It’s the end of a holiday weekend and that means that most of us woke up this morning with a reeling to-do list in our heads. From all the emails we know will be coming the second we get to work to the multitude of issues that we expect will befall us the minute we wake up, we walk through the morning practically drunk on all the thoughts racing through our heads.
Let’s also add to that what overthinking also opens up: racing thoughts of inadequacies, things we should be doing, feelings of being less than if things aren’t done to perfection, etc. Suddenly, that spirals into the frustration over the fact that we should have gotten our nails done this weekend when we had the chance, our hair seems not quite right and HOW does that woman always look so fantastic in the morning? Ugh.
This is when you need to take a moment and push away from the swirling-yet-intoxicating pity party in your head. We all know the feeling of a hangover from dancing on tabletops, but it is also possible to have too much to think. Overthinking is just like drinking too much in the fact that it inevitably causes a general malaise, a lack of initiative and a need for silence in a dark room where you don’t want anyone to bother you.
The cessation of overthinking takes time, but it boils down to one simple thing: are you only filling your day with the things that make you happy? Really. Because if the list of things you HAVE to do is filled with things you hate and the things you LOVE to do is incredibly short and always on the back burner, the soundtrack in your head is bound to sound negative. Acknowledge what you can REALLY do today, add some things you really WANT to do to the list and then figure out how to flip the list so you’re not constantly picking at yourself. It’s harder to do than you think, but once it becomes a practice, it becomes much, much easier.
Also, another quick item to avoid overthinking? Don’t overindulge in negative experiences. Avoid circumstances that make you feel badly about yourself. Don’t take it personally if some clothes don’t fit, if your schedule goes a little nuts or if you’re not the person who can rock the neon trend (I can’t do it and I AM FINE WITH IT.) Don’t spend lots of time in places that make you unhappy or in the company of people who make you feel badly about yourself.
Because at the end of the day, our thoughts are pretty powerful things, so you only want to keep the best ones around. Avoid overthinking things. Try just for today to get all the swirling thoughts out of your head and walk away for a minute. When you come back later, you can make sense from all the noise and tackle the things that are really important. Like making yourself happy. Which should be at the top of your list every single day.