Tips To Take You From Feeling Overwhelmed To Empowered
“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.”
― Lorraine Hansberry
Every June, we gather for virtual and in-person celebrations and demonstrations of LGBTQ Pride. We honor the work done by those before us–like the protesters at Stonewall and countless others–to fight for equal rights. We also recognize that many LGBTQ people are still struggling for their civic freedoms and fair treatment. One common and shared experience by LGBTQ young people is the pressure to meet family expectations, to ‘fit in’ socially, and to be something else–all of which also is manifested in phenomena like bullying and micro-aggressions and can affect mental health negatively. For LGBTQ people of color, societal bias against these intersectional identities can compound the adverse impact on well-being and cause a person to feel overwhelmed.
Feeling overwhelmed in many ways is normal. Whether you feel that the burden of your responsibilities is just too heavy, or you feel overcome by meeting seemingly-impossible expectations from others, these experiences can lead to a general sense that you’ve lost your power over your circumstances. Yet, feeling overwhelmed can also carry physiological and psychological risk of stress.
Feeling empowered, on the other hand, has been tied to greater decisiveness, goal-oriented action, and a general sense of control. So, how can you begin to undo feeling overwhelmed when it shows up? Follow these tips to get started.
Evaluate Your Circle. Are the people around you supporting you? If not, it could be time to say good-bye. Know that you deserve positive and supportive people in your life and nothing less.
Work Your Inner Monologue. First, recognize your feelings, instead of denying or burying them. Then, have a conversation with yourself about turning those feelings around. Research suggests that this kind of work–particularly in the form of journaling–can lead to greater health and happiness.
Build Yourself Up. One way to feel more empowered is to recognize your strengths and reaffirm your individual power. Research shows that using affirmations can help. Try these three to get started: I am who I want to be. I believe in me. I am grateful for today.
From everyone on The Steve Fund’s team, I want to wish you all a wonderful Pride month. As Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple says, “History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.” I hope these tips help you remember that you can be that person!