Mindful Monday - Life As We Know It

in #mindfullifelast year

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Hello Steemverse!!

Happy Monday to everyone. My apologies for not checking in last week. I could not think of something to post without it coming out negative. So I just let things lay. Sometimes it happens, what is important is to not beat yourself up. I can't say that I didn't do that. I felt like I was reneging on a commitment, which was not the case. Sometimes, it's better not to do something. Especially when you are trying to retrain your own mind as well as try to be inspirational to others.

After a bit of reading over the weekend, I came across a few posts and responses that seemed to have a couple of common threads. The one I want to address today is 'Overthinking.'

What exactly is overthinking? According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

The action of thinking about something too much, in a way that is not useful

Gee, that's useful. Sorry, I couldn't resist. At least to an overthinker, it isn't useful. There should be more to it and thank you for telling me I'm not useful. Maybe synonyms work better?

analyze, brood, consider, deliberate, despond, dwell upon, fret, gloom, grieve, lament, languish, meditate, mope, mull over, muse, ponder, reflect, repine, ruminate, sigh, speculate, stew over, sulk, sweat out, sweat over, think about, think upon, worry, focus, peruse, speculate, scan, revolve.

That helps me, how about you? I personally have done all of the above at one time or another. Why? I don't know. I was always taught it was good to analyze things. Look a things from a different point of view or perspective to appreciate things more, to have a better understanding, but most of all to gain knowledge. While this helped me a great deal in learning to be empathetic towards others, it did not help me learn how not to personalize things. How not to be sensitive to others, how not to take on another's feelings or in other words how not to be empathic.

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Why do we overthink? We want to make informed decisions? We're afraid of making a bad decision? Yes and no. Kind of, sort of. Somewhere along the line, we did make a choice or a decision which impacted our lives in a severe or negative fashion. So we question ourselves and our ability to make decisions. We had someone we care/cared about that should have supported us, yet broke us down to a point we don't recognize ourselves. So we doubt every little thing we do, because we're not worthy, good enough or what have you.
Sometimes things change so quickly that you aren't informed, then something happens in which you are blamed and responsible for something you didn't know. Our friend anxiety comes to visit and starts to play games with your mind. 'Was I told that and I forgot?', 'Why can't I remember something happening?'

One of the websites I like to use to help my understanding of different issues is The Mighty. While doing my bit of research I came across this article 17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You're Overthinking If you want the full low down, it's a good read. We'll just cover a few of these to hopefully give us a better understanding. I find through understanding a behavior is better than trying to figure out what caused it. You could spend the rest of your life analyzing that one and never get an answer.

Over-explaining

'Hey, are you coming over tonight?'

  • 'No, I am not feeling well. I have been up all night in the bathroom. I don't think I would make good company.'
    'Uh, ok. Hope you feel better.'
    Sound familiar? Why give an extended answer to a simple question? Because you know what they're going to ask and you're going to stop them from asking? Chance are no. You have no idea what the other person is going to say. We want to save ourselves from explaining, but we go way to the other end and tell too much. A simple 'No' or 'Not tonight' would be sufficient. Answer if asked, but why say more than you need to?

Spacing Out/Getting Distant

'Hello.. earth to the person sitting in front of me. Are you listening?'
Of course you're listening. You heard everything, now your brain is running all the different scenarios in your head and the rest of your body is just sitting there. 'I just needed to sort things in my head really quick, sorry.'
Sometimes we do just space out and try not to think, to just try to let our minds be empty.

Constantly Criticizing Yourself

As an overthinker, we are our own worst enemies. We don't need anyone to let us know how we let them down, or spend time with us for instance. We do an amazing job of coming up with those reasons all on our own. It is because we're a horrible person. We don't deserve to have friends or people that like us, because in the end all we do is hurt people.

