Do you ever get those times where you feel like life hits you at 100mph?
We all need a boost of positivity once in a while. In light of the prolonged January blues that are creeping into March, right now is probably best.
I am just going to say, I am not an advocate for positive thinking myself, nor am I going to lie and say that I am positive 24/7, 365. I am human, and I am woman. It is natural for me to feel 100 things at once! I am also a huge overthinker, a worry wart and do struggle with a bit of anxiety at the best of times. So I know how easy it is to get in the frame of mind where life feels very shitty.
But, I remind myself that it is so easy to be negative about things that are going on in life. I am alright, and I am studying a course that I love with some great people around me. Yes, I get annoyed about things, I am usually a little bit bored and feel too static, I do feel like Fibro gets in the way of a lot of my life and stops me doing some things, but the things going on in my life could be much worse. It does help me to write when I feel this way, yet, I have so much to be thankful for. Positivity (literally) keeps me going.
So here are some tips I use when I get myself into an overthinking rut and feel like life is edging towards the brink of no return:
First of all, stop overthinking.
Yes, I know, easier said than done. But hear me out.
It is really easy to overthink. So why not overthink something important or worthwhile? Like something happening in the world, a good book, a movie you watched? Think logically. When you are in the frame of mind to overthink, everything comes out in a jumble and thoughts become over-analysed and confused. But stop and think to yourself ‘really? is this necessary?’. The best way to do this is to think if you would say what you were thinking to a friend you didn’t really know. Is it really as big as it feels? Is it able to be managed? Obviously, this doesn’t help for all situations, but think if you were to think these thoughts when you were calm.. would they be the same? Or would they be different?
Think of everything that is making you feel good rather than bad.
It is so easy to think of things going wrong. It is so easy that we literally do it every day. But, have you ever stopped to think what is going right? The little things in day to day life that pop up and make you smile a little bit? The small gestures of kindness that make your day? It is things like this we should think of, rather than the things that piss us off or make us upset.
Can the situation be changed? Then change it.
When overthinking occurs, it usually spirals out of control to make things feel much, much worse than to begin with. So think to yourself, is there something I can do to help this? If it is someone, something, an event, that is worrying you, does it really need to prolong? It is important to remember that things will always pop up in life to push us out of our comfort zone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something that we need to learn to understand, and to learn from. This leads us to…
Understand why you may be feeling this way
… think about why it is that you are worrying or overthinking something. Does it make you feel a certain way? Why? If you can’t answer it, go back to the last point, you may be able to change it (though not always easy, it is sometimes the best option to take). Understanding your feelings and channelling your emotions will help you to understand for future, and also help you to think more logically in a situation as it forces you to take a step back rather than spiral in a panic.
Look on the bright side
Sometimes the only way to get out of an overthink moment is just to think ‘it could be worse’. Trust me, I hate those people too, and yes, it could be easier. But as someone who knows that, it is really easy to get caught up feeling like your feelings are drowning you. Really, when you think of the things outside of the issue, it helps to put it into perspective and rationalise it to make more sense. By thinking that things could be worse, you are looking more at the positive side than the negative side. Life is there for us to learn, grow and evolve. We are living beings, after all.
Do something that makes you happy
Instead of getting caught up in your thoughts, take your mind off the bad stuff. If that means listening to music, reading a book, watching YouTube until 5am, if it works, it works (in a healthy way, of course). It is important to recognise when you are letting yourself delve into a series of unhealthy thoughts, and to channel that energy into doing other things, which ultimately, save your overthinkingness!
Eat better, sleep better.
After eating better and getting good nights’ of sleep, your mind calms down naturally. If you are tired or your body feels deprived of the good stuff, it becomes overloaded and almost ‘stressed’, without better way to describe it, plus bad food tires your body more. This, in turn, will mean you are more prone to overthinking as you become anxious and tired. Good food, a balanced diet and a healthy sleeping routine will calm your body and make it feel stable, fresh and energised, helping process thoughts properly and reduce stress and degenerative thoughts.