Overthinking can be a real burden for people. I want you to know though you are not alone. Most people who overthink, are overthinking about the fact they’re the only ones who have problem of overthinking.
But you are no alone and you have the ability to cure yourself of overthinking.
This is a big topic for me and although I am a massive culprit when it comes to overthinking, but I know there are people who really take this to another level.
To begin with, let me make a big distinction in that there is a enormous difference between overthinking and careful consideration. You can think through things carefully and not be an overthinker.
Careful planning and consideration is where we mindfully plan something and then quickly put into action what we’re thinking. Those people will act relatively quickly and not allow themselves to get bogged down in the process of overthinking.
Overthinking is when thoughts uncontrollably race like a runnaway train and where there will prolific feelings of not being in control, stress, anxiety and a general sense of being overwhelmed.
Does any of that sound familiar?
To add to the problematic mental manifestations, physically it can make you feel exhausted and even worse still, make you ill. Only when you you stop overthinking do you begin to realise just the level of impact it can have on the body. You’ll feel the tension literally just wash away from your neck, back and shoulders.
I still overthink from time to time but I’ve working at it to not be put my mind at ease, spend less time stressing with runaway thoughts and just allowing myself to let go, to be and enjoy this moment.
Overthinking for the most part and for most people is usually centered around mundane things like daily activies, completing chores, but can also then extend to more challenging issues like feeling alone, insecure or helpless.
This is why distractions can be so beautifully enticing. A distraction or time-pass disengages those thoughts for a short time and so you might feel a temporary sense of relief. However once the distraction has gone, the reality can kick in and the causes of your overthinking can return with a vengeance.
So it begs the question; what can you do about it?
1. You are not alone
Firstly I want you to remember that you are not alone. We all have this to a certain degree, but everyone has it to a different degree. This is important and I’m telling you this because overthinkers truly believe they are alone. You are not.
When you catch yourself in the middle of a stint of compulsive overthinking – stop – just stop! Sounds easy right? Well…it is! The challenge is to catch yourself and this takes a little bit of practice. But you can make it into a fun little game. When you catch yourself, say to yourself “Whoops, I’m overthinking” and then laugh at yourself for doing it.
Whether it’s being overwhelmed with daily tasks, or the stress of a painful situation – write! Write down your daily tasks and tick them off one by one. Or write down exactly what it is that is at the root of the overthinking. I was recently stressed out because of a particular person in my life and I wrote out all the things I wanted to say to them and even though I didn’t get to say it to them in person, I just felt so much better and like a huge weight had been lifted.
4. Be in the moment
This is a lesson that cannot be learned enough for all of us. Whatever task you are doing, learn to be present with that task. Turn this into a regular practice. Be connected to whatever it is that you are doing. Become fully immmersed in it. This is not something you will acheive overnight, it is something that you will get better at with practice. As you get better at it, you will find that your overthinking will naturally fade away and you will feel so much lighter and stress-free.