Self Management in a Culture of Overwhelm

Do you know anyone who isn’t a little anxious these days. The moment I think I have it all figured out, something like ChatGPT happens then I feel anxious. What about you? Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some strategies that have helped me and my clients deal with overwhelm and anxiety.

Strategy #1 | The Number Line

Consider the possibility that if you feel anxious, you may be way too far in the future mentally, and when you feel regret, you’re living in the past. How do you take control of the negativity that wants to live in regret and consternation? By using The Number Line technique.

Visualize a number line starting at negative 10 and going to positive 10. The middle is zero, which represents the present moment. The farther to the left you go, the more you are living in the past. The farther to the right, the more you’re in the worry of the future. Far left and far right create anxiety.


Track your feelings of anxiety, fear or regret. Once you notice the feeling, determine where you are on the number line. For example, positive 8 means you’re way in the future. Bring yourself (your thought processes) back to zero, the present moment. Aim to stay between negative 2 and positive 2.

Stay tuned and next week I’ll offer up another useful strategy.

Marlene Chism