“I just can’t get out of my head and I find it impossible to switch off.” This was on a call with one of my VIP clients, about her struggle to stop and relax.
She spent so much time in her head, thinking and rethinking then thinking some more that it took all the pleasure out of her life. She was a very successful and outwardly confident, yet inwardly she would doubt her decisions, then ask for the opinions of others, go over and over it again, then remunerate on the decision she’d made.
She lived her life in a world of overthinking, which made her life so much less.
It meant she lived her life in her head. And she didn’t live the happy and contented life she does now. She’s still busy and her life is very full.
Are you An Overthinker?
Then you’re not alone, there is no judgment here as I a BIG old thinker even now and I believe it’s a modern-day epidemic and I see it in so many of the women whose lives I touch.
It’s been shown in studies of brain scans that women’s brains have much more activity in the thinking areas. Whilst men’s have more activity in the doing areas. Add to that, women have more developed social parts of the brain, add all that up = we’re designed to over think.
BUT our modern-day lives, has led to more and more overthinking in women that it’s become like an epidemic.
And these are some of the symptoms I see over and over again:
- Second guessing things and living in what if scenarios.
- Over analysing conversations, events and anything that we can get our hands on.
- Catastrophise and think the worse, what if’s rule your world.
- Finding it hard to let go of things and can live in regret about for what ‘you’ve” done.
- Take things far too personally and read into messages, tones and words.
- Not feeling condiment or 100% certain, which leaves you on edge and tired.
- Always being a perfectionist and then criticising yourself when the thing isn’t perfect.
- Asking others for their views and seeking permission that you are ‘right.”
“I stress, about the stress before there’s even stress to stress about. Then I stress about stressing over stress that doesn’t need to be stressed about. It’s stressful.”
And I believe the more we think, the less we feel and trust our heart and do what feels right and good for us.
I’ve been there and I get it.
I spent the first 39 years of my live living for others, so much so I’d overthink even the smallest of decisions and replay the smallest of scenarios, again and again.
- My life was full of doubt and I’d wake each morning with scarcity.
- My life made me feel tired, it was heavy and hard work.
- My mind was cluttered and always felt full.
- My brain was foggy and constantly overwhelmed.
- My heart wasn’t being heard and I didn’t know how I felt.
And now I’ve left that behind, I can still overthink but I have ways and means of working with my own super computer, my brain to stop the overthinking and come back to me to start doing the feel-good things.
Why do we overthink?
There’s a few things here for me, some of which I’ll help you with BUT the biggest root cause is that in some form you don’t truly know yourself. You don’t know your values and how you want to live life OR your beliefs and how you see the world.
There is not judgment from me on not knowing yourself, just what I not to be true from the hundreds of coaching hours and live events that the NOT knowing yourself is at the root cause of most of the troubles I see in women.
So with this self-uncertainty, there’s not that trust, belief and confidence in yourself and therefore your decisions.
That lack of knowing, creates uncertainty and doubt in what you decide and this huge fear of being “wrong” or a failure.
AND add to that we’re constantly ON, between work, smart phones and laptops … we’re very rarely OFF. And we need to turn off to tune in.
So, if you’re an overthinker, here’s what I believe I can help you.
- Clear the Clutter
Clarity doesn’t come to a cluttered mind, so before we can find that calm and peace it starts with decluttering. Think of it like this and your brain being like your computer with too many tabs open, so it’s slower to use when the brain clutter is there.
So, to start that declutter grab a blank sheet of paper and empty your head of all that you have on your mind. It doesn’t make sense just think of it like a mental vomit. This alone will help you come back to you and stop overthinking.
2) Find your Truth
When we’re overthinking we tend to be in anxiety and future thinking what I call what id scenarios, so we’ll be using our old stories.
So again, look at all the things on your mind and ask this simple power question, “Is this true?”. And I mean can you prove to me this is true.
3) Listen to your Heart
When our minds are calm and clear, it’s much easier for us to listen our hearts are open and we can actually see/feel/hear our guidance and messages more readily. We stop trying to manage our lives as an equation of being right and wrong and instead we can start to trust our heart and intuition so we join the natural flow and grace of life.
4) Build your Trust Muscle
So if you’re overthinking so much it’s hard to make even the smallest decision, start with the small things and just ask yourself “what do I want?” Not what is right or wrong, just how do I feel and what do I want right now? We all have those natural indicators within us, that obvious yes vs the I should. Follow your excitement and what feels good for you. Start small and then build it up over time.
5) Slow Down and Check In
Take time each week to slow down, even if it’s over a cup of tea or writing in your journal for 10 minutes. Slow down to feel more rather than constantly just doing things. Life doesn’t always need to be in doing and achieving more, it’s also in the slowing down and being more in what you’re doing.
6) Turn Off, to Tune In
Our phones are amazing in so many ways, yet these amazing bits of kits we’re endlessly connected to the world BUT less connected to ourselves. So to tune in to yourself and your own opinions and views, turn off your phone and connect back to yourself … doing more of what you love and following your heart and letting go of the shoulds and the people pleasing.
7) Let go of Right and Wrong
Let go of things NEEDING to be a certain way, there only being right and wrong and paralysing yourself with only doing the “right” thing.
Instead think of life as an experiment, and you’re a scientist with you’re white lab coat on trying the latest variation on your experiment with no judgment on what it “should” be and instead fascinated and curious by what it might be and could mean. Trust yourself little by little and let your road unfold in front of you.
You don’t have time to waste, life is too short not to feed your heart and love what you do.
So, focus on YOU, trust yourself little by little and let your road unfold in front of you.