How to deal with overthinking
Overthinking in normal times is dangerous, in challenging times is even more so.
When we overthink, we lose our sense of reality by thinking things worse than they really are.
The solution is to get out of our head and experience a state of being calm and alert at the same time.
In the last couple of days going through my social media, I have seen a lot of posts with the word “Overthinking”.
“Don’t Overthink, Just do it”.
“Overthinking is not good”.
So guess what?
Today I’d like to talk about overthinking.
Overthink is already dangerous in normal times.
In challenging times, like now, it’s even worse!
It is very dangerous because we lose our sense of reality.
We think things worse than they really are.
So I’m going to teach you a technique.
When you feel you are overthinking or if you feel tense you can use this technique which will make you feel calm and alert at the same time.
It is a simple technique you can use anytime and anywhere.
Bear with me a moment.
I am sure that we have all being monitoring our temperature more than usual because of the Covid-19 symptoms.
So consider the possibility that we can measure the temperature of our emotions and feelings.
We all have an internal thermometer.
If I were to ask you where your internal thermometer would be, what would you answer?
In my case, my thermometer is in my stomach.
When I feel tension, I feel it in the stomach.
But we are all different so your thermometer might be somewhere else.
Perhaps your heart or throat or wherever.
And you know when the temperature of your feelings is a bit off.
You know when you are annoyed or full-on angry.
You know when you are a little apprehensive or full-on anxious.
You know when you are a bit fearful or in a full-on panic attack.
So this technique is to keep your emotional temperature normal.
So you can feel calm and alert at the same time.
How to deal with overthinking? So here is how to do it.
First, pay attention to your internal thermometer and your emotional temperature.
It could be normal but it is just to be able to compare the before and after.
So wherever you are at the moment, sitting, standing, lying down or whatever, just pick a focal point to look at in front of you.
Just look at the object or person you have chosen normally with no tension around your face.
Don’t squint, don’t frown.
Just look normally, blink as you normally would, breath as you normally would.
Keep looking at the object of your attention while at the same time place your awareness to what’s behind you.
You know exactly what’s behind you, you don’t need to look.
Play with this, be curious.
Keep looking at the object in front of you but place your awareness behind you.
And now expand this awareness of the distance between what’s behind you and where you are.
And you know the distance.
Now let’s expand this distance to what’s above you.
And again, you don’t need to check.
You know what’s above you.
Perhaps you are aware of a lamp, or the ceiling has a different colour.
Or even the height of the ceiling is from where you are.
Now expand this awareness to your left-hand side.
Be aware of what’s there.
Perhaps colours, perhaps objects.
Now do the same to the right-hand side.
Be aware of the distance, of colours or shapes.
Once again, you don’t need to look or check.
Because you know what you are aware of.
Now expand the awareness to what’s immediately beneath you.
And feel the texture of where you are sitting or lying down.
Again you may be aware of the colours or how soft or hard it is.
Now place your awareness to the floor.
You don’t need to look at the floor.
You know what kind of floor it is.
Play with this awareness and be aware of the texture of the floor.
The temperature of the floor.
Even if you don’t have your feet on the floor or you are wearing shoes, you know what kind of floor it is.
So you know the texture and you know the temperature.
So have a sense of awareness of your surroundings.
Let’s be curious now and be aware of what’s outside your house or wherever you are.
Be aware of the street outside.
You know exactly what your street looks like.
The houses, the buildings, perhaps the neighbours.
Just be aware of your street.
Now expand your awareness further, perhaps to your favourite coffee shop.
Be aware of the distance between your house and your favourite coffee shop.
Again you don’t need to check, you know where you are and the distance to the coffee shop you are thinking of.
And thinking of the distance, think of how you would get there.
Is it within walking distance?
Do you need to take a bus, tube or drive?
Also, be aware of time, how long would it take to go there.
Now expand even more so your awareness is to the place.
You are inside the coffee shop.
You do not have to be physically in the coffee shop to be aware of it.
Again be curious, play with it.
Be aware of smells, be aware of the taste, be aware of sounds.
So just stay there being aware of your surroundings.
Now bring your awareness back to the object you are focusing on in front of you.
Now I want you to compare your internal thermometer, even if it was normal before, to see if there is a difference.
How to deal with overthinking: Are you more relaxed?
This is the sense of being calm and alert at the same time.
So if you are starting to overthink, if you feel frustrated, get out of your head.
Stop a minute, be aware of your surroundings.
Be curious and play with it.
And then when the temperature of your feelings gets back to normal, go back to what you were doing.
So doing this technique is a skill.
And to master a skill requires repetition.
The more you do it, the better you get at it.
So when you are, for example, on a phone call or working where you are overthinking.
Should I do it?
Should I not do it?
Access this technique, be aware of your surroundings and you will immediately access the state of being calm and alert at the same time.
In a blink of your eyes.
It is really very easy and highly effective, having this control over yourself.
As usual, if you have any doubts, any concerns then please do get in touch with me.
Send me a message, go to my website and I’m here to support you.
Also please share this blog with others so they can benefit from it.
Stay Strong, Stay Safe, be Calm and Alert!