Hold on, let me go overthink about it....
That quote above is a start to a funny meme...and it's funny because it's true. Man oh man have I wasted countless hours of my life overthinking things I absolutely CAN NOT control. Anyone else?? You too, cool. Let me help you know you aren't alone. Read on.
All of my life I have obsessed over having the life I was "supposed" to live. White picket fence, 2.5 kids by 23yo, an adoring husband to grow old with that has no expectations of my aging body, a thoughtful job that never took me away from my duties to item 2 & 3, and ALL of it with ZERO encounters with any problems!
I just knew that once I followed all the rules, surely I would be rewarded with this life...in fact wrapped in a perfect little box. Ummmmmm, out of check with reality much??? Yep, that last part is the kicker here. I really believed that a problem free life can be earned (or exists at all). I am fully aware of how cray that sounds but it's truly what I had faith in...even tried to build my legacy on. Spoiler alert...it's all a lie that life, it's merely something that I created with my over thinking. And what has it accomplished?? Nothing to write home about, that's for sure. Only pain, tears, confusion, defeat, and heartbreak to name a few. Disclaimer: I love my life, but I work hard as hell everyday to live a life I love. Make no mistake...it’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I even got an adoring husband who accepts my aging body without expectation in this deal!
Before coming to this realization though, I can actually name nights I've lost sleep reeling through all the possibilities of a situation that in fact, turned out completely different than ANY scenario I could come up with. You know the worst part? Each time it didn't work out how I overthought it would (sometimes it ended up way better than I could have imagined, insert current life, because God) I took it as a failure and a set back. I saw my perfectly boxed life slipping through my fingers and the side effect...you guessed it...more overthinking. So what's a girl to do??? Well, I would love to tell you that I kicked this nasty habit once and for all, but that's not true. I have gotten better over the years...however, I do believe this never goes away...but we do have a choice in it. Yes, it's a choice. Every time I feel it happening, I must make a choice to stop it. How? Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way:
-Leave the space you are physically in and get some fresh air. Sometimes merely changing your surroundings can put out an overthinking fire that's dying to blaze. If you are in a moving vehicle...please stay buckled in, roll the windows down, and change the radio to your fav uplifting song. Music heals my soul and sometimes, when I am just not capable of finding words...I get the message through the very next song.
-Don't talk to anyone about your thoughts EXCEPT trusted advisors in your life or GOD. That's it. As humans it feels good to purge our crazy thoughts from time to time...to everyone we know...thinking maybe we can gain perspective faster that way...but it's a slippery slope, trust me.
-Keep a gratitude journal. Write in it every morning (5 things you are grateful for in that moment as well as your goals, choose to write those goals as if they have already happened and be bold with them) then in the event you feel yourself losing your grip...go to it. Read what YOU have written down to be the most important items to your life. It's kind of hard to overthink your situation when you are busy being grateful for what you already have. This one takes discipline, but by far has been the greatest help for me.
Please, let me be honest...these are only 3 of MY coping mechanisms. I have a whole arsenal full, because sometimes...you just need to try something new. So, whatever you find that helps you, do that. My choices may fall short for you, but the point is to remove the habit to overthink from the equation as much as humanly possible.
There is peace on the other side, and by peace I mean wisdom. Each time you allow your mind to be calm in an out of control situation, you are allowing yourself to learn from what's happening. That lesson gives you wisdom that you will carry into the next out of control situation and so on. Life isn't perfect and honestly your life shouldn't fit into a box. It's meant to be lived and learned wildly...but we hold ourselves back all the time with this overthinking mess. Let me share a secret with you...bless and release. Bad things are going to happen...hell good things are going to happen too...bank on that. The only thing that you can control in any of it, is your reaction. So, what will it be??? Growth and forward motion OR overthinking and staying put??? The beauty is, like I said, we get to choose...