Overthinking has essentially been the bane of my life for as long as I can remember. Whenever I’m feeling a bit burnt out or overwhelmed, the fear inevitably starts to set in and I swiftly begin to fall down the worry well. If you’re a chronic overthinker like me, you will know first hand how much of a vicious cycle it can be, how it can leave you feeling anxious and full of dread. I’ve previously mentioned that I was in a bad place towards the end of 2016 – any seed of doubt that was planted in my head and wham, bam, thank you mam, the overthinker in me took over (you can read more about that here). It completely consumed me, leaving me feeling like a shell of myself. I’ve found myself getting lost in my own thoughts again recently and it made me realise just how difficult it can be to break the cycle. So today’s post is all about 5 life lessons for those who overthink everything.
Take Time Out
Everyone has different methods of coping when the going gets tough. When my mind is going one hundred miles per hour, I try to tell myself to take some time out. Finding time for yourself isn’t always easy, for various different reasons. Taking time out and focussing on your self-care has become a luxury, consequently adding to the mass pressure that life loves to pile on us. Some love to submerge themselves in the bubbliest of baths, others love nothing more than going on a long walk or losing themselves in a good old book. For me, I tend to find that my mind is clearest when I take the time to exercise. Discovering your coping method/s is such a personal journey and can change vastly from one person to the next. Which is why embracing all of life’s little luxuries that enable your mind to reset is key.
Share The Load
This is something that I’m still working on. When I get myself into this specific mindset, and I’m full of worry and self-doubt, the last thing I ever want to do is share the load with others. There always seems to be this misconception that I’ll be burdening them with my problems (no matter how many times I tell myself otherwise!) Being so wrapped up in your own mind can feel incredibly lonely. But as soon as I manage to pull myself together and confide in someone, I instantly feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. They can open your eyes to a different perspective and help you to see your problems in a new light.
Worrying Isn’t A Weakness
Some people are more prone to worrying than others, but it’s important to know that worrying isn’t a weakness. The truth is, we all do it, no matter what scale it is. We all get stressed, we all overthink things from time to time and shouldn’t feel bad for that. It’s normal. Thanks to our good old friend the internet, (who is both an angel and the devil in disguise) everyone around us seems to have their shit together, going about their lives without a care in the world. It’s so easy to forget that social media is simply the highlights. The pretty bits, the best bits and is often far from reality. In short, if we find ourselves worrying about the simplest of things because we care. Worry is just another emotion, that is just a part of life, but it should never get to the point that it starts to take over.
Control The Controllable
There are so many things in life that we just can’t control, no matter how hard we might try. A friend recently said to me, “You can only control the controllable”, and something inside me just clicked. Worrying doesn’t change anything, nor does it make any situation any easier, so what’s the point? One thing I’m guilty of is that I always overthink about the ‘what ifs’ and dwell on the things that may or may not even happen. But living by ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ is no way to live. If we spend our lives dedicating our time to thinking about all of the things that might go wrong, we’ll miss all of the good things that could be/ are going right. We’ll never get to enjoy all of the good things that can happen in this little world that we live in.
You Can’t Please Everyone
Ah, this old chestnut; my weakness. The one thing that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to shake off. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a sensitive soul, who always worries about everyone else before myself. I get a knot in my tummy at the very thought of making someone unhappy. What can I say, I live to please. But the thing is, you can’t please everyone. Selflessness is a beautiful trait to have, but like all traits, it has its flaws too. You always want everything to be perfect, but the truth is, nothing is perfect. Remember to take a deep breath. Remember to think of yourself, your happiness is important too. When you’re always thinking about other people, when do you get to think about little old you? There are boundaries when it comes to pleasing someone else. Sometimes only we can truly control our own happiness.
Do you have any life lessons for overthinking?