For the times when you’re overthinking

If I got paid for overthinking, I’d be a rich woman. I’m really good at it, and I’m betting I’m not alone.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:

  • You’re 3 steps ahead of any possible situation
  • Unexpected things can really freak you out
  • You’re the most organized/planned/scheduled person you know

Yup. I’m nodding my head at all of those. I know what it feels like, and I’ve learned a thing or two about overthinking that will help you reign it in, too.

Sometimes the simplest solution really is the best choice. WHAT? How can that be? Don’t we have to look at the solution from every angle, dissect every potential outcome and make a pro & con list?  Actually, you don’t have to do any of that. Like mine, your brain might be wired to work that way, but you get to decide if you want to keep overthinking. One of the reasons this Mo Williams quote speaks to me so powerfully, is that it really can be that simple. Next time you find your brain caught in an overthinking loop, as yourself what the simplest solution is, and give it a try.

Not making a decision is proven to be more stressful than making the wrong decision. WHOA. Is your mind blown, too? When I learned that, I was speechless. All of that time I’d spent trying to make the “right” choice (ahem, cue the perfectionism!) was actually causing more stress? Yup. It totally was. Next time you’re obsessing about what the right thing to do is, just pick something and go with it. You’ll immediately feel the stress lessen, simply because you’ve made a decision. 

When in doubt, practice mindfulness. Deep breaths again? YES. Deep breaths again, or whatever helps you return to the moment. Take a walk, close your eyes for a minute, phone a friend…whatever your mindfulness practice looks like, when you’re caught in the overthinking loop, engage mindfulness!

Most of all, be kind to yourself. A lifetime of overthinking isn’t going to go away in 5 minutes. Start playing with these techniques, be kind to yourself when the overthinking takes over, and get back to practicing some more. Soon you’ll notice a little less overthinking and a lot more peace.

 

CLICK to Tweet: If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. -Mo Willems via @KindOverMatter

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