may be truth to that but it really comes down to you can only do one thing at a time. And that’s a very different mindset.
Both of those are true. I’ve got so many things to do and I can only do one thing at a time. But which serves you? Which element of self-talk, which inner dialog serves you? Focusing on that you have more things to do than you can handle that causes you to feel overwhelmed and stressed or to look at that list, to prioritize it, and then to go look the reality is I can only work on one thing at a time, so I’ve got to prioritize what those things are and then I’ve got to knock them off one at a time and put the rest of the list away. And by the way, there’s going to be more logistical strategy that’s going to help you to manage that to-do list as we go through today’s episode but big picture, your self-talk, stop telling yourself you have more to do than you have time to do it or anything along those lines, like I can’t handle all of this. If you go back to Henry Ford, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right either way.” If you tell yourself you can’t handle all of this, then you feel like you can’t handle all of this. And it perpetuates your feelings of stress and overwhelm.
You may have heard, I’ve shared this in the past. I know I put it on social media and it was the idea that it’s actually your perceived inability to handle the difficulties in your life that causes your stress and overwhelm than it is the difficulties in your life. Just think about this. Imagine that the difficulties in your life exist and then imagine that you’re given a red pill and a blue pill. We’re going back to the movie, The Matrix, in terms of an analogy. The red pill is, “Hey, if you take this pill, you’ll continue,” and actually, I guess it would be the blue pill I think. “You take the blue pill, you’ll continue feeling overwhelmed. You’ll continue telling yourself that you have more to do than you can get done and that you can’t handle it all and nothing will change. You’ll feel overwhelmed. You’ll feel stressed. You won’t be able to sleep well. You’ll wake up feeling stressed. You’ll go to bed feeling stressed.” That’s the blue pill. Or you can take the red pill. Now, your circumstances aren’t going to change, right? Not initially. You can change them but you’re still going to have the to-do list. You’re still going to have the financial challenges. But if you take the red pill, it’s going to completely shift your perspective and how you interpret all of these challenges. You’re going to feel completely at peace with life exactly as it is.
I want you to take a deep breath right now and just imagine that that’s possible. I want you to feel at peace right now for no reason other than that you have that ability. And your breath can be the doorway to that feeling of peace. So, I need to take a minute. I want you to take a little bit of red pill. And just you can feel at peace. So, imagine the red pill. You can feel at peace with the things you can’t change. You can feel in control of your situation. You can feel clear-headed to look at all of your to-do list and to organize it in terms of priority, what needs to get done in what order and what the most important things are to get done first so that you can clearly articulate, “Okay. I can only work on one thing at a time. Here’s the first thing. And then when that’s done, here’s the second thing I’ll work on. And when that’s done, here’s the third thing.” Again, I want you to realize that the number one root cause of feeling overwhelmed is not external. It is internal. And you’ve probably heard me say this before but two different people can be enduring the exact same circumstances.
Person number one is a wreck. They’re stressed out, overwhelmed. They feel like they can’t handle life. Person number two is facing the exact same circumstance or circumstances but they’re at peace. They feel in control. They’ve decided, “I’m going to accept the things I can’t change. I’m going to accept life as it is. I’m going to prioritize my tasks. I’m going to do what’s in my control and not stress about the rest.” So, again, it’s not the external cause of overwhelm that actually perpetuates you feeling overwhelmed. And this is one of the biggest realizations I had because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. And then the other day, I remember reminding myself, “Wait. It’s not because of my to-do list. It’s not because I have more things to do than I have time to do them,” which is true. I literally have more things to do. When this book launch is over, I’m pretty sure I will have not gotten everything done that I’ve been telling myself I have to get these things done. And I’ll give you more on that here in a minute in terms of realizing that most of the things that we believe we have to get done aren’t actually detrimental if we don’t get them done. Like, my life doesn’t hinge on the success of the book launch.
