Have you caught yourself spending hours overthinking about the future?
Or are you one of those people who keep on obsessing every mistake they made years ago and wished they did things differently?
How to identify if you keep overthinking?
It’s simple, just analyse you thinking to action ratio. The balance will automatically help you understand.
Few scenarios in an over-thinker’s life :
- You browse through Facebook or Instagram and feel depressed or stressed about things you don’t have.
- Planning out worse case scenarios in mind before going out or meeting someone new
- Spending hours or sometimes even days thinking about what they should have said in that situation
- Keep on feeling guilty about mistakes they’ve made in the past and continue to obsess over it
- Use most of their energy in planning things out and when it comes time to taking action, end up giving up.
Did you relate to any of the situations above?
If yes then you are an over-thinker.
Okay so you’ve identified yourself so now what?
First things first, you need to accept yourself.
Chances are you’ve picked this up from someone in your family or you’ve always been in that kind of environment where you had to think before you act.
So accept it that overthinking is your involuntary response to everything.
To break this you need to fight it everyday until not overthinking is replaced as your involuntary response.
Now, that you’ve accepted it, approaching it might seem scary, because your natural response would be to overthink and fear the process and raking the first step will feel daunting.
Just remember to,
Focus on mastering each moment of each day and you’ll end up making the most out of your life
Break this down and understand that one overthinks when worried about the things that aren’t in their control.
If we focus on making the most of the present moment we are in, then we end up having a collection of moments where we’ve given our best and thus, the future doesn’t seem so daunting!
Now how to cleanse your thoughts and focus on one thing?
BRAIN DRAIN EXERCISE
Brain Drain Exercise or Stream of Consciousness (SOC) writing involves you putting your thoughts down on a piece of paper without any filter.
You simply pick a time of the day (preferably morning) and start writing all the thoughts that come in your mind.
These can be thoughts of worry, things you need to do or simply just feelings about a person.
Write everything down as it is, in the same sequence and the same words that come in your head.
Things you will need :
- Pen or pencil, your choice
- A journal lined or blank
- Dedicated time slot where you will not be interrupted
How is this helpful?
This helps you get out of the thought trails that you leave incomplete in your mind.
These incomplete trails are the main cause of anxiety as it tricks your brain in feeling that you have too many problems to deal with.
Once you write these down you, you take your time and you finish those thought trials.
You are able to categorise your thoughts and find solutions for them.
This helps in identifying the difference between major and trivial issues.
With one act of brain drain or stream of consciousness writing you will feel lighter, stronger and in control.
How do I do it?
I too have an habit of overthinking and it gets worse in pms, so for me this exercise is crucial!
After my morning rituals are done, I sit on my desk with my journal and pen and I just start writing.
My writing starts with a negative tone won’t lie but as I progress I start identifying the pattern and shift my focus to the solutions
What does my SOC or Brain Drain writing consist of?
My writing usually consists of me understanding and accepting myself.
I have a habit of pleasing everyone and I am working on that because I tend to lose myself in that process.
Most times I write to get out of negative cycle of panic that makes me feel like there’s no hope for me.
Then I also write to motivate myself and come to terms with some of my feelings which I have a tendency of not dealing with right away!
What you should take away from this?
Overthinking is a habit which needs to be broken.
You need to substitute it with a habit that helps you get solutions, that helps you put the worries in the past.
Brain Drain or SOC is an exercise that will help you give direction and an end destination to all those hanging thoughts that pile up overtime and ultimately lead to an anxiety attack!
Trust me just start this, as always don’t overthink it!
The link to my moleskine journal is here! I really prefer moleskine as, these notebooks are sturdy and last very long, the ink doesn’t bleed on their pages and as you can see it’s been used and loved thoroughly !
It took me two years to finish this journal and I have already gotten a new one from www.williampenn.net They always provide genuine moleskine products, and I’m obviously not sponsored to say this but I’m just passionate about things that relive me from anxiety and stress!