Confession: I am a huge over-thinker, I don’t know if it stems from self-doubt, feeling a little anxious at times or wanting to know what’s right in front of me but sometimes I can’t stop going over things. Its not all the time, it mainly relates to situations I care about or things that happened in the past that I wish I could have changed. But what good does that do? Nothing. So I came up with a few tips to stop me unlocking the box that is the past and help me do better in my present and future.
What is overthinking you might ask? Google says:
gerund or present participle: overthinking
think about (something) too much or for too long.
“I often wonder if women tend to overthink situations”
1. Rationalise what you’re doing or what you’re thinking about
Will it matter in a week, year or month? Then stop, breathe and work out exactly what it is about this particular thought that is bothering you. This describes it exactly:
2. Break it down
No I don’t mean start a rap battle, I mean write down or speak your thoughts aloud. This will help you get it out of your head and manage a thought process that works for you. Repeating them to another person you feel comfortable with will also help you gain a different perspective.
Using apps like Calm or Headspace first thing in the morning or last thing at night to help you in reference to point 1). Even writing simple to-do lists or keeping a journal might help to. I always find that writing things down is my truth and I find more honesty in writing than speaking.
4. ‘No one cares as much as you’
This phrase sounds a little harsh, but there is definitely truth in it. And of course, not to disregard what you’re overthinking isn’t valid, but no one can see inside your head but you.
Example, when I first started going to the gym I used to think everyone was watching me. I remember on my first visit, I lasted what 10 minutes, I was so paranoid that everyone was watching me. In actuality, no one cared as much as me. Its natural to glance at someone, and whilst you personally may think they’re staring, it could be just a quick glance. Fast-forward a few years later, I honestly don’t care when it comes to being in the gym. I’m here for me and that’s what I’m focusing on.
Read more: Musings: Things that Annoy Me at the Gym
5. Find a focus
When I’m focused on something e.g writing a blog post, during a HIIT session or having a massage (my weekly dream), I find that I don’t have time to overthink because I’m focused on a task. During the task, I’m focused on completing it to the best of my ability or simply wanting to get it over and done with. Find a hobby, explore a passion, make time for it and stick to it. Consistency is key.
Read more: Musings: My 2018 Travel Bucket list
This might be a broad one but learning to live and live in the moment helps me to stop overthink because I’m truly absorbed in the people I’m with or the world around me. When I travel, particularly solo, I make a habit of turning off my emails or putting my phone on airplane most whilst I’m out exploring. There is solace in escapism.
7. Make a plan
This encompasses all points 1 to 6 in some way, shape or form, but logically making plans and goal setting is a great way to stop you overthinking. Obviously life gets in the way, so why not dedicate an afternoon or evening every week (or one day per month) dedicated to you. Sort out your personal admin, plan ahead and make those dreams come true.
Read more: Musings: The Joy of Cancelled Plans
How do you combat overthinking? Let me know by commenting below.
Memes and quotes sourced from WeHeartIt, they do not belong to me.