THE BLOG

It's Too Much! How to Handle Health Information Overload

Jul 21, 2014 | Updated Sep 20, 2014

You're a WWW (wonderful wellness warrior). You are passionate about your health, your mind-spirit connection and all fabulous things wellness. You meditate, drink green juices, even do detox cleanses from time to time.

Maybe you first got interested in learning more as a way of finding solutions for a health-related issue, or perhaps you took a yoga class one day and got hooked. You have read a few books that were enlightening, empowering and highly educational. You got excited and found a few experts online, signed up for their newsletter. You DVR a few of your favorite cooking shows. Now you know enough to run online and do 2-3 hours of research every time something hurts, stings of itches.

But you're overwhelmed. Because now you realize that there are five different answers for every health-related question you have. And you get 20 emails a day from well-respected experts, all of whom are giving you sound advice that you definitely need to hear but there are only so many hours in the day.

You want to continue to learn and improve, but how do you manage this crazy amount of information coming your day from every direction? I'm not here to stress you out with too many options. Here are the five things I do to manage my own information overload:

Focus On One Specific Topic
There are many aspects to wellness, and you are interested in them all. But trying to learn about all of them at once can be highly overwhelming. Instead, prioritize your needs/wants. Say you are interested in yoga inversions, learning about sugar cravings and the new supplements that Dr. Oz mentioned in his show. Which one of those is the most important for you right now? Focus on that one specific topic (and only that one) to learn for the next few days. You can create a list of keywords with ideas to research at a later time.

Be Picky With What You Hear/Read
I use the "scan and toss" technique. Take about 30 minutes per day to scan your inbox for health-related newsletter. Open each email, scan the body of the email for something that catches your attention and that you'd like to learn more about. If you find something, keep the email, if not, delete immediately. This technique is powerful as it will also help you feel like you are in charge and in control of your inbox (which is often a major reason for overwhelm).

Enlist The Help Of A Coach
If you are in the midst of a major life transformation (you need help with weight loss, want to learn to safely detox or are juggling a few health-related conditions at a time), you might want to consider hiring a health or wellness coach to help you manage the information overload. A coach can be your accountability buddy, help you sort through the clutter, create a customized wellness regime and support you in your efforts. Coaches can become part of your health care team, working together with your doctors and helping you manage those relationships as well.

Change One Step At A Time
There is no point in spending time, money and resources creating a wellness plan if you are not going to follow it. Nine out of 10 times, people fail at creating new healthier habits because they are trying to bite more than they can chew. They try to change too many things in their routine, get overwhelmed and stop. Then they get angry at themselves for all the time and money wasted. Avoid this by changing just one, maybe two things in your routine every month. By the end of the year, you would have 12 to 24 new healthier habits to celebrate!

Use Your Intuition
Next time you feel the need to go crazy and Google something for hours stop and listen. You have an innate intuition and your body is constantly giving you cues. Take a few days to listen to these cues and ask for intuition. A great technique that helps me a lot is to draw a vertical line in the middle of a paper, write on one column the foods, supplements and medications you consume each day and on the other column, write down how do you feel before, during and/or after. You can also do this experiment with thoughts and emotions that are a constant in your mind.