We have all experienced the feeling of being in over our heads. The pressure is on, but we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have too much to do, not enough time and no one can help. We start to feel the pressure. Emotions rise up and stress levels increase. Negative chatter is at its peak in our heads.

Words like “can’t” are at the top of the pile. Our thoughts are erratic and swirling around in our heads clouding our judgement and preventing us from focusing clearly. We feel panicked and out of control.

This is the feeling of being overwhelmed.

The good news is there are some easy tricks to breaking free from overwhelm which you can use to bring yourself back to a state of calm and control. Our brains are easily out-manoeuvred… when we know how.

1. Look up

Your brain will go to its visual cortex when your eyes are directed upwards. This will pull you out of the emotions that are taking you over. Look up at the ceiling or the sky and speak or sing out loud, (or even count to ten). By engaging the visual and audial, your brain will nicely occupied and hence release you from the undesirable emotional state you had been in.

2. Breathe

When we are in heightened emotion our breathing is erratic and sitting high in our chest. This means our brain is receiving insufficient oxygen which adds to that feeling of chaos.
Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, pulling it all the way down, so you can feel your lungs fully inflate, then breathe out slowly through your mouth in the sound of an S. (ssssssssssss…like a snake)
Repeat three to four times. Your oxygen will regulate, your brain will be clearer and you will notice a shift in your emotional state.

3. Move

Get up out of your chair and move your body. Go for a walk, run up and down the stairs, go to the bathroom or check the mailbox. It doesn’t matter what you do. It’s breaking the state that matters. Again we are looking to engage the brain elsewhere so we have time to refocus and regain control.

4. Take a break

Often when we hit overwhelm it’s because we have been focused on a single task for an extended amount of time without a break. We are trapped in a cycle and can’t think around it. Too often we work through our lunchbreaks or remain at our desks for extended periods of time. Our brains are like our bodies, if we use them a lot we must allow them to rest also. Even ten minutes of downtime can completely reframe your perspective when you return to task. There are some great brain wave apps now too. You can plug into your phone and meditate for twelve minutes, with the same result as a two hour nap!

Apply one or more of these to outwit your brain and you will give it time to reboot, so you can begin to think clearly, refocus and come up with solutions, instead of stressing out.

The next time you find yourself in a state of overwhelm and those emotions start to rise up give it a shot and notice the change.

You ARE smart enough to outsmart your own mind!

If you are experiencing severe stress or feelings of overwhelm look out for our Stress Management Workshop, or call us for information on our Individual Coaching programs. Ph: 02 8011 8114 or 0418 490 422. We are here to help.

Be Ultimate because Ordinary is Over-rated

What Our Clients Say

I have been with the same company for nearly 10 years. Although in a leadership role and successful, I felt burned out, stressed and unhappy at work. This was impacting my work /life balance as well as my interaction with others. I needed to re-evaluate my career priorities and level up my communication skills. Cheryl took the time to listen and understand my situation. We worked together to better understand my strengths and values and how important it is for them to be congruent with my career development. With Cheryl’s guidance I focused on the steps I needed to make to remain myself, whilst becoming a better leader at work. Cheryl’s style, attitude and easy to follow steps are pragmatic and realistic. She provided me with tools I could use every day to remain focused on changes I needed to make to achieve what I wanted.This is an ongoing journey but I am now more confident, have a deeper understanding of both myself and others, have the tools to perform better at work and am maintaining a more fulfilling work-life balance.

Catherine.R – National Manager

I met Cheryl as I started a personal journey in seeking greater clarity for my career. It has turned into much more and I am most grateful to her for helping me understand myself much better as well as how to interact with those around me. Both professional and private. Cheryl has been a source of strength and insight. Her warm and friendly nature makes it easy to relate to her. She challenges the status quo and help me improve many aspects of my life. A number of my colleagues have spent time with Cheryl and all feedback has been positive. I would highly recommend her.

