There's a sort of buzz going on in your brain. And it's not the good kind.
So far you've showered, inhaled your breakfast and gotten the train to work but you've hardly noticed any of it. You've been busy (getting nowhere).
As your body goes through the motions (it's also pretty tense and crunched up too), your brain has been on overthinking-autopilot.
You've mentally played out what you expect will be a stressful meeting, felt defensive as you have a mind-argument with your boss about a deadline, and felt a wave of dread wash over you as you imagine tackling your email mound.
Truth is, all of this has happened in your mind as you stand in line at Starbucks.
You've been over-thinking again, and in doing so, you're suffering before anything has even had a chance to go wrong in your day.
In my opinion, over-thinking is the biggest joy-suck out there. I don't want you to waste another minute.
Here are 5 points to start to get you overcoming over-thinking.
Over-thinking doesn't lead to insight. The problems in your life will not be solved by the tense, ruminating stress-thoughts that over-thinking creates. The anxious mind will make up a tonne of stuff that isn't true and put a negative spin on everything. The only way to truly know how things will pan out is to take action. Trust me that when you're in it, or when you take action, you'll know what to do. Coz' you're smart like that and you can trust yourself.
You're still here. At this point in your life, you have a 100% success rate of handling things (you're still here, aren't you?!). So whatever future situation you're ruminating over, trust that you will handle it. In fact, why not take this time to remind yourself of all the challenges you've faced and come out of A-ok? That job interview you aced, the presentation you gave that your boss LOVED, that party you were nervous to go to but ended up making 3 new friends at. You're basically amazing 😉
It's ok to be wrong. You're allowed to make mistakes. If you're looking for permission, here it is! No matter how much 'thought' you put in to a decision, you can still be wrong, and that's ok. There's often no way to know until you take the leap. Often, there is no one single, correct decision anyway.
Very few decisions are FINAL and sometimes we just need to take action and make a mistake in order to move forward. Focus on progress, over perfection all the way.
Your thoughts are not facts. They're kind of like pre-programmed events in the mind, or that annoying (and depressing) song on the radio station that they won't stop playing. Over and over. It's time to tune it out.Let's not take those pesky thoughts for gospel. Step outside of yourself and see those thoughts as the silly, innocent and misguided worries that they are. Laugh in the face of over-thinking! Bah-ha-ha-ha!
Do something to help someone else. It's easy to get caught up in your own brain (and life). Getting some perspective by shifting your attention to someone else can make all the difference. Help someone out with something at work, write a kind note (or email) to lift someone's mood, buy the homeless guy outside some lunch or just pay special attention to being kind and considerate as you go through your day. Its distracting, life-affirming and perspective-giving.
Don't let thoughts run amok, lay them down in black and white. Write a stream of consciousness. It's one of the best ways to calm the mind there is.It's better out than in. Plus it's much less scary when you can see what you're dealing with.
What tips for overcoming over-thinking do you have? We'd love to hear them! Let us know in the comments.
Photos from 123 RF.