Habits or character traits like these, don’t disappear easily. You will usually have to deal with them for at least a significant chunk of your life. Even though that obviously also goes for me, I have found ways to deal with this toxic habit that caused me so much stress and anxiety. In this blog I will briefly explain what helped me to let go of certain thought patterns that included excessive overthinking. I hope this article is useful!
For me personally, the first step is usually acknowledging what bothers me whenever I notice that my mind drifts off to negative spheres. I then try to find why this particular event causes so much distress; is it my fear of failure that is doing its work right here, or is it the fact that I am insecure about my own capabilities? Maybe I just don’t feel comfortable in this situation? Most of the time, I am afraid to let people down that have certain expectations of me. This causes me to worry about specific events, days, weeks or even months before they actually take place. Acknowledging what it is that makes me feel so weak and ‘busy in my mind’, does really help to tackle the problem.
Step two is to track if there is anything that can be done to release some of the tension around the event; is there any way I can prepare for it so that I will feel more confident? If there is; perfect! I try to comfort myself by practicing and preparing, but remember to not overdo it. In this case, a little goes a long way and endless repetition can actually get in the way of your mental progress, since you will be too focused on the event that causes you to overthink.
It also helps me tremendously to first get the thoughts out of my mind and then get out of my mind myself. Whenever I feel wired-up about something, I simply start typing; I might write a blog, write in my dairy (if I keep one at that point), but I will most likely start writing a poem about what it is that I can’t seem to get out of my mind. Transferring my thoughts into written pieces gives my mind a break and forces me to focus on the creative component of the skill of writing; it is the perfect combination of distraction and processing. If I am lucky, ‘therapeutic writing sessions’ like these might actually leave me with some inspiration. The personal benefits of this approach are one of the main reasons that I decided to include the interactive element in my debut poetry bundle Rays to distance the dark. After each poem, you will either find a mantra, exercise/assignment or question that will help you to actively process the information present in the poem and reflect upon how it might resonate with your own life, thoughts and experiences. Clearing out my mind through exercises like this usually leaves me feeling content, inspired, productive and less ‘in my head’ than beforehand. I also hope that you experience this when reading through my poetry bundle and engaging with it yourself.
Getting outside and moving your body further helps to release some mental tension and to get more in touch with your surroundings instead of drowning in your own thought bubble. Simply going for a walk around the block or doing some yoga/stretches is already a good start. Play some music and just get to it, even if you feel like you are too busy to take a break to move your body; just take it. You will notice a boost in your productivity after, so you will still get where you need to be at the end of the day, hopefully feeling much better whilst doing so as well.
Lastly, I have been trying to live in the present much more. Focusing on the current moment hardly leaves any space to worry about the future or to keep on stumbling over the past. I used to be someone who loved to plan out their entire week and live on quite a strict schedule so that I would get everything done that had to be done. However, I have noticed that I feel much more relaxed and comfortable when I just ‘go with the flow’ a bit more. I know that sounds horribly cliché, but just seeing what the day brings has a calming aspect. Sometimes letting go of complete control is quite a good idea when it comes to reducing the amounts in which you overthink.
I hope these tips gave you a clear insight in what helps for me when I feel like it all gets a little bit too much, and I genuinely hope they will help you too. It has been a while since I wrote a blog with tips like these, so I hope you enjoyed reading this one.
Have a great day and I hope to see you back soon on Styles by Sophie.