In fact, I remember I felt this kind of pressure before when I launched the original Miracle Morning book. It didn’t do nearly what I hoped it would do, and it took me six years to get to the point that I was trying to get to when I launched the book. So, eventually, I got there but I put all this pressure on myself to get all these things done in a fixed amount of time. I said, “This is the deadline. It’s got to all get done.” And that wasn’t actually real. It was an illusion that I was creating in my mind and I want you to consider that for yourself. Are you putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to get everything done when the reality is if you don’t get everything done and you only get the most important things done, life is going to go on. Life is going to go on. I want you to consider that, to realize that overwhelm is internal more than it is external. And that leads to number two.
The second strategy or the second tip here is once you’ve identified the internal and external root causes of feeling overwhelmed, which we just did. External are your circumstances, your to-do list, etcetera, internal is your self-talk, your perspective, what you keep telling yourself about your challenges. And you’re telling yourself that they’re difficult, that they’re hard, that you can’t handle them, that you’re not capable, that there’s not enough time. And you are perpetuating your feelings of stress and overwhelm. So, number two, elevate your consciousness. And if you are a Miracle Morning practitioner, you’re probably aware that the Miracle Morning mission is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning and one person at a time. Now, that sounds like a pretty grandiose mission. Like, you’re going to elevate the consciousness of humanity? How are you going to do that? Here’s how. Every time you do a Miracle Morning and there are millions of people around the world that do the Miracle Morning every day, when we do the Miracle Morning, we elevate our consciousness. And as millions of people elevate their own consciousness, they are elevating the consciousness of humanity, not only because we’re elevating our own consciousness but as you elevate your own consciousness, you by how you show up, elevate the consciousness of every person that you interact with.
Think about this. If you interact with somebody and they’re angry and they’re stressed out and they’re projecting their anger and stress onto you, does that affect your state of consciousness? Absolutely. I shouldn’t say absolutely because if you are truly enlightened, then you can be impervious to other people’s states of consciousness but that is rare. You know, I personally have pursued enlightenment and elevating my own consciousness for decades now, like two decades. I still get triggered by other people, right? I’m not impervious. Like, if my spouse or somebody is angry at me like that affects me, right? That affects my consciousness. So, I’m sharing that as an example because flip that around. If someone comes to you and you’re maybe feeling stressed out and they’re totally at peace and they’re joyful and they’re complimenting you or they’re helping you, their level of consciousness affects your level of consciousness. So, the point is, as we elevate our own consciousness and the Miracle Morning helps us do that because elevating your consciousness means elevating your awareness as to what your options are, meaning you could be like person number one that is stressed out over a circumstance.
Or wait. Person number two is not stressed out over the same circumstance. They’re at peace with it. They’re managing it pretty well. If I can find out what they’re doing, I’m elevating my own consciousness by elevating my own awareness. Another way to elevate your consciousness is to upgrade your perspective. Remember, we just talked about the root feeling of overwhelm is your perspective. And so, examples of elevating your perspective is reminding yourself that life’s not dependent on any one project. We might think it is in the moment but very rarely is that the case that it’s dependent on any one project. Also, to help me upgrade my perspective, I’m always consuming books for the most part or watching videos or listening to audios. Right now, I’m rereading two books to help manage my perspective specific to feeling overwhelmed. And I’ll share these books with you. I read one in the morning, one in the evening before bed. Right now, and I’m rereading these. They’re books I’ve read multiple times. Number one is The Inner Work by Matt & Ash. I think it’s Matthew… I can’t think of their last names but it’s Matt & Ash. They’re The Yoga Couple, by the way. I follow them on Instagram. They’re so funny. That’s a little bonus tip. I highly recommend you follow The Yoga Couple on Instagram. They are amazing. They’re brilliant.
