One of the things that I can win an Olympic gold medal for, if it ever were to become a sport in the games, would be overthinking. Sometimes, it’s amazing how easy I can fall into the rabbit hole of thoughts. However, what’s even more unremarkable, is how difficult it is to slip out of that thought tornado.
Recently, I’ve begun to think about “overthinking.” Why do we do this to ourselves? And, most importantly, why can’t we just turn off our brains for just one hour and live life without thinking about it?
I don’t have that answer. And, it’s certainly not that easy. With that being said, I do have a theory of where it could stem from.
Sometimes, in life we have bad experiences — a relationship that went wrong, or a job that you weren’t right for.
With that being said, while we may grow from those experiences, they still stay with us in some way, shape or form. We want to prevent that from happening again. Therefore, we question every little thing that we do, in the hopes that we can prevent that experience from occurring again.
Furthermore, I think overthinking comes from a self doubt that exists within us. That could come from pretty much everywhere — a comment from a girl in high school telling you that you look fat in your bathing suit during gym class, a boyfriend telling you that you’re not good enough or a boss questioning whether or not you actually learned something when you were in college. Or, it can come from a healthy diet of social media and People magazine.
Whatever the case may be, once that seed is planted, it becomes very difficult to rip it out. But, it can be done.
So, I’ve developed a little list to help me whenever I begin to overthink things. I’ve tried a few of them, and they do help. Therefore, I hope that it helps you as well:
- Remind myself that it’s okay to make a mistake, and just because you’ve made a mistake doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. There is no perfect human being in this planet (not even Blake Lively), therefore you’re allowed to make mistakes.
- Be honest. Text a friend/boyfriend or talk to your dog, and say “I’m overthinking, because of this.” Chances are, they will reassure you that everything’s okay. Or, your dog will ask you for a belly rub.
- Go do something else. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a run, or scroll on Instagram. Whatever it takes to make you forget about what you’re thinking, do it.
- Remember that nothing is as bad as you think it is. Remember when you were dreading going back to school for whatever reason — you got a bad haircut or you weren’t prepared for a test — and it didn’t end up as being as bad as you think. The same applies to this. Chances are, you didn’t screw everything up. Just repeat that over and over again.
- Last but certainly not least, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. That way, you’ll start to feel good — and forget the bad.