The irony of this piece is that I'm over-thinking writing about over-thinking. Every time I put pen to paper, I have this overwhelming feeling of anxiety that readers won't like what I have written. So when I receive all of your emails and messages back to me, you are actually helping a sis come back to a normal human level and it is much appreciated, so thank you!
I'm 1 million % sure I'm not the only over-thinker out there. I think we all have tendencies to over-think situations, just some of us more so, and more frequently. If you have ever had that gut-wrenching, sick beyond your stomach feeling then I hate to tell you boo but you've over-analysed yourself into anxiety. If you worry about everything and often find yourself being uncontrollably irritable, snappy, exhausted and have that feeling of under accomplishment, then you have entered the daily-over-thinkers. A club made exclusively for "the person who reads into everything". That thing you're reading into can be anything by the way.. people, places, relationships, even the smallest of decisions. I'm obliged to think that sometimes there is no problem except us. We, the club member, are the problem. We force ourselves to search for a problem within a situation and are then disappointed when we can't find one. It's almost like we think we are unworthy of being content and life being normal. As a frequent member of the club, you will understand that your thoughts will almost always need clarification. So much so, we end up putting ourselves through something that we didn't need to. I know, lets picture the situation were thinking about, and let's think about every possible outcome and pick out the worst. Sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud doesn't it? So why do we do it and how do we train our brains to stop it.
There comes a point where you have to become the leader of your own thoughts and stop making negative predictions about the future. We are self-confessed over-thinkers, that try to justify our irrational behaviour by reciting our past mistakes. When in reality, we really should have just let that go a long time ago. If you're like me and tend to apologise a lot, you need to stop. Why do we keep saying sorry? Erm, *well usually because my over-thinking thoughts have now turned into verbal diarrhoea and somebody needs to just sew my mouth up*. Yeah, that. Let's get the one you're all dying to talk about out the way... Relationships. Even the word is making your heart sink, isn't it? Not because you don't love the one your in or because you don't want one, but because that specific relationship has at some point caused you mass anxiety and left you questioning yourself in more ways than one. I think social media has completely changed the game for relationships. It's far too accessible for people to watch every move of somebody else. Who's picture they've liked, who they've followed, when they were last online.. all of these are subconscious factors in overloading our brains. "He's read my message and hasn't replied for an hour"... *cue 5,000 scenarios including run away to Bermuda with his neighbour because he's decided he hated the jumper you were wearing soooo you weren't for him. You've spent the last hour over analysing the last text he sent, any abnormal behaviour, and you've 100% "found" a problem in there somewhere. Until your phone pings and he says sorry he was walking the dog. Then not only do you feel like an idiot, but all of that anxiety immediately goes out the window. So you've essentially sat there, not only wasted an hour of energy, but also an hour of brain time creating a problem in your head. Daft, yet we still do it.
There are so many things we over-think, not just relationships. We over-think our jobs, our families, even little things such as what to make for tea. I always say this, but you are stronger than your mind. You are the leader of the daily-over-thinkers and you can tackle any situation by changing your perspective on it. Being somebody who works daily to help people, I have had to come to terms with who I am as a person and how I now deal with a situation that I'm faced with. The most important thing I have learned is; "Don't assume." Jumping to conclusions before we know any or all the facts is single-handedly the worst thing you can do. You will dwell on something that probably hasn't even happened, instead of thinking logically and considering your options. Let's start by taking the problem out of the box and looking at it from a wider perspective. Ask yourself logical questions and keep telling yourself "You're over-thinking this, calm down and breathe." Actually acknowledging you ARE being slightly irrational is a huge step in changing the way you handle situations. I often like to think; "If a friend presented me with the same scenario, what would I say to them?" and it's 1000 times less critical than what I would tell myself.
Fear pulls so many of us back that we find it immensely difficult to even consider positivity as an option. Humans naturally fear the unknown, but once you keep repeatedly telling yourself you are stronger than your mind, you won't let fear stop you from challenging your thoughts. You will learn to understand that some situations in life are out of your control, and unfortunately that's.just.fucking.life. But, learning how to deal with what you can control can actually help you change your life for the better. We are all different, and each of us will have different people or places that help our minds and thoughts be calm. I have two safe places. My mum's house, and the beach. If I feel like my thoughts are running negatively wild and I need to reconnect with the world, you'll find me at either of those places. Figure out what your happy place is and always head for there if your mind is doing over-time. If you can't physically get there, close your eyes, take deep breaths and imagine it. If you want to stop being an over-thinker, you have to remember that, that doesn't mean you will never have a negative thought, but it means you will have the ability and strength to face the thought rationally and positively.
To really train and calm your mind, you need to make sure you have enough rest, sleep and you-time. You need to create positive, future plans and stick to them, as well as learning the art of letting go (If you haven't read my piece on this now would be perfect timing). You have to repeatedly tell yourself you are over-thinking and place yourself into a realm beyond your mind and chaotic thoughts. Do things for you, that make you happy and will distract you from this negativity. Don't try and justify your behaviour, own up and remind yourself to switch your thoughts to a happier place. Happier memories. Ask yourself logical and positive questions, and please always remember;
You are the keeper of your mind - own it.