But The Inner Work is one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read, and it reminds me that I’m in control of my mental and emotional state. I’m in control of my state of consciousness. There is nothing that has control over my state of consciousness, except for me. Now, there are many things that I allow to affect my state of consciousness, right? Like I said, we can allow other people or circumstances or things that are out of our control to affect our mental and emotional state and our state of consciousness but that’s us allowing it. And usually, we’re unconsciously allowing it, right? We’re not thinking, “Hm, I’m going to allow things to make me feel stressed.” We’re just not taking control. We’re not taking ownership of our mental-emotional state. We’re not actively pursuing, optimizing, nurturing our mental, emotional, and states of consciousness so we’re out of control. And The Inner Work reminds me, oh, that I actually have control of how I experience every moment of my life. And number two, in the evening, I’m reading The Surrender Experiment. I’m rereading The Surrender Experiment for probably the third or fourth time by Michael Singer. And in that book, he reminds me to surrender, like, stop trying to control everything. Life’s going to do what life is going to do.
Yes. Wake up every day, do your best, but release control of the outcomes. All we can do is our best. And think about this. One of the reasons that we didn’t address that just came up for me that we feel stressed and overwhelmed is because we are attached to the outcomes. We are trying to control the outcomes. With my book launch, right, I’m attached to everything being perfect. I’m attached to everything on my to-do list getting done. Well, Michael Singer would say, “Hey, look, if you actually look at the best things in your life, many of them you didn’t force into existence. Many of them life just delivered to you.” Think about that. A lot of the best people that you’ve met or I look at my wife, I didn’t force meeting her. I didn’t know she was the one. You know, before I met her, I wasn’t like, “I need to find this one person.” Life just kind of brought her to me, and then we fell in love. And then we got married and then we started a family. You don’t have to force everything. A much better approach, in my opinion, and that Michael Singer is the expert in is to surrender, to simply instead of trying to control everything and being attached to the outcomes instead of that approach, wake up every day, give your best, get the things done you can get done.
Be at peace with all the things that didn’t get done because, look, think about that. They didn’t get done. You being stressed over them doesn’t do them. It doesn’t make them get done. It just causes you to go through life feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You don’t have to. You can wake up every day, do your best, get the things done that you can get done, and be at peace with life exactly as it is. Be at peace with the things that didn’t get done. You have that ability but you have to be aware of it. You have to elevate your consciousness to be aware of what are the options that you have in how you approach life. What are the other perspectives that you can adopt to elevate your consciousness? How might you approach things differently that can help you? So, those are some tips on step number two, elevating your consciousness.
So, again, number one, step number one, identify the internal and external root causes of feeling overwhelmed. We did that. Step two, elevate your consciousness. How do you do that? You do it by, for me, it’s my Miracle Morning every morning, and it’s all of my practices. When I’m in silence, I have insights and ideas and different ways of looking at things that just emerge. I don’t force them. It’s in getting in silence and not trying to think creating. Because think about this, when you’re thinking nonstop, which by the way, I’ve been doing like my brain is racing all day, “I’ve got to do this or this. Oh, I’ve got to talk to this person. I have this, this, this.” So many things in my mind racing. There’s no space for better perspectives, upgraded perspectives. It’s only when I get into silence every morning and every night before bed that new perspectives emerge, better ways of looking at things, different ways of approaching the things that are on my plate, so on and so forth. And then I use my affirmations and I have affirmations that remind me, number one, in fact, I should read these for you all. Give me just a second. I am going to read you my affirmations but I have to go look them up. So, if you can hold on for just one second. It will be worth our time. I promise. Book launch affirmations. Here we go.
All right. So, I wrote these affirmations a few weeks ago, and these have been very helpful. TMM 2.0 Book Launch Affirmations, Unwavering Faith Plus Extraordinary Effort Equals Miracles. If you don’t know what that is, that’s The Miracle Equation. It’s a reminder to me that that’s how I need to approach this book launch. Here’s what I wrote. “First, Hal this launch is not consequential to the overall success and impact of the Miracle Morning Movement. So, stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Just breathe. Apply the Miracle Equation, again, that’s unwavering faith plus extraordinary effort. Do the best you can and enjoy every moment.” Y’all, please tune in. What I’m reading to you right now, these are my affirmations but this is a perspective shift for you. These are what are helping me to manage one of the most stressful projects in my life. And you can apply these to your life. And by the way, that last sentence, just breathe. Apply the Miracle Equation. Do the best you can and enjoy every moment. “Enjoy every moment” is in huge, bold capital letters with a smiley face next to it because that’s one of my main objectives in life is like, look, life is what it is. I want to enjoy every moment.
