Don’t over think it!
Don’t over think it!
During a session with my Thrive trainer this week I came to an interesting realization. We’d been talking about an exercise I’d been given during my three weeks away, one that involved listing to my negative or obsessive thoughts and then a positive counter arguement. I was chatting about how I’d been doing this and then I added that I actually hadn’t been thinking as much about things in general. Positive or negative. He responded with a brilliant analagy, “if someone were to start insulting you on the train what would you do? Would you argue or would you walk away?” “I’d walk away,” I answered. “Exactly.” The bully on the train is symbolic of our negative thoughts and by choosing to engage, even if our comebacks are positive, we’re entertaining them on some level. So not thinking, or better put avoiding overthinking, is a good thing sometimes and yet we live in a society where not thinking has seriously negative connotations. “Use your head!” “Think before you act!” “Focus!” These are things thrown at us constantly and they effectively create guilt around the idea of not worrying.
I myself have felt guilt when I wasn’t ‘worrying enough’ about something. It was like, even though my stress and overthinking wasn’t useful or productive, if I didn’t do it I obviously didn’t care enough. It’s as though it’s insinuated that you can’t be organized or successful if you aren’t worried all the time. That simply isn’t true. Not that I’m encouraging thoughtlessness or disregard. I just mean to say that we need to stop overthinking. My whole trip represents a positive example of less thinking. I obviously used thought to plan my trip, to buy my tickets and more or less organize my route. I thought this through carefully and effectively. However, once that was done, I didn’t think so much about it. I didn’t panic about the worst outcomes and I also didn’t spend time daydreaming about how utterly amazing it was going to be. The result was a trip that was incredibly smooth and painless. My experience was wonderful because I hadn’t arrived with unattainable expectations. If something had gone wrong, I would have dealt with it and I realized that worrying about the possibility before wasn’t going to make a difference. Part of Taoism, a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-tzu, is to prepare well and once that is accomplished to allow yourself to go with the flow. This is a pretty good description of what I have been doing recently and it’s been so liberating.
My life isn’t any less organized or productive than it was without the constant worrying, it’s just as or even more so because I get to sleep a little easier. I cannot even begin to convey how tremendous of a change this is in me, I’ve gone from someone who would worry about not worrying to someone much more at peace inside of her own head. It’s about balance and using thought responsibly. Take responsibility for your actions but don’t over think them too much. Thrive has allowed me to give myself breathing space and I am so grateful to have such peace of mind. So give your brain a break and relax, all you can do is your best. No more no less.
To learn how to take charge of and effectively manage your emotions please contact Edward now on: 07460 802165