And thinking about overthinking.
It's a common theme that comes up in the Client's chair, almost on a weekly basis. But what are some of the things we can do or consider when we are in the cycle, loop and throws of overthinking?
1. Recognise the patterns of your thoughts.
Ever noticed our thoughts just seem to repeat themselves? Especially when we least want or need them too? Thought patterns are the ways in which we think and approach a given situation or problem. They involve the way we organise and interpret information, as well as the cognitive strategies we use to process it. Our patterns of thought are often based on past experiences, beliefs, and values, and these can influence how we interpret the world and make decisions.
When in the throws of overthinking, take the time to recognise these patterns and acknowledge when you are in the midst of overthinking. Recognising the patterns of your thoughts can help you become more aware of when you are engaging in overthinking, and thus, in turn, start to consider the strategies that are available to you.
2. Identify the cause.
Once you recognise the patterns, try to identify the cause of your overthinking. Is it related to perfectionism, fear of failure, or something else? This is something that clients can find difficult to begin with as, sometimes, the cause may have even occurred over a 2 to 3 day window.
Like many emotions or ways of being, our overthinking can be a messenger to something deeper that we are not quote facing. By being able to identify the potential route cause, we can look at the solutions and options available to us to make the changes we would like to see.
3. Take a break.
Take a break from your thoughts and do something else. Go for a walk, read a book, watch a movie, or do something that distracts your mind from overthinking.
Distraction is one such strategy that works for clients. However, I always mention this with a little hazard warning.
- Distraction can lead to avoidance and procrastination. Be mindful of MINDFUL distraction Vs avoidance and procrastination.
- Distraction can also lead to FEEDING the overthinking. With that, I mean trying to fight and wrestle our thoughts. Like any fight or wrestle, this can be exhausting so although we might be in a space of distraction and calm, allow yourself to sit and be with the thoughts and feelings from a place of observation.
4. Practice mindfulness, meditation or breath work.
Mindfulness, meditation and breath work are all great strategies for providing our mind time and space. Likewise, these strategies help us to understand ways in which to soften and calm the mind, allowing us to focus and direct our mind in a way that empowers us.
These strategies are all ultimately ways in which to practice focusing on the present moment, without judgment or attachment. They can help you become more aware of your thoughts, and allow you to observe them without getting too caught up in them.
5. Talk to someone.
The above sounds easy on paper, but the reality is, this "stuff" can be difficult to navigate. Talking to someone can help you gain perspective and better understand the source of your overthinking - which is where coaching can come in.
If you know that this is an area that you would like some support in, why not book in for your FREE Coaching Experience so that we can start to look at the SOLUTIONS and STRATEGIES that are availble to you.
www.kerryhearsey.com/begin to book your session NOW!