When I get to the end of my life, I want to look back and not look back and regret going, “Man, I lived most of my life stressed out and worried.” What a waste of life. I want to look back and go,
“Man, I had some challenges in my life, cancer, financial collapse, stressful things but I enjoyed every moment.” That is a life well lived. You might remember if you listen to the podcast episode I recorded, I think it was last week or maybe two weeks ago on how to be the most successful person you know, it was the perspective that the most successful person you know isn’t the person with the most money or the biggest house or the fastest car or whatever. It’s the person that at the end of their life, they look back and they go, “I enjoyed it more than anybody.” That’s who the most successful person is and the beauty of it is that every single one of us can be that person. All right, back to the affirmations. So, I put, “Do the best you can, enjoy every moment, and stop speaking negatively about the book launch, feeling stressed, overwhelmed, etcetera, because my language creates my reality. From now on, speak only positively about the launch.” Now, let me unpack that for you real quick. What I mean by that is whenever somebody asks me, “How’s it going or how’s the book launch going?” I’m very honest. Like, I’m never someone that answers questions based on what I think somebody else wants to hear or what I think the politically correct answer is. It’s typically here’s how I’m feeling like I don’t sugarcoat it.
So, whenever somebody ask me how the book launch is going, I could tell them all the great things that are happening and the progress that I’m making but instead, I say I’ve been telling and that’s what I’m saying now but what I’ve been saying is, “Oh my gosh, I’m so stressed, I’m so overwhelmed.” And remember, language creates reality. Your words create your world. So, for me, it was a commitment that from now on, only speak positively about the launch. So, I have more affirmations. In fact, let me read you this part. I wrote, “Get back to being more dedicated to and intentional with my Miracle Morning practice and actually use the SAVERS to support me during the book launch. As in do the SAVERS each day but focus them on my ideal outcomes for the book launch and nurturing and optimizing my mental and emotional well-being every step of the way.”
And here are examples for each of the SAVERS that you can model. Silence. I wrote meditate for 5 to 10 minutes each morning to reconnect with God and stay present to what really matters: life. Affirmations. Read these affirmations and revisit my 2012 affirmations to reconnect to the power of intentionally and strategically programming my subconscious mind for success. Visualization. Visualize the following. Visualize the new Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition being read by millions of people around the world and transforming/improving their perspectives and their lives. Number two, mentally rehearse myself showing up at my best every day, executing the book launch with ease and enthusiasm, leading my team with confidence and enthusiasm, and constantly re-enrolling every person I can into the Miracle Morning mission. Exercise. Do 5 to 10 minutes of yoga and stretching and jumping jacks to boost my mental energy and mental, sorry, my physical energy, and mental clarity. Scribing. Use day one journal first thing in the morning to capture my overnight insights.
And then for the last third and final, remember to apply the Miracle Equation to everything including and especially the book launch, and enjoy every moment. In other words, go back and read the first part of my affirmations above. I hope those are helpful for you all. Those are my affirmations right now to manage this stressful, you know, what has been a very stressful up until this point launch and it’s still stressful. The stress doesn’t go away but it’s managing and it’s overcoming the overwhelm so that I can be the most effective I can be and actually enjoy every moment. Because you only get one life. Now, if you believe in reincarnation, I’m sure, that’s a point we could contest but let’s just say right now we know we’ve got this one life. Let’s enjoy this one life.
