Are You Fighting With The Shadows?
Overthinking, like anything else, can be both a blessing and a curse.
You do it in a battle, prepare for the worst, you’re a good strategist.
In day to day life, it’s tiresome, and you don’t need it all the time.
Plus, in relationships, it kills the spontaneity and romance. Your partner comes to you all excited about something, but then you start to speak, and the sparkle in their eyes dies.
When you suspect you’re going down the rabbit hole or when people start to wilt next to you, it may be a good time to ask yourself:
- Is this really necessary? Right now? Maybe I can join in the joy of the moment and start dissecting later when things have cooled down a bit.
- Am I acting like a control freak? Can I loosen up a little or is it vital that I remain uptight as a bolt screwed snugly?
- What am I afraid will happen if I relax a bit? Will things really come undone or will they be just fine?
- What feelings am I trying to avoid by over-complicating things? There are many ways in which people avoid their uncomfortable feelings; excessive rationalising is one of them.
- What would be the most useful action right now: examining possibilities like a chess master or staying flexible and present in the moment, dealing with what comes up? (There is merit in both!)
=== EXERCISE ===
In case you forgot, you don’t have just one brain in your body: the gut and the heart are brains, too (yep, science says so!)
Why are they called brains?
Because they have their own intrinsic nervous systems and they are capable of doing complex adaptive processes. They can take on information, process it and store it; they can change and adapt. Basically, if it can learn, it’s a brain.
So if your first tendency is to overthink, here’s a process that can help you balance things out.
1.- Let your brain do its job, let it froth and spill – but only for ten minutes, then focus your attention on the gut. If you had years of practising shutting your feelings or intuition down, it might feel a bit weird to reconnect. (Just like any relationship where one party was ignored or silenced for decades 😉 )
2.- Place one hand on your belly and check what is your physiological reaction when you think about that problem. Is it tightening? Is it tingling? How does it feel? What would it have you do in that instance – run? Fight? Wait? Go with the flow? Listen just as intently as a pregnant woman is listening to the life inside of her.
3.- .- Now place a hand and focus on your heart. What does it “say”? How do you feel about that problem? What course of action does it advise?
Maybe the events triggered a strong, almost overwhelming reaction – stay with the feeling, like a silent observer. Don’t judge and don’t fight it. Just be mindful of what your heart has to say.
4.- Now bring all three messages from your brains in the space of the heart and see how you can reconcile them. What solution would satisfy them all? What would feel good on all levels?
This is something you can try when you have a decision to make because it can bring alignment with yourself. Instead of being stuck in the head and feeling fragmented or cut off from an essential part of yourself, you’ll feel at peace and whole.
And this is important, because “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
So, to sum it up, I’m not saying you should never analyse things logically and check for multiple possibilities.. There is a place (and a time) to put this ability to good use.
- Is your decision important?
- Does it have life-threatening implications?
Then sure, don’t take things lightly.
But if not, overthinking will get you trapped in your mind, while life happens next to you.
And all the while, you may be fighting shadows and illusions.
What is your experience with overthinking?
How are you handling it?
If you need help with it, drop me a message.
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