How To Stop Overthinking Things
A girlfriend of mine recently ended what was a very short-term relationship. To be more exact, he ended it, and he did it rather abruptly (this is not the same story from the last blog post:).
She was in shock. She didn’t understand what happened. He took a sharp left turn when she was headed straight.
She was confused and hurt, and she couldn’t stop THINKING about it, trying to FIGURE IT OUT what went wrong.
Now of course, one has every right to feel disappointed and sad when something doesn’t work out the way you had hoped. Letting your feelings run their course is so important.
But the non-stop thinking about it is often where we get tripped up. It’s as if we are certain that by mulling it over in our minds, non-stop, we will come up with a good solution.
This happens to the best of us when it comes to our relationships, our businesses and even our bodies.
When I was putting together a yoga inspired video for my Shrink Session members, I asked them what kinds of themes and mantras they felt like they most wanted.
A few responses were as follows:
“If I could have a little recording of you, in my right ear saying, “STOP THINKING & WORRYING SO MUCH ABOUT THE DAMN FUTURE. FOCUS ON NOW.” That would be great.”
“I would love to find more freedom and less drama, rush, and worry.”
“I wish I could eliminate thoughts of guilt that I experience when I take an hour to myself to stay healthy.”
Whether it’s stress, worry, guilt or anxiety, almost all the responses were about wanting and needing permission to LET GO.
Not such a surprise that Frozen’s “Let it Go” is an all-time hit song.
So, let’s talk about worried overthinking.
Intrusive or worried thinking convinces you that there is actually an ultimate answer, a final destination, and if you got there you would finally feel relief, free from your stress and worry.
Here is how it usually works: A thought comes up that hooks you in. You feel a sudden sense of panic.
This panic may be mild or severe, but it takes you down the rabbit hole of doubt and discomfort.
While you are down in the rabbit hole, spinning in a deeper pool of worry, you desperately try to figure out, fix, or come up with a solution that will somehow quiet that first intrusive thought.
Before you know it, you have spent the last 30 minutes feeling uneasy, doubtful, and stressed. Now no matter how hard you try, you can’t shut it down.
We have all been there and it’s no fun. It’s the ego’s way of having a field day. I am not saying that one shouldn’t carefully consider what’s been learned from an experience, or be a discerning and/or thoughtful human being; my sense is that most of us overdo it in the THINKING department.
So today, I want to give you a rather strange challenge.
NO THINKING ALLOWED.
I realize this sounds extreme and nearly impossible, but hear me out.
I promise you with every ounce of my being that your subconscious mind, your emotional spirit, your cells, your body and TIME are already doing all the figuring out for you.
All of these things are actively finding solutions, healing things and working out big life questions. In fact, it is happening 24/7. Even when (and probably mostly when) you are sleeping.
In some ways believing that you really need to ‘think about it’ or ‘figure something out’ is sort of like putting a packet of sugar on sugar donut.
Don’t get me wrong, I like sweets, but that extra packet would surely be overkill. It ALREADY has the sugar.
Your mind is always thinking, no matter what. You don’t have to encourage more of it.
So what does NO THINKING look like and how do you do it?
I invite you to feel into relaxation and trust that your mind/body/spirit will do the figuring out on it’s own, without ‘your’ help. (Isn’t that a relief?!)
I invite you to decide that it is safe for you to LET GO, with the assurance that you don’t need to do all the ‘work’ to get a wonderful outcome.
Every time you catch yourself taking one step towards that rabbit hole, you can simply say to yourself, “Nope. No thinking today.”
Funny enough, this is the assignment my coach gives me almost every week. Inevitably, when I follow the instructions, I feel lighter, more in love, and new ideas bubble up because I am not so consumed with the questions that really can’t be answered.
Early next week, I’m sharing something that will help you further experience the LETTING GO while also helping you to slow down and allow the flow of LIFE in a little bit more. I truly can’t wait for you to try it.
Here is a little sneak peak into some of the mantras we will be using. Feel free to use them for yourself today:
In the meantime, please, no thinking. It may be hazardous for your health:)
If you and have a friend who you know is an over thinker/worrier, be a pal and invite them to to join you in No Thinking this weekend. Two minds not thinking are better than one mind overthinking.
And of course, I always invite you to leave a comment with your thoughts. Wait, I mean your non-thoughts. Your non-thinking thoughts.
Wow, this could get very meta.
Have a wonderful non-thinking weekend and see you early next week with the goodies.