All right. And now we’re getting into we’re just now I want to go into some five different strategies. And I don’t know if I already framed these three as strategies but this third part these are the actionable components that I’m doing every day to overcome overwhelm. Number one, optimize your mental and emotional state. That is number one. And to me, it’s the most important. The quality of your life is the quality of your mental and emotional state. You can also say your state of consciousness but in some ways it’s semantics. We’re not going to go any deeper into that right now but so optimize your mental and emotional state. So, I use my Miracle Morning to optimize my mental and emotional state every morning and then my miracle evening to do so before I go to bed every night. So, while yes, I still experience stress at times during the day, right? I’ll feel overwhelmed during the day. It’s like here’s what causes me to feel overwhelmed. I’m working on one thing, right, and I’m trying to focus, then my dogs are scratching at the door to be let in. And then when that happens, my wife calls and she needs me to go do something. And then I just got three text messages that came in at the same time from my publisher, from my agent, from one of my team members that all need three things from me.
So, this is like every day for me. Most of the day is I’ve got my dogs are always driving me crazy. They need to be let in, let out in, let out, fed, blah, blah, blah. My wife needs something from me. My kids need something from me. My team needs something from me. My publisher needs something, right? And I’m trying to work on a to-do list at 17 pages long. So, that’s what’s going on. So, yes, no matter what, not no matter what but I’m going to experience stress during the day but in the morning I at least I bookend my days. I start every day feeling so peaceful and so joyful and so grateful because of the SAVERS that I just outlined for you when I read you my affirmations. Those affirmations aren’t just affirmations. They literally outline how I’m approaching every single one of the SAVERS. So, I begin every day, and then I end every day by optimizing my mental and emotional state. And I want to share this really, really, really, really simple but important question with you. When you first wake up every morning and this was a game-changer for me. It’s so simple but I simply would ask myself, “How am I going to optimize my mental and emotional state to start the day? How am I going to optimize my mental and emotional state to start the day?”
And think about that. How different is that from the question, “Oh my God, how am I going to get it all done today?” Or even the thought, “Oh my gosh, I have so much on my to-do list,” or, “Oh my gosh, I fought with my spouse last night and we’re fighting.” That doesn’t serve you. Think about this. There’s such a thing as mental momentum. Think about that, mental momentum, meaning if you start your day feeling stressed, then you are in a stressful state. Your state of consciousness is one of stress and now it creates a lens that you experience every aspect of your life. So, for example, if I am stressed and my dog scratches at the door, you’ll find me cursing under my breath like, “Mother… Ahh, I can’t handle this right now.” If I’m stressed, that’s how I experience my dogs scratching at the door. If, on the other hand, I’m in a state of peace, a state of joy, and my dog scratches at the door, I smile and I go, “Oh, hey, Oli, what’s up, buddy?” And I open the door and I pet her and I let our, you know, we have a new puppy named Oli, and I let her in, right? Very different. Think about that. And that applies to every aspect of your life.
Your mental and emotional state is arguably the single most important determining factor in the quality of your life at any given moment, also, your determining factor in how effective you are at doing the things you need to do. If you start the day feeling stressed, asking a stressful question about all the things on your to-do list and all the challenges you’re facing, then you’re starting the day in a stressful mental-emotional state. And good luck. It’s probably a downward spiral from there. But if you can start the day by asking how am I going to optimize my mental and emotional state this morning and then smiling and then, you know, for me, I sit on the edge of my bed and I go, “Thank you, God, for today. Thank you for my opportunity to live another day, to create this day exactly as I choose. It’s up to me. I can have an amazing day or a stressful day. It’s up to me.” So, optimize your mental and emotional state first thing in the morning and before you go to bed because what you think about before bed marinates in your subconscious. That’s important to understand. Remember, your last thought and mental and emotional state before bed sits on your subconscious all night and it determines typically your first thought and state in the morning. So, make sure you optimize your mental and emotional state in the morning when you wake up and at bed.