Ross Cartwright, Managing Director – Head of Retail Aus/NZ, MFS INVESTMENTS

We were lucky enough to have Cheryl come to our Annual Team Conference where she presented a Creative Thinking Workshop for our Team. I would high recommend Cheryl and the workshop for anyone who is looking to open their minds and expand the vision of the business. The workshop was highly interactive with the concepts and ideas being able to be implemented relatively quickly and simply into our business.

Harry, Director of Projects, PLAN ASSIST PTY LTD

I have seen and worked with Cheryl on a number of events and projects she is a part of. So when it came to organising an EA/PA Networking event, I knew she was the right person to be our guest speaker. Cheryl is an engaging, humorous and energetic presenter, who can relate easily to a room of 10 to 100+ people. She brings a world of knowledge and experience to her presentations and her real-life business examples reinforce the messages she presents. Cheryl is definitely someone I would recommend to present at any corporate workshop.

A Edmonds, Events Manager, LUNAR PARK SYDNEY

I attended Be Ultimate’s workshop on Stress Management. It was amazing! It was exactly what I needed to understand how to manage my busy days. Cheryl taught us practical, easy to implement strategies that worked for me from day 1 and I haven't looked back since. I highly recommend Cheryl as a coach, and recommend her 2 hour workshops for anyone.


I have attended two LinkedIn workshops run by Be Ultimate and I have found them to be extremely informative, professional and succinct, whilst also being very personable and fun. I have already implemented new content and knowledge learned at the workshops ... starting at the actual workshops itself!

Thanks for your fun and informative workshop sessions.


Cheryl provides an incredible bouncing board to lead you through your journey of reinvention or simply to gain reinforcement that the path you’re on is the right one. Cheryl is an awesome person who truly cares for other people, wants to see them achieve their goals, isn’t backward in coming forwards when you need the prod in the right direction and will encourage you to see the great results you are accomplishing when they may not be as obvious to you.

I highly recommend Cheryl to anyone who is looking for business advice, a change in career or simply wants to gain some solutions to taking a positive approach to life.

A.Wilson, Business Owner, CATEGORACLE

Cheryl has facilitated a number of conferences for Liquid Learning in both Australia and New Zealand and has always been a pleasure to work with! Cheryl is helpful, punctual, reliable and always professional. She is very skilled in keeping the conference running to time and lifting the energy of the room as she facilitates Q&A sessions. Cheryl also frequently runs workshops with us and does regular speaking spots which she always receives great feedback for.

Jean Young, Project Executive, LIQUID LEARNING

With the majority of delegates rating Cheryl’s keynote presentation at the IOPO Conference 5 out of 5, she exceeded our expectations! Cheryl is truly passionate about helping businesses to succeed and thrive.

Linda, IOPO Advisory Board Member, IOPO

Cheryl has been a delight to work with over the past 7 years. She has assisted our business, Independent Garden Centres, with professional development workshops, she has been of great support to me as a coach. Cheryl has emceed the last two annual IGC Retail Conferences with an engaging and fun style, and she has been one of our conference keynote speakers who held the undivided attention of the delegates with ease. I thoroughly recommend Cheryl Alderman in any of these capacities.  Cheryl is a consummate professional who quickly builds rapport, she clearly enjoys sharing her knowledge with others, and there is always an element of fun which oft missing in many professionals.

Evan Mueller, CEO, IGC

In this workshop we were introduced to a range of simple strategies that the group could adopt to manage the inevitable stress and tension experienced in corporate and every life. The cynical group loved the practical and interactive approach of this workshop and were highly engaged throughout the 2 hours. The presenters brought in lots of great exercises. I am happy to recommend this Managing Stress workshop and both presenters to other corporate groups.

L Jones, People & Culture Business Partner, FOXTEL

Working with Cheryl has had benefits that have reached far beyond me as an individual. She has helped me to become a better leader and elevate the effectiveness and potential of my entire team. Cheryl's coaching has raised my self awareness, shifted my focus to control what I can control, and given me tools to realise opportunities that I wouldn't have thought possible before our first session.

Michael, Manager of Digital Marketing, DIMENSIONAL