Updated: Jul 7, 2022
Do you ever "think" you might be "overthinking" things😜? You really don´t need to have an "anxiety" diagnosis to "be a worrier "or "an overthinker"...
Because we can all do this from time! I know that, because when I was personally struggling with my own anxieties, overthinking was definitely one of my own specialties. 🙄 I would wake up with a sense of dread (which was more of a "feeling", not a thought). And then this feeling would follow me around for most of the day. I would also spend a lot of my time and energy, worrying and overthinking about almost everything and everyone. The minute I was still, it seemed to kick in, and I would get myself stuck inside that hamster wheel of worry. In fact...
My overthinking was like a super special skill, and I was REALLY so good at it !! 🏆 If there had been a championship award for overthinking, I would have won it for sure. 😂 So with such a busy brain, at night, I would often feel so worn out.
I would climb into bed, just wanting to sleep, but my brain would switch back on (like a light bulb) and start hamster wheeling all over again. It could often take me AGES to get to sleep and when I eventually got there, I could be awakened in the night, and it would start up all over again. Needless to say that in the morning when I opened my eyes, there was that sense of dread once more. 😴 It was totally exhausting on every level. I would even have these moments in the day when I realized what I had been doing, and I would look back at some of the actual "thoughts" that had kept me awake the night before... Ridiculous thoughts, like... Second-guessing myself...
"Did I really remember to wash all the kid's uniforms? Did I pay the school trip money?"
Planing and creating future problems..."Who is going to look after the dog when we go away in 6 months' time?"
Stressing over teeny, tiny issues..."What will I do with that broken washing machine in the utility room?"
Or... 😫I would be running replays of myself in distressing situations from the past...like
Remembering how I shouted and turned into "monster mum" the week before,
Feeling guilty, replaying how much time I spent working when the children were very small, beating myself up with a big imaginary stick of shame
Even going all the way back, to childhood, remembering ridiculous memories from my past...like how badly I upset my school friend twenty years ago when I took her pencil case by mistake (and revisiting the big argument we had all about it 🤪)
Or 🙄 Imagining potential disasters and awful, crazy catastrophic situations like...
"What if our business collapses and all the money stops coming in... what if we lose our house?"
"What if I have a car crash and die... who will look after the kids properly?"
"What if my kids really hate me in a few years, and want to leave home as soon as they can?"
And even back then... When I looked back at these TOTALLY ridiculous night-time thoughts in the warm light of day, I would think "Why on earth was I even worrying about all that?" 😬 "What´s wrong with me?" And then I would worry about that too. When you start overthinking about your overthinking, that´s when you really know you might need some help... 🙃 So, because, quite a few of you have already reached out to me about this topic, and asked for some help with this... I´m going to share: ⭐7 signs that you are an overthinker... ⭐4 reasons why we can all overthink (so you too can stop overthinking about why you do this awful habit too) And... ⭐I´m giving you 5 helpful ways to help yourself to STOP overthinking when it happens to you or your family. HOWEVER... It is very important to realize that READING about "stopping overthinking" is all well and good but... ⭐ We all know that we can´t become physically stronger, just from reading about press-ups, nor can we get six-pack abs from watching other people do sit-ups on the TV, or learn to swim from listening to an audiobook about our front crawl technique... Because... 💪 We need to actually PRACTICE "doing" the physical and mental exercises and "using the techniques" if we really want to see results and expect to be able to do it well. ⭐Helping yourself and your family is no different. So... ⭐ I´m going to hold a FREE 1-hour workshop in a few week's time, to show you one of the secrets to "stepping off your hamster wheel with ease" You will learn a very powerful and super effective technique to interrupt and "club" your own ridiculous thoughts for yourself. ❤ How great would that be for you or for your loved ones? To be able to stop the wheel spinning and step right off with ease... ⭐This magic technique that I´m going to share reprograms BOTH your conscious and unconscious mind, and it will help you to automate the process and stop overthinking in its tracks. It´s a very easy technique, and you can practice having fun with it inside the workshop so that by the end of just one hour, you will have a brand new tool that you can enjoy sharing with your own family too. 🤸♂️It will be lots of fun and you will leave with a brand new thought-stopping superpower under your belt. 🦸♀️ Click the button below if you want to be invited to join in with me. I will also be sending out the recorded replays too. BUT only to people who have signed up here and definitely want to join in the fun. ❤ Because I really don´t want to be rude, and bother you by sending out things that you might not want to receive. So if your name is not on the list and you haven´t registered right here, then you may totally miss out on this experience... And I would be very sad about that. Would you?