And by the way, if you need a break, like sometimes I’ll use the Miracle Morning app or use one of the guided tracks from Lucy Osborne or one of our other, you know, Miracle Morning mentors that are in the app like oh, that’s what I’ll do or I’ll just meditate. I mean, you don’t have to have the app but the app for me is really nice because if my mind in the middle of the day is racing and I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll go to the app and I’ll pick one of the tracks. There’s a great track on happiness and I’ll listen to that and in a matter of minutes, oh, my perspective has been completely shifted and it sometimes can be harder to shift your own perspective when you are in the midst of the overwhelm. That’s why I say it’s crucial for me to begin and end my day by optimizing my mental-emotional state because in the middle of the day, it can be more challenging to do because so many things are thrown at you.
Number two, after you optimize your mental and emotional state, clarify your top priorities in order of importance and timeline. And to do this, you might use a tool like do this in writing. You could use a Microsoft Word document. You could use a Google Doc. I’ll tell you, those were actually causing me a lot of stress because I mentioned it’s grown to 17 pages long. I can’t even remember what’s on there. There’s a lot of repeats. When I had that meeting with my team the other day, they actually did really help me because they said, “Hey, let’s use Monday.com. And if you’re not familiar, Monday is a project management software but it allows you to organize everything in terms of like group different projects. Like, for example, I’ve got a ton of things I need to write. They were spread out throughout this document. Now, they’re all grouped under “writing.” I’ve got a bunch of videos I have to record. They were spread out throughout the document. Now, they’re grouped under “videos” and then under videos are subtopics. And then some of those videos my teams are going to help me outline.
So, using Monday, you can put a date on it. You can organize it by priority. You can put a team member or multiple team members next to it. You can add notes to flesh out steps for that each project or sub-project. So, anyway, the point is you’ve got to organize your priorities in terms of importance and timeline, and you might want to use a tool. It could be as simple as a Microsoft Word document. It could be a piece of paper, right? But it’s just harder to move things around as your list grows. But it could be a project management software like Monday, there’s Asana, there’s ClickUp. So, there’s different options. We landed on Monday. That’s my favorite one and I’m not like an affiliate or anything so I got no skin in the game, whatever you want to use, but its functionality is a game changer.
Number three, ask for help. Ask for help. And you might feel like I feel. I wasn’t asking for help because I’m like, “Nobody can help me. I have to do all this stuff. Nobody can write these. Nobody can do all this stuff. I have to do it all.” So, there may be some truth to that but let me tell you where you can get help no matter what. Even if everything on your to-do list falls on you or if the challenges you’re facing in your life are completely yours and no one else can do like your marriage or your finding out whatever, you can get help by asking for you can get another perspective. Simply asking someone saying, “Hey, do you mind if I share what’s going on for me and ask for your perspective? I could really use another perspective.” That can be an absolute game-changer. And it’s happened for me multiple times. A couple of weeks ago I was on my team call and we were doing this trying to figure out, prioritize and figure out projects. And I led the call in an ineffective way. I just was talking and talking through everything. Anyway, we get to the end and Brianna Greenspan on my team, she goes, “Hal, do you have time where we can sit down and I can actually walk through this with you and we can organize it and prioritize it better?”
And so, I said, I don’t today but I do tomorrow. Brianna and I got on a call. It ended up being 2 hours. She was so generous with her time. But having her perspective, she was like, “Hal.” For me, I’m like, “Oh my God, I have this, this, this, this, this, this.” She goes, “Stop. Let’s go back to your first this. You have this to do. When does that need to be done by?” And I got quiet and I got thoughtful and I’m like, “Well, this is for the pre-launch, so it needs to be done before September 12th,” and then she goes, “Okay. Now the item below it?” I go, “Well, that’s for the main publishing date of December 12th.” She goes, “Okay. So, look, in your mind, you had those just listed one after the other but actually one doesn’t even need to be thought about for like another two months.” “My God, you’re right.” So, ask for help by simply sharing what challenges you have and asking for another perspective. And here’s what’s interesting. You’ve probably experienced this. Sometimes you don’t even need their perspective. Just talking through your challenges enables you to gain another perspective.