Jumping to Conclusions/Assuming People Are Mad at You

My best example I can use on this, which has been going on for a while. I don't get to have girl time or spend anytime with my best friend. When I make plans, the blow up. When I try to spend time with her, she's busy. Heck, while I talk to her almost everyday I haven't seen her in over a month. Prior to that it was 3 months. She lives just under a mile away from me. I ask if she's mad, she says no. I ask why we don't spend time together and I get we don't have to see each other everyday to be friends. So I remind her it's been months and I get the same answer. How does one not overthink this? I have been told to just let the friendship die. Why would I want that? We have been friends for 12 years. The one thing we both know is no matter what the other will be there. So I have to constantly tell myself just what she said. We don't have to see each other to be friends. It still hurts, we use to have so much fun hanging out. I just don't have the money to do so and she breaks plans when I plan to go to her place and no her coming to mine is out of the question. (Not my choice).

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Ok stopping, I said just a few need to make sure I'm reigned in or I'll continue to bore you. How does one stop overthinking? There is only one answer ... Stop. When the thoughts come streaming in you have to shut it down. When you start to question, you have to shut it down. When you worry, you have to shut it down. An overthinker cannot be allowed to 'think'. How is that done? What I have been doing is telling myself to stop. This is where being mindful is helpful. When the overthinking thought comes in you need to Greet it, Invite it to sit and listen, then go away. I have actually started doing this outloud. Some of my former coworkers would think I was crazy, because they would hear me tell myself no or not now. So I just put myself into another overthinker's nightmare, worrying what others think. This one I have gotten much better at, I don't care. People call me crazy, I say thank you. I/WE have to do what is right for us. In this case, the only way out is through.

Greet it, Invite it to sit and listen, then go away. You do not beat yourself up for your thoughts or for that matter, anything. (Sorry a tad preachy there...we need to ingrain this in ourselves) When you acknowledge the thought or feeling, you are giving it life. So often we're told not to acknowledge things and they will go away. Not with an overthinker. So acknowledge, the thought of feeling that came to visit. 'Yes, I know I am a worthless piece of shit, thank you for reminding me.' 'Just so you know, we're not going down that path right now (today or what have you). I have things to do and you're not getting in my way.' 'Get lost.' Then the most important part ... change the channel. Don't listen to that station, don't let your mind control you in that fashion. I'll turn on some music, or start singing something silly just to change my thought pattern.

Also, talk to someone about the thoughts. Sometimes just getting them out and letting them go works too. When you talk to someone about a thought you can usually break it down to see why you need to send it on it's way. You're calm self helps your anxiety self to see why it's unnecessary.

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Overthinking! Such a curse. I try to live by this: never worry about what others are thinking of you... it's none of your business😊 50+ years of training though, and I still don't have it quite right!

I right there with you 😊 Someday, I may get it right.

I can say that I am definitely an over explainer. I get so afraid to disappoint that I feel the other person would need to understand and I just go on to explain. That and I do space out as well.

Tis life I suppose. We all have things we need to work on.

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Pretty much. Sometimes I am amazed at what my brain comes up with. I have to give myself a double take and wonder where on earth that came from. I feel that as long as something does not impede on life then it isn't a problem.

That's true. It's when it makes a negative impact that we should worry.

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I am a chronic overthinker. I cant help myself. I really related to the last one about assuming people are mad at you. Now i recognise that im doing it and return to the breath. Again and again and again. And it works... I do it a lot less now . New neural pathways! Yay to that.

And absolutely... dont feel guilty for not writing a post!!! Its gotta feel right... but man, try having to whip one up in 20 minutes before the #mindfulmonday deadline lol... note to self, have back up post planned just in case....

Yikes. That is a bit much @riverflows. I knew I should have put mine back up after I fixed it. It just didn't have the curation on it, well for obvious reasons.

Oh yeah lol I looked for it in hope haha!!!

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I am guilty in over thinking. Most of the time it involves little things. Like topics to discuss during conversations. I always think that my colleagues would find it boring or wierded out. To ordering the right food which a struggle that we would not enjoy it.

Same here @watersnake101. Getting it under control is HARD. I know the way I phrased it sounds simple, but it's not. Even as I was posting this one, I kept rewriting parts that made it seem like I was over-explaining.

