How do we get into that mode for overthinking and over-feeling?
When we have a thought that leads to an emotion, like anxiety or sadness, frustration or disappointment, it’s easy to struggle in finding a way out. Our minds become ever more busy, ever more in overthinking and over-feeling mode, in an attempt to lift our mood.
Yet, it’s not the mood as such that’s the problem, it’s the effort of trying to get out of our negative thinking that can make us feel worse. The more we strive, the less clear of a route out we become. We focus more and more on the negative emotions we are in, because they seem real, they seem to be what we’re facing right now and the effort of getting fathoming a way out is becoming less attractive. The ensuing vicious circle directs us to find a way out, however and the pattern repeats.
All that busyness going on in our heads, that’s what’s doing the damage. And that’s very inefficient, the more you struggle, the harder it gets.
It’s like adding custard powder or cornflour to water, the more vigorously you stir, the stiffer the mixture gets. If you stir slowly, it’s easy, the mixture feels runny. As with the powder, it seems totally counterintuitive to take the easy escape route, surely if you feel so bad, it’s going to be hard to get out?!
Why me? Why now? Why did it happen that way? Why does it have to be like this?
When we’re in that difficult state, we start to ask, why? And the feelings get more and more vague, because we’ve mixed in so many different emotions, limiting beliefs, old emotions and old memories. It only takes the slightest thing, like a little puff of wind, and the whole storm comes in.
So, you question yourself more and more. In maintaining the overthinking and over-feeling, you’re exhausted.
Let’s just think for one moment what we’re actually doing. What we’re trying to do, is problem solve our emotions in the same way we solve non-emotional problems. Our minds are really good at problem solving, we’re adept at finding out way in a strange city or figuring out the best value buy on the internet.
‘Solving’ emotions doesn’t work
Curiously, you can’t ‘solve’ an emotion (they aren’t necessarily that logical!). You have to STOP! Then use a different type of mentality. We’re in the wrong kind of thought mode for emotional healing f we’re in ‘doing’ mode. We need to be in a ‘being’ mode. Just be!
There are many ways to ‘be’. There is an activity that everyone and anyone can choose and you’ll be amazed with the huge difference only 10-20 minutes a day can make. So much so, you’ll find that these moments of calm allow your mind to actually think! This state of allowing trains of thought in and out, as automatically as your breathing, paying scant attention to them, enables the mind to inject a little creativity, inspiration and deep thinking – processes that the busyness prevents.
Need some ideas on how to just be, something that fits in with your life? It doesn’t have to take too much time or effort; the simpler the better!
5 Ways to STOP overthinking and overfeeling and START over
- Go for a walk. 10-20 minutes of different air, where you are not allowed to think about your thinking(!), but can only observe and talk through a little commentary in your head about what you can see/feel/hear.
- Sit or walk in nature. We were designed for nature and going into a park, garden, green space or countryside can help immensely. The Japanese have a penchant for forest bathing and just thinking about it can refresh your mind.
- Read –light reading for 10 minutes can clear the head wonderfully. Take your imagination away from daily life.
- Visualisation or mindfulness – find recordings you like on You Tube. Keep it short, so that your daily routine is something easy to fit in and something to look forward to.
- Take a shower! Close your eyes, imagine the water is a crystal clear waterfall washing away all cares, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.