And then if there are things that you can delegate or that you can just sit with somebody and you can work on together where they can help you gain perspective as you’re working on the thing. Or let’s say you need to write something, you can write a rough draft, don’t try to perfect it, just set a timer. Okay, I’ve got 30 minutes, I’ve got to write this and then I’ve got to send it off. And here’s a little bonus strategy that I learned from my friend, AJ Yager, when I was writing my first book. He said, “Are you finding that you edit while you write?” I said, “Yeah, it takes me. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour tweaking a paragraph.” He said, “Yeah, you’re never going to get your book done that way.” He said, “Turn the brightness on your computer off completely. So, the screen is black. Set a timer for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever time frame you want, and he said, “And just write. And if you mess up, you’ll know you messed up but you can’t go back and edit it. The screen is black and you’re not allowed to look at what you wrote until the timer goes off after ten, 20, 30 minutes.” And I’m telling you, that was a game changer, y’all, because I would write and go, “Ugh,” and I would have normally gone back and fixed it and that would have interrupted my flow. But since I couldn’t, I just kept writing and I kept writing and I kept going with the stories or the strategies or whatever it was.
And then I got all the content out of my head and onto the page. Then when the timer went off, I could go back and edit it. Then I would do it and I’d edit a little bit. Then I’d go back, set a timer, turn the brightness off, and I would do it again and again and again. And that’s how I got what they call your sh*tty rough draft done. In the writing world, in the author world, they call it your sh*tty rough draft or sh*tty first draft where it’s like you just got to get it out of your head and then you can make the writing good once it’s all out of your head. But if you’re trying to perfect the writing as you write, it will take you possibly indefinite amount of time and you’ll never get that book done. So, get another perspective from another person. And if they can help you while you’re doing the task, whether you can delegate it or not, great. All right. I got one more tip for you. And this is also very important. You’ve got to manage your energy. Think about this. When you feel tired, when you don’t have energy, if you have a mile-long to-do list and no energy, then you feel incapable. You feel overwhelmed. Think about that. Think about the alternative. If you have an abundance of energy, you feel far more capable of getting through that to-do list. So, when I say manage your energy, I’m talking about getting enough sleep.
In fact, two nights ago, I didn’t sleep. I sleep great. Well, anyway, I can tell you why. I ate way too much meat way too late at night. That’s the true reason. We had burgers. My wife made these hamburgers. We didn’t start dinner till like two hours later than normal because we were out boating with our family. We were out tubing. We came home. The burgers were ready later than normal. I normally eat at five so I can digest my food by bedtime. We didn’t eat till like 7:30. And my bedtime is usually 8:30 or 9:00. And so, I ended up lying in bed till midnight trying to– I couldn’t digest my food. And maybe you’re not that sensitive, but I am.
And the next day, I was a mess. My mental and emotional state was a mess. And when you’re in it, it’s hard to identify why. But the next night, I ate early, slept like a baby, woke up the next morning, and I felt great. And this was two days ago. And I realized, oh, it’s because I didn’t sleep well and I had low energy that my mental and emotional state was severely impacted in a negative way because I wasn’t– I didn’t mean to, it was an accident. I ate, and oops, hindsight is 20/20. But manage your energy, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
When you read the new Miracle Evening chapter and the new Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition, it’s a 22-page chapter, by the way. There’s 40 new pages of content in the new book or 46 pages, something like that. But anyway, one of the tips is stop eating three to four hours before bedtime so your food can digest so that you sleep optimally and your body gets rested and you wake up.
