When Our Emotions Reach Flood-Level

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We’ve all experienced overwhelming emotions when life’s happenings make us feel like we’re drowning in flood-level pressure, responsibilities, and daily challenges. The urge to give up and let the sea sweep us away tempts us. Too often, we forget that channeled stress helps us effectively problem-solve and meet deadlines.

We can learn to swim to higher ground and manage those aspects of life and people with authority and enthusiasm.

Factors contributing to flood-level emotions

  • Taking on more work than time or logic allows
  • Traumatic experiences such as a death, divorce, or betrayal
  • Unmanageable stress

Recognize the symptoms of emotional overload

  • Anxiety/fear
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion/fatigue
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Inability to sleep
  • Isolation from others
  • Loss of interest in our work, hobbies, and relationships
  • Nausea, headache, colds, body aches of no explainable origin
  • Weight gain or loss from poor eating habits

How flood-level emotions affect our relationships with others

  • Breakup of family, friends, and work-related connections
  • Extreme irritability
  • Inability to communicate
  • Lack of genuine concern for other’s welfare
  • Manipulative tactics and bullying
  • Skeptical to trust others
  • Social skills suffer, causing family and friends to avoid us.
  • Work productivity reduces as well as teamwork and information sharing

Coping strategies when emotions threaten to drown us

  • Communicate with a trusted friend or a professional counselor when sad and depressing times attack us. Seeking support is one of the wisest steps we can take.
  • Create by climbing onboard a lifeboat that allows us to use our imagination, skills, and talents to fashion something beautiful.
  • Exercise to work off the unhealthy stress that increases our blood pressure and the potential of a heart attack.
  • Journal those unwanted emotions, conversations, and frustrations. Don’t neglect past victories and successes to show you can overcome the problem.
  • Learn from the past with the journal suggestion above. No doubt you have waded through these murky waters before and made it to the other side.
  • Pray, and this should always be our first line of defense from the threat of high tide to calm sandy beaches. Do we know what brought on the stress? God is with us to guide and encourage our trials.
  • Incorporate good health by eating nutritionally sound meals and snacks. If we want to be our best, then our bodies need the right fuel.
  • Set boundaries with those who attempt to rob us of our time and patience. Pray through what we think is the issue before saying or doing something we regret later.

If you know a friend or loved one who is experiencing continuous overwhelmed emotions, reach out to them in sincere caring to see if the person is in a desperate situation.

When we recognize the signs, the damaging effects, and how to cope with flood-level emotions, we become physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stronger.

Do you have a tip to help us manage emotional overload?






While the strategies outlined above can be helpful for managing overwhelming emotions, it’s essential to recognize that they may not be suitable for everyone or every situation. If you find yourself consistently struggling with your emotions to the point where it significantly impacts your daily life, relationships, or overall well-being, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance from a qualified therapist, counselor, or mental health professional.

Additionally, the information provided in this blog post is intended to offer support and guidance for coping with emotional challenges, but it is by no means a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Every individual’s experience with emotions and mental health is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Please remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate assistance from a mental health hotline, emergency services, or a trusted healthcare provider.

Here are a few reputable online mental health hotlines and emergency services you can reference:

 1   National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA):

  • Website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
  • Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) (24/7 hotline)

 2   Crisis Text Line (USA):

  • Website: https://www.crisistextline.org/
  • Text HOME to 741741 (24/7 crisis support via text message)

 3   Samaritans (UK):

  • Website: https://www.samaritans.org/
  • Phone: 116 123 (24/7 hotline)

 4   Kids Help Phone (Canada):

  • Website: https://kidshelpphone.ca/
  • Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (24/7 hotline)

  5  Lifeline (Australia):

  • Website: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
  • Phone: 13 11 14 (24/7 hotline)

These organizations provide confidential support and assistance to individuals in crisis or experiencing mental health challenges.

Comments 25

  1. Prayer is an absolute must Ms. DiAnn. I’m overwhelmed with stress more often than I would like to admit, and it can most definitely affect my outward as much as my inward. When I feel it starting to crest, I purposely get away and talk to my Abba. He understands and is always willing to listen. I only ask He give me more of His peace. Another coping mechanism, and I realize not everyone has this, is getting away in the natural world and silencing yourself. Just listening to the cattle tearing grass as they eat, rubbing your chocolate lab’s head and scratching his ears while he lays his head on your lap, or feeding oatmeal cookies to your little donkey who then nuzzles you with her velvety soft lips for another. During all these moments, there’s no words, just silence as God envelops me in His peace.

    1. JD, you know how to offer a sermon in a few words. Thank you. I love nature too – the mountains always calm me, gardening, and simply being outside in the quiet.

      Just finished Brother Lawrence, and that book has been insightful to how I view stress.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. It really is important to admit when we are stressed, and then seek God first and foremost. All your tips and hotlines are a blessing. Thank you, DiAnn. You’re a gem.

  3. DiAnn, thank you for this informative and compassionate post. The phrase, “than time or logic allows” struck me. I never thought of my willingness to say yes to all those requests as being illogical. But that is spot on! I will look to answer requests with that concept in mind. Is this logical for me to do or illogical? Not “Can I fit this in or will I be disappointing them if I say no?” Thanks!

    And the links for help resources provides something actionable. Kudos for adding them.

    1. Oh, Karen, thank you! It was a pleasure chatting with you at the conference. Saying no for Christians is probably one of the hardest tasks for us to master. We think we’re supposed to say yes to everything!

  4. Great post, DiAnn. It’s difficult to admit we all have our limits … but it’s not a sign of weakness or lack of faith to admit when we hit one. My emotions reached flood level 2 weeks ago when a super-stressful work situation became untenable and started affecting my health. I was slated for an all-day dental procedure a week later and could tell that stress was tanking my immune system (as well as my sleep). I’ve survived a near-fatal case of Lyme disease, so I know severe stress can take me out of remission with Lyme. At the risk of losing a long-time work client, I had to ask to be taken off their project that was causing so much stress. (They’d taken on a new customer who was beyond difficult.) It was the right decision. I pray everyone in “flood level” situations will have the courage to make the right decision for themselves.

    1. Lana, thank you for sharing your experience. Your transparency will help others who find themselves in flood level stress. Prayer, as you found out, helps us see God’s purpose and plan – not our own. Glad you are happier and feeling better.

  5. Thank you Diann, In April I lost my 28 year old daughter. And although I have so many things to live for I miss her so so much. We had so many jokes and things we shared via text and what not. We would make each other laugh and lift each other up. That outlet is now gone. Deep sigh. Thank you for these reminders for sure

    1. Linda, I’m so sorry about your loss. We lost a son over two years ago, and it still hurts. We miss our children, and we don’t want to forget them. Sometimes sweet memories pop up, like you mentioned. God is on our side, and He will comfort us.

    2. Linda, I am so very sorry you lost your daughter. The relationship you had with her sounds wonderful and such a blessing. Please know I will be praying for you in the months to come. God holds you in His gentle, loving hands. He won’t let go.

  6. A very insightful and helpful post. I have been struggling after the loss of my mother and can relate to many things mentioned. Through it all, God has been an ever-present lifeline.

  7. Great post! The supplement Ashwagandha has also been super effective for me in times of extra stress. It definitely takes a multifaceted approach to combat times of high emotions/stress!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *