That sentence above is one of the most frustrating things someone has ever said to me. There was no malice intended, but it’s just not something you say to someone who overthinks. Its like if I say to you, ‘Don’t think about a pink Elephant’, I bet your thinking of it now right?!
Overthinking is one the things I’ve struggled with the most. The best way I can describe it so you can understand is when you see the stereotypical ‘TNT’ on cartoons. The fuse gets lit, (This is my mind really starting to overthink). The fires getting closer to the TNT (my anxiety levels are starting to really creep up now) and then…..BANG! The TNT explodes and with that so does my mind. It Explodes into a complete overdrive of overthinking. ‘What if I didn’t lock the front door, someone might rob the house, take everything, we won’t have anything left and it will all be my fault.’ See when I overthink, it just keeps rising to different levels, and before I know it, I’ve created a whole worst case scenario!
I think this will probably resonate with a lot of people. Some people might overthink a social situation. ‘Why’s she not talking to me, is it something I said, does she not like me anymore, we won’t be friends and she will turn everyone against me’. Or ‘How fast was I going past that speed camera? What if I get a ticket, I’ll get points on my license, I might lose my license, how will I get to work?, I’ll lose my job’ and it goes on and on and on. It’s the anxiety that goes with it that I really don’t like, that racing feeling in your chest and the clammy feeling. And they’re just the physical sensations. After a while the anxiety can make me feel a bit down. That’s where the depressed feelings come in.
Over the years i’ve found various things that ‘pull me away’ from this overthinking tornado. Sometimes I concentrate on my breathing, take deep breaths in and then exhale. Concentrating on my breathing distracts my mind from the things I’m overthinking. Another thing I do is a grounding technique. I will think of the five senses, then i’ll go through each one and think of something that is relevant to where I am currently. For example, I can feel the carpet beneath my toes, I can see the tv, I can hear the radio etc. This grounds me, and brings me back to being rational.
It’s difficult because to a certain extent you need to know the consequences of your actions in life, but when it becomes irrational, that’s when it starts to get tricky.
Everything I say here is just my experience,I must stress that I’m not a therapist, I’m just telling you my story and what iv learnt about some aspects of mental health over the years.
Still thinking of that pink Elephant…??☺️
Bye for now xx