Another way to manage energy is if you need to use caffeine, use caffeine. I use caffeine. I use green tea in the morning. I drink a little bit of coffee throughout the day. And I also mix in matcha green tea. So, I use caffeine. Now, I use it in small amounts. I find that it’s a slippery slope. And when I get into too much caffeine, it actually has negative effects. And then at the end of the day, I’m irritable and I’m stressed and I can’t get anything done. And so, you’ve got to find that sweet spot of how much caffeine is enough to optimize your mental state and give you energy and help you focus and not taking too much caffeine where you have detrimental effects.
Also, using supplements, like I’ve told you guys, I use Rise in the morning by CURED Nutrition and that helps my mental and emotional state. Another supplement that I recently got, and I guess you’d call these energy shots, but they’re organic, they’re in glass bottles, it’s by the company Sol-ti, S-O-L-T-I. So, these are my emergency go-to where, if in the afternoon, let’s say it’s 2 p.m., I’ve got three more hours of work, I need a boost, okay, I’m not above using these different tools as needed.
And so, I found Sol-ti at Whole Foods, I think. And then I actually order 24 packs of it now, and that lasts me a couple of months. But the company, you can Google it. Again, it’s not a sponsor or anything, but it’s S-O-L, T as in Thomas, I, S-O-L-T-I. I don’t know if that’s their website, but that’s the name of the company. And they’ve got these energy shots that have organic coffee bean extract or green tea extract, l-theanine, and vitamin B12. And they’re great. They’re my favorite little boost of energy. So, that is also a little bonus tip on managing energy.
All right. So, just a quick recap, what we did today. Number one, we identified the internal and external root causes of feeling overwhelmed. Externally, yeah, you got a lot on your plate. Yeah, you have challenges in life. Yeah, we all do. But it all falls back to the internal cause, which is your self-talk, your perspectives, and how you tell yourself your life is or your to-do list is. Telling yourself you have more to do than you have time to do it, it’s stressful. Telling yourself you can’t handle all this is stressful. Telling yourself I’ve got a lot to do, but I can only do one thing at a time and I’m going to handle all of it and life is going to go on and I’m going to be at peace and enjoy every moment, that self-talk completely transforms how you feel without changing anything externally.
Number two, elevate your consciousness. And by the way, that self-talk alone elevates your consciousness, but also elevate your perspective, upgrade your perspective. Remember, read those books that I recommend, The Inner Work and The Surrender experiment. They will help you elevate your consciousness.
And then number three, integrate those strategies to manage overwhelm. Number one of those strategies is to optimize your mental and emotional state using your Miracle Morning every morning and do it in the evening as well before bed, clarify your top priorities in order of importance and timeline, and use a tool to do that, could be a word document or a Google doc. Or for me, I’ve found the most effective tool is Monday.com. And then ask for help, ask other people for a perspective, for their perspective to help you see things differently that you can’t see because you’re so deep in it.
And last but not least, manage your energy. If you’re fatigued, tired, and exhausted, you’re not going to be able to be effective and you’re going to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Again, at the best, you feel overwhelmed. At the worst, you feel like you just don’t want to live anymore. You just can’t handle life. And that is no way to live.
Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, sorry that I don’t take a breath sometimes. Brianna told me the other day, she was like, “Hal, you need to pause and slow down.” I think I told you guys that in a recent episode. And I try to do it when I think about it, I’m like, “Oh, wait, slow down.” But my default is I just get excited.
So, all right, I love you. I hope you’re doing well. I hope this is helpful for you. I really do. Look, life is challenging. Life’s going to do what it’s going to do, but realize you are actually more in control, if not completely in control of how stressed and how overwhelmed you feel.
And the last thing I’ll say is, remember, life is going to do what life’s going to do, and you can either be stressed out or you can be blissed out. Using everything I shared with you in today’s episode, using the tools I shared, you can move from being stressed out to being blissed out and you can overcome your overwhelm. I love you so much. I hope this is helpful.
Keep a lookout for exciting announcements for the new Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition and the preorder bonuses. All sorts of exciting stuff is coming, and I’ll keep you up to speed as soon as it is ready. Talk to you soon.