🎁 7 signs you are an overthinker & 4 reasons why you do it! 🛑
As I said before, we can all overthink sometimes. So how do you know if it's a big problem or not? How can you tell if you are wandering into the land of "dysfunction"?
🤔 When overthinking habits start to interfere with your quality of life, keep you stuck, and have you feeling miserable, then it might be time to take some proactive action to help yourself or your loved one to overcome this habit.
⭐So here are 7 tell-tale signs that you or your loved one might be an overthinker...
🤯1) Struggling to sleep and finding it hard to shut your brain off because you worry about everything (going back over things you said or feel you may have done wrong)
🤯2) Asking lots of "what if?" questions in your mind and expecting or anticipating things going wrong most of the time. Thinking of the worse case scenarios and catastrophes.
🤯3) Having a lot of trouble concentrating on the present moment, being mentally there (present) with your family, and handling daily tasks in front of you because you are so "stuck in your head" or too busy with your thoughts.
🤯4) Finding it really tough to make decisions and when you eventually do decide, constantly second-guessing and doubting yourself.
Wondering about past actions with regret and finding that rather than self-reflecting and learning from them, you are just "ruminating" and replaying them, which keeps you feeling stuck and unhappy.
🤯5) Making assumptions about people and situations. Regularly "reading between the lines" and assuming that people are thinking "bad things" about you, or that something awful will happen.
Needing constant reassurance from loved ones or dealing with worry by bringing up the same troubling topic of conversation with your friend or family over and over again. (e.g. Am I being silly? Does my boss like me? Do you think my partner is mad at me?)
🤯6) Going back over past arguments and unpleasant moments in your mind. Reliving and revisiting your embarrassments and shame repeatedly, to a point where you feel magnetized towards it and almost as if you are dwelling on misery.
🤯7) Tending to overthink rather than taking concrete actions to solve your problems. So instead of calling someone to sort out a disagreement, you might unconsciously choose to spend all week worrying about it instead.
How many of these apply to you or your loved ones?
🤩 The good news is that if you are indulging in some of these overthinking behaviors, you don´t need to "worry about your worrying anymore..."
Because I want you to know that you are not really an "overthinker".
"Overthinking" is just something we do (like anxiety), it is not WHO we are!
💪 It is just a habit... and just as we "do" it, we can also "undo" it too.
Unlike productive "self-reflection" processes which actively and constructively help us to learn and grow, "overthinking" causes stress and can put us straight into fight or flight mode.
This not only makes us feel miserable but actually limits our creativity and our own mental ability to solve our problems and see solutions that might be right there in front of us.
I´m sure that you consciously know that "overthinking" doesn't help you at all, and I´m sure you realize that it's so unhelpful and very unproductive.
So you might be wondering why on earth we do it?
❓ Would you like to know why?
🙄 Well, as humans, we only really do something if there is a "reward" in it for us.
So, even the most unwanted of our behaviors and issues have to be "giving" us something unconsciously, (mentally or physically) for us to allow them to continue.
It could be protection, a form of defensiveness, fulfilling a deeper need or value somehow, or even bringing us actual feelings of relief or pleasure in some way.
This so often causes internal conflicts inside of us, those moments of self-sabotage, when we might struggle to get past our own unwanted and stuck patterns of behaviors.
⭐ When it comes to overthinking, there are 4 rewards that we unconsciously give ourselves that allow this nasty habit to continue.
✨1) It gives us the "illusion" of having some power and control over our situations. We may have a belief that if we can analyze a situation to death then we will have some influence and control over its outcome. This is quite simply a fear-driven belief.
✨2) We are addicted to knowing what will happen next and crave the "feeling" we get from having "certainty", as well as the relief and safety of knowing those predictable outcomes in our life.
