Are you one of those brazen people who irks others by using the verb overwhelm as a noun, to label the state of feeling emotionally overloaded?
Example: “Because school and work are so stressful right now, I am experiencing overwhelm.”
If so, did you know there is a controversy among grammar fanatics on whether the word overwhelm can even be used as a noun?
We’ve been hearing recently that a lot people have some pretty strong opinions about this topic. (Really. Regular people care about this, not just word nerds.) People on one side will point out that almost every dictionary in circulation today only labels overwhelm as a verb.
However, those on the other side will argue that commonplace usage of the word has popularized it as a noun. They remind us that entries in the Oxford Dictionary trace the use of overwhelm as a noun as far back as the sixteenth century! But for most people taking a stake in the conversation, the fact that overwhelm is being used more and more as a noun is something worth taking a stand against.
But in our minds, this conversation begs far more important questions that we want to consider in this issue. Namely: Are stress and overwhelm unavoidable circumstances existing outside of our control, that simply happen to us? Or are the feelings of overwhelm and stress within our control to change?
In this issue, we want to give you resources to help you tackle that question because we’re convinced that the way you answer these questions is going to impact the degree to which you are satisfied with the life you are living.
We recognize there are seasons in our lives when we face particular trials and they are bound to be stressful. But the good news we’re discovering is that we do have a measure of control over some of the stress and overwhelm in our lives. And that’s why we’re excited about this issue of Simplify Magazine.
In this issue, you will find conversations on the topics of stress, worry, perfectionism, depression, rest and approaching the holiday season with intentionality. You will find insightful research, unique solutions, personal stories and practical ideas to embrace a less-stressed lifestyle.
We’ve gathered an important team of experts to take us on a deep-dive into the dialogue surrounding stress and overwhelm. The articles are varied and in-depth.
We think this is an important conversation for modern families. And we believe strongly you will agree. May this issue focused on stress and overwhelm equip each of us to live lives focused on things that matter.
With you on this journey,
Joshua Becker and Brian Gardner
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