This week has been all about overthinking!
I write guest blog posts for a really cool new phone app called Daily Haloha. The app is a little moment of daily reflection where you are given a question to reflect on and answer. It’s then sent to someone on the other side of the world, then you receive someone else’s answer, and then you get to visit the wall and see what all the answers to the question have been.
We asked people to fill in the blanks one day this week on the following statement, which was-
“I tend to overthink………..”.
The overwhelming feeling I had, as I read through the 100 odd answers, was that it felt so heavy.
Reading all the ways people overthink got me to thinking just how much time we consume making the smallest, inconsequential of things into such a big deal and how certain thoughts seem to have an ability to worm their way into our minds and sit there, getting bigger and all consuming.
Believe me, I know only too well that feeling of wanting to rip my head off, stuck in an overthinking cycle.
The answers ranged from the examples above and-
“I tend to overthink what people think of me. I have recently decided to not care as much and it’s making a world of a difference.”
“I tend to overthink probably everything! Hence stressed out all the time!”
“I tend to overthink am I being productive enough? Did I do enough, give enough, communicate enough and otherwise prove my worth today? Just being should be enough.”
A few years back I did a sponsored Sky Dive.
Sometime beforehand I had been treated, by my daughters, to a weekend stay at a Buddhist Retreat house. One of the many memorable things about that weekend was seeing a painting on the wall that said, “Today is a good day to die”.
On the day of the Sky Dive that phrase came to my mind as I considered jumping at 1500ft out of an aeroplane….would today be a good day to die? As I reflected back over my life, over the adventures I’d had and all the memories I could bring to mind I decided that actually that day would have been as good as any.
If that day had been my last day I would be dying happy, contented and with a peaceful mind.
Whilst I am not wishing to be morbid that phrase has come to me sometimes when I have been stuck in an overthinking cycle.
If I knew this was my last day would I be stuck in an overthinking cycle trying to work through something that probably in the scheme of things was really not that important, would I be worried about what someone thought about me, would I be concerned about whether I had been enough for everyone that day.
Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong per-se with overthinking.
There is nothing wrong with any of the states we can get sucked into by our mind when we see them for what they are- just a temporary passing phenomenon that will be determining the quality of our experience in that moment.
But as your mind gets louder, your heart shuts down.
Overthinking is a signal from the mind to love yourself more.
Not to look at resolving the issue, but at loving the one who has the issue.
If you were to think of your heart as a small child, when overthinking is going on, it is a small child hurting, trying to resolve, trying to understand and be understood, to try and feel enough.
Speak with your heart.
Tell your heart it’s ok to feel feelings and every feeling is valid.
Don’t shut the heart down by trying to shut the feelings down.
Let it know you want to know how it’s feeling, and you will be there for it (for yourself) no matter what.
Every day is another opportunity to love ourselves more; to notice our wholeness; to notice our strength; to notice our well-being; to return to peace.
How can you love yourself more today?
How can you be more compassionate and understanding of yourself?
What are you spending a lot of time doing that may not be for your highest benefit?
What can you do differently today?
Questions to ponder on.
If you would like to discuss this, or this has brought anything up for you, then please do get in touch.