I write this to give reassurance and hope to the many, many Over Thinkers that are out there, of which I was previously one of the worst. For those doubting my level of Over Thinking, trust me it’s been pretty bad to the point of worrying myself into High Blood Pressure, along with giving myself a whole dose of anxiety issues and insecurities, the majority of which I have now managed to overcome. Anyway, to the message – there is hope and you CAN develop a certain level of control over your own over thinking!
My start to 2017 wasn’t quite in line with the upbeat vision I had for the full year but this was all down to niggling health issues left over from 2016. I started the year with the knowledge that I would at some point early in 2017 be facing numerous tests to try to find the cause of stomach pains and general stomach issues. Not to go into too much detail of the problems but important to know that the tests involved giving blood for tests on a few occasions, scans and the unpleasant thought of an Endoscopy (camera down the throat).
Here is the link to Over Thinking – In the past the thought of these tests would’ve weighed over me for a while. I would’ve worked myself up before giving blood without doubt, probably even costing me several sleepless nights. The thought of the needles, what was going to happen etc would’ve freaked me out and played constantly on my mind. The scan would’ve been less of a worry but the camera down the throat, which I knew about since the start of January, would’ve caused countless sleepless nights and lots of worry throughout the day.
The reason and power behind all this worry and stress is how I used to view what was coming and how I spoke about it. In the past I would’ve undoubtedly glorified how awful things were going to be to anyone that would listen. I would’ve played the Victim in every conversation possible, poor me having to face things that will cause my squeamish over active mind such awful personal trauma! I would have thought about it with a negative “Why Me!” view and worked myself up in frustration and worry. I know that this will all sound pathetic to some but to an over thinker, this is what a lot of us do, it’s how we cope!
Thanks to my new found personal control, vision for myself and attitude I did not do any of those things. I didn’t talk about how bad it would be at all, instead I spoke of my excitement of finally getting the problem with my stomach fixed and how I couldn’t wait to be back to full health. I didn’t have conversations dramatizing how much I hated giving blood or the worry of needles etc, instead I spoke about how it was just something that I needed to do and that I was looking forward to getting another part of the process out the way to help myself move forward.
I didn’t have negative thoughts about the procedures as that would’ve been wasting energy and impacted my mood. Instead, if a worry popped up about what was in front of me I simply thought to myself “This needs to be done, I need to know what’s wrong so I can take actions to fix it – diet etc” or “It’s not ideal but it’s all to help me”. This helped me quickly dismiss the worry, if it’s something that needs done then it’s not an option, it’s going to happen and it’s for the benefit of me.
The Endoscopy would’ve probably been the worst part but because I didn’t give it the power, my mind approached it as just another part of the day. I hadn’t talked it up and had actually actively talked it down. Even when one colleague was hell bent determined to glorify how horrible it was and how much I should be worrying, I just quickly dismissed it again and again, explaining I would be sedated for most of it (didn’t quite work out that way but that’s another story), that everything was going to be fine and that I was happy to have it done to solve the problem.
The way I had viewed the situation completely changed how I was able to handle each challenge. If you build things up to be so, so bad (whether it be in conversations with others or all in your own head) when they arrive your heightened expectations of an awful experience will undoubtedly be met … but if you can talk things down in a rational manner, to others or in your head, you will be able to power through them with ease.
Don’t glorify how bad your anxieties are and how awful they’re going to make you feel. Don’t give power to events from the past or the future by going over and over how awful they were or are expected to be. Instead give yourself power and credit that you can handle each and every situation.
If your mind starts racing forward to something that you are going to face in the future, bring it back to the present moment by simply saying “That may be coming but it’s not here now”. Think about good things you’ll do after the unavoidable event (if it is, like mine, unavoidable). Focus on the present, what are you actually doing right now. Focus on your breathing to realise you are not actually at the future situation, you are here and now. You can choose to do something enjoyable to take your mind off it. There are lots of ways but if you are struggling I would be happy to help.
This is all about attitude, a positive attitude can help you soothe your over thinking mind. If you can fill your head with positive thoughts, use affirmations if you have to – “Everything is going to be ok” or “I am strong, I am confident, I can handle anything” or whatever works for you. Don’t get involved in negative conversations, especially if they are about your life and how bad things are or how bad things are going to be. Talk about things that make you smile, talk about how well things will turn out.
I have been an Over Thinker all my life but thanks to my research and effort over the past few years I have managed to overcome the worst of it. This past month I have proved to myself just how far I have come. From what many would’ve seen as a dreadful process to endure, instead I have been able to take strength, pride and an improved self-image from it. I have increased my confidence and finally proven to myself that over thinking can be controlled, you just have to choose what you focus on.
I really hope this gives hope and encouragement to other Over Thinkers. If anyone needs any other help to beat chronic Over Thinking I would be happy to help talk you through some of the techniques and approaches I have used.
Thanks for reading, if you can relate to my story or have any other feedback I’d love to hear it.