Overthinking is destructive
Quite bluntly, it’s mentally draining. It can make you feel like you’re stuck in one place, and if you don’t act, it can greatly impact on your total well-being and happiness. Rumination makes you more susceptible to depression and anxiety and will freeze you to the spot unable to take the action that you need.
Many people overthink because they are scared of the future, and what could potentially go wrong. This fear means that they feel triggered and try desperately to figure it out by thinking it out over and over again. Overthinking.
Maybe you should do this? Maybe you should do that? What if that doesn’t work? What will people think? How will I get it done? What if I fail? All of this keeps you rooted to the spot just treading water to stop you drowning.
The Good News?
Chronic worrying is not permanent. It’s a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stop going down the overthinking rabbit hole and enable you to be an active participant in your own life.
You carry the same fears with you throughout your life – often based on past experiences and we will react in the same way. With panic, running away, compulsive behaviours, etc. but the thing these have in common is the over-thinking element. We go round and round panic-mongering based on the enormity of the task.
So how do we become less afraid? How do we break the fear pattern?
Start by breaking it down. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Instead of taking it as a whole, unsurmountable task – thinking about the big leaps you need to take – try to break it down into bite-sized pieces. Think smaller. This is one thing I work on with my clients – they tell me what their huge, scary goals are and I break them down into doable chunks and small steps. Dreams are built one brick at a time.
Instead of thinking, “How do I build a house?” think about one little brick I can lay now in the direction of what I want to do. And when you figure that out and the bricks are laid, look at the next few in the pattern.
It’s the small steps in the right direction, every day, that build momentum. Done is better than perfect. And progress is better than worrying about completion.
Take a breath sweetheart
When we are in overthinking mode we can get manic. Our anxiety causes us to go into hyperdrive.
And then breathe again.
(Watch my video HERE on Cocoa Breaths – my favourite technique for breathing for calming thoughts).
Being busy isn’t the same as being productive. Being hectic doesn’t mean that you’re making progress or that you’re in control. If you’re overthinking and creating stories, it means that you’re driven by your fears. And that’s a sign that you should actually slow down.
Worrying won’t make it happen faster. Anxiety won’t make it become a certainty. Stress that you’re not where you’re supposed to be (either in your personal, or professional life) will just keep you on edge with frantic energy.
Take time out. Be mindful of the present moment. Unplug, unwind and enjoy the small things.
Think about the small steps that come next. Get good at ticking them off your ta-da list and celebrating the wins along the way and let the bigger picture take care of itself. Just keep the momentum in the right direction, one small brick at a time.
By doing this, you can get the clarity you need on what you want and what you have to do to get it.
Quite often we want to do something big (start our own business, buy our first house, go for a promotion, etc.) but we feel like we’re inadequate and that causes another round of overthinking. The Shit FM (the radio station in your head that tells you things like, “you’re not good enough”, “no-one will ever love you”, “who do you think you are?”) starts blaring very loudly, drawing out any confidence and self-faith.
To quieten down the Shit FM you need to grow into what you want to do. Become the person who is capable of doing what it is you’re passionate about. Learn to LOVE pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
How do I do that?
Look out for my blog next week on how to GROW into the person you most want to be.
Watch the video I created on this topic by clicking the link below.