Being overwhelmed is a terrible state. It is essentially chronic panic. People in a panicked state don’t think clearly and tend to make bad decisions.

The thing about being overwhelmed is that it is by definition temporary. You can’t spend your entire life, or ever more than a few days, overwhelmed.

What is overwhelming usually passes pretty quickly because (1) it was not that big of a problem in the first place, (2) you work your way through it or (3) it becomes the new normal and you adjust to it.

Overwhelm is, quite simply, a huge waste of time and emotional energy. It it dangerous and damaging and should be avoided at all costs.

We should aim instead for whelm, a term that I define as follows:

Whelm /(h)wellm/  verb A state of alert awareness and deep confidence in the face of challenges. See flow state.

Examples of whelm in a sentence

When the professor put the blue book in front of her, Sally felt a rush of whelm and knew that she would ace the test.

That’s a big wave, bro, but it’s cool, I am so whelmed!