How do we stop over thinking?
Men say women do it. Women believe men do it. Truth is…everyone does it.
At various points in our lives we drastically over think something, or a myriad of things. It could be an event, a moment, an email or a text; but at some point we over think it to death. Suddenly this small or great interaction dictates the next several hours of our lives, or longer.
We think about it, think about thinking about it, and think about how it could have gone differently, or how it might go. We spend so much time over thinking our past, and so much time over thinking our future, that our present goes on without us. The irony in it all is that if we stopped to live in our present, we’d make better choices and we wouldn’t have to over think things so damn much.
We’re missing life.
See here’s the thing, if you are thinking about something to the point that it is distracting you from just about every single daily activity other than breath, then it is time to do something about it and stop over thinking. This doesn’t mean that I am being an advocate for rash decisions, because I am not.
I am, however, an advocate for getting out of your own head. All over thinking situations does it keep you mentally circling; just like an airplane preparing to land. Eventually you have to make touchdown, and rest, otherwise you’ll burn yourself out and cause more damage to yourself and the people around you.[Tweet “The stress that over thinking causes will be the catalyst to a host of other issues.”]
The stress that over thinking causes will be the catalyst to a host of other issues; none of which you’ll be thinking about of course since you’re still obsessing about that first thing. All of those other issues can be avoided. I threw a few of them below (5 to be exact), and if you are an avid over thinker, you are likely experiencing these and several others.
If you get them to the degree that I do, you’ll learn quickly that you can do nothing once you have one. Then you’ll find that, that thing that you have allowed to drain you to such a degree, you couldn’t even deal with it, even if it did turn around in your favor. Headaches are the sign of excessive stress and strain on the body.
Pain is the first indication that your body or a part of it has had too much. At that point it is easier to just stop, rest, and give your brain a break. Take a nap, a walk…find something calming to do. If your head is hurting it is your body’s way of telling you it has had enough. Stop.
You’re Wasting Time:
Listen…I don’t want sound unfeeling as if I have never been through stress, or as if I have never over thought a thought to death, but now that I am on the other side of that thought I can successfully ask and answer the question: What did all of that over thinking do? It does nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. All of those seconds, minutes, hours; they are permanently lost to me, and if you are a chronic over thinker then they are lost to you too.
Moments of time… forever gone.
I’d much rather know that I spent time doing something constructive. Now if I find myself beginning to circle in my patterns of thought, I take something out and work on it. I want life to be meaningful, wasting time means nothing and it will have meant that my life meant nothing, if I continue; therefore I choose not to continue. I chose to…Stop.
New Adventures Waiting:
All the time that you have spent thinking, rethinking, and over thinking that moment that you can’t change could’ve been spent learning about something new. There are always things that we are curious about and we should be quick to look into them. You can learn new things about something that was, but no manner or intensity of thought will ever change a thing that was. Stop.
I am one of the few people you will meet that will tell you she has no regrets. Regretting things is utter foolishness. You can’t change anything, you just can’t. Rather than holding on to something and over thinking about how it could’ve been done differently perhaps it makes more sense to recognize the event as a learning experience. No mistakes, and no regrets, there are hard lessons and harder lessons. To over think it would be to ignore the lesson, thus you may make that mistake again. No mistakes, no regrets, only life lessons. To miss a life lesson would be utter foolishness, stop it now. Stop.
The Truth Is:
No one cares as much about that thing you’re over thinking like you do. I mean it. No matter what, no one cares as much as you do about that thing at that moment. Ergo, no one wants to hear about it as often as you want to think and or talk about it. Essentially this means shut up already. Talk to a friend about something else for awhile.
Life Went On:
Life went on from the moment you started over thinking that thought and your friends and loved ones have gone through a few of their own things in that time. Truth is they might need a shoulder to cry on and might need you. Truth is if you spend ten minutes outside of yourself you just might feel better. Feeling better is the ultimate goal and as soon as you get out of your own head for a bit you can stop feeling like emotional crap. Stop.
Life is going to be full of things that we don’t like, but we can’t get wrapped up in those things. I hate YOLO, but it’s true. There is only one life for each of us and being burdened with stress and over thinking is no way to live it. Do the best you can, every day, get out of yourself whenever you can; live life and be happy whenever you can, but when it comes to over thinking you must…Stop.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
That I can only be better in the moment I am currently in. I can’t control things outside of myself.
2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate that I can let go. Sometimes it takes longer than I would like it to, but I can let go.
3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
The day that I decided I would have no regrets and that I would claim no mistakes. Changing my thought process in that way I have been able to do number 2 and let go a little more. Once I let go of something, I can get other things accomplished and I can live better. I love that achievement. Going forward, I want to let go a little faster.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
I let go better than most. Sometimes is causes me to cut people off or disassociate from others. It causes me less stress, it causes some more pain.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “
I Love My…?”ability to carry on…regardless.
Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash
Excellent, Cassia. My Grandfather used to say "Decide!" To many people today are crippled with the inability to decide.
Thank you, Mary! Life boils down to just that, choices.
Absolutely fantastic, you should be proud!!