We may believe that if we play through scenarios in our head enough times, and plan to the point of "perfection", then we won´t need to tolerate any uncertainty. This is also driven by fear.
✨3) Fear of shame of failure. If we try to be perfect, and continually strive for perfection, then we believe we can possibly avoid the "shame" of not meeting our own standards or others´ expectations.
By going over and over things in our minds, we try to perfect them and the outcomes they will produce.
✨4) We feel like overthinking has value somehow. It makes us feel like we are actively "doing" something about our problems in some way.
The reality here, is actually the opposite because overthinking often has us paralyzed, yet we can totally miss this and mistakenly feel like when we are worrying and ruminating, we are actually "doing" some kind of important work.
So now that you can understand more about what´s really going on...
Would you like some ways to help yourself to stop overthinking?
🎁 Here are 5 ways you can consciously help yourself or your loved ones to break out of this awful habit.
1) Notice and name what you are doing!
Self-awareness is the first step to breaking any habit. Give your overthinking styles a silly name in your mind. (Or help your loved ones to do this)
E.g. There goes Worrying Wendy again, Regretful Rudy, Catastrophy Katy.
This will help you or your loved one to dissociate from the worry experience, feelings, and thinking patterns and to externalize it and recognize it.
You can help each other as a family, by pointing out these characters whenever you notice they appear.
Also, can you notice the triggers, when do these unhelpful thinking characters appear?
Knowing when and where they will show up, can help you to prepare to consciously direct your thoughts, your attention, and your activities elsewhere.
2) Set aside specific and dedicated "Worrying time or place"
Whenever you notice your worrying or rumination kicking in have a coping statement ready,
"I will worry about this later or I will deal with this at "x." pm" (This redirects the thoughts)
Then sit down at a set time (X) each day for at least a month, (or it could be in a set place like a specific chair) and do the "worrying" activity for a limited time.
Allow yourself 20 minutes for example to dedicate to worrying.
As you think the "worry" thoughts, write them down, because otherwise, they spiral around in your and "feel" endless, rather than forming a concrete list.
Getting them out of the brain onto the paper is very helpful.
You could also choose to write a more helpful thought next to each unhelpful one.
Or even use a "worry jar" and put the papers inside or sit and do a locus of control exercise.
3) Practice meditation or another thought diffusion technique
Switch off the thoughts (your monkey mind chatter) with audio recordings, practice thought-watching, or take control of the thoughts with another thought diffusion technique.
In my family anxiety book, I have one called the worry TV which is excellent for this and I´m going to be sharing many more like this with you in workshops and in my upcoming book. Stay tuned for more!
4) Practice mindfulness. (Nowsensing)
Using our self-directed awareness of our senses takes us out of our heads and into our bodies. Using our bodies in this way brings us away from the past and the future and right into this very moment.
This is much more effective than trying to "think" our way out of our "overthinking". It acts as a "healthy" distraction to take us away from our minds, and it is like a muscle, the more you do it the easier it becomes.
I have all of my clients practice this training, to help themselves be "stronger" of mind and able to use it naturally when they need to the most. It is like finding your own "off switch".
5) Use curiosity about what´s really underneath the thoughts.
Questioning your own values and unmet needs can lead you out of overthinking to problem-solving and self-reflection instead.
What do you need more or less of in life?
What deeper values are you denying for yourself that could be causing this state of anxiety or rumination in your mind?
What changes might need to be made in your life?
What is it you want to feel and have happen in this situation?
Coaching is very good for this last point because it keeps you highly accountable to changes and can help you move forward from stuck mindsets and life situations, often in a way that friends and family might not.
⭐ Remember our thoughts can be true or false, but what really matters the most is whether they are either helpful or unhelpful to our goals and our mental health and well-being.
⭐If you would like some further one-to-one help to build up your own inner self-value and overcome any struggles and issues you may currently be facing in your life with anxiety or other issues.
Then do feel free to reach out to me and we can talk about what you might need to start to help yourself or your family to overcome your troubles.
I have so many tools and techniques from hypnosis, CBT, NLP & Mindfulness modalities all ready to help you achieve the things in life that you really want.
🥰 You can enjoy a personal session any time you like, by just clicking the button right here at the bottom of this email.