When I go out to eat I usually order the same thing I order at each place, because I don't want to get something I don't like. I would say that happens about 50% of the time when I try something new.

I often say if anyone knew what went on in my head at any given moment, no one would talk to me. I would love to have just one thought at a time.

I am definitely an overthinker. I try not to be, but, the scenarios play out in my head anyway.

Wouldn't it would be much easier to just be? Yes, but, then I would worry. I actually have gotten much better and do let things go where I never used to. I can breathe a bit and just let it slide.

And I have definitely gotten much better at the short answer. Coming for dinner? Not tonight, but, can I have a raincheck? That even feels better to me than going down the rabbithole of why I can't.

Thanks for being an active member of #SteemUSA!

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Get out of my head!!!!! Lol.

It's almost (?) like I wrote this post. Every single thing you mention is absolutely familiar.

I was actually planning to do a post on hypersensitivity, and that reminded me I had to come back to this post and read it - I had taken a quick look 2 days ago, but didn't have time to read back then. I made a mental note to come back... and then completely forgot. (A little contradiction for someone who overthinks everything, don't you think?)

An overthinker cannot be allowed to 'think'. How is that done? What I have been doing is telling myself to stop.

It's funny that you mention that.
A couple of weeks (months?) ago, I had a long and interesting conversation in the comments section of one of my posts about depression and overthinking. I've been meaning to try and find it again for a week or two, but I never took the time. Because you mentioned this, I went to look for it. Sad thing... I can't find it.
I thought it was @rycharde who mentioned it, but I just re-read our entire conversation, and it didn't seem to be in there (I did save it, because he said things I need to remember)

Such a shame that I don't remember who it was, but anyway,... in that conversation, that person gave me the tip to stop the overthinking by 'tricking' your brain. Every time you notice you're overthinking, throw some random nonsense in there. (How I wish I could find that comment again, because I would really like to be able to rephrase it.)

So, for the last two weeks or so, I've been trying it out. Every time I realize I'm doing it again, I start singing a pointless song, without words. Something like 🎶🎶 Ti, la,la,la 🎶🎶 (of course not out loud, lol)
So far, it helps. I can still 'hear' the thoughts in the background, but they are like whispers and I can't 'hear' the words. (OMG, this sounds really crazy - whoever reads this will think I'm a nutcase. 😅 But then again, maybe I am 😉)

One last thing, because I'm never going to get my post done if I keep rambling here: The 'Smile' message at the end really worked. It made me smile from ear to ear. So, I'm going to write it down in my 'happy-book', maybe even write it on a piece of paper and hang it on the mirror, so I will be reminded of it every time.
Thanks!

Maybe what you're thinking about is important - write it down. That's better than trying to "stop" it. Writing it down stops it going round in circles thereby freeing you to have yet another thought! ;-)

Mantras are good to stop the random chatter. Don't try them whilst driving.

I've been writing down a lot, after our conversation. And, most of the time, when I read what I wrote later, I realize I've wasted too much energy on something that wasn't worth it.
But the real overthinking starts when I have nothing to keep my mind busy, like in my car for example. It did happen a couple of times that I pulled over, took out my notebook and started writing, only to be late for my appointment, lol.

I realize that 'keeping my mind busy' when I'm at home, for example isn't the right fix for the problem - it's just a way to prevent it from happening. But for now, it's the best I can do

LOL... I told you I understood.

. I can still 'hear' the thoughts in the background, but they are like whispers and I can't 'hear' the words.

I have the same problem. It's just not 1 thought either it's like 10 all whispering all of the time. It's kind of amazing I can convey a written thought since so much just pops in and out. I think that's how I go off an crazy tangents. I'm at the point, I don't care if people think I'm crazy. I do think differently than others. I don't have to live my life to the confines of their world.

You'll find the comment. When you need to. It's funny how all of that works. How is the happy-book working? I've tried it a few times without success.

This is on my wall by my desk LOL
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hahaha, awesome. I need to get me one of those! A lot funnier than all those boring, written affirmations I have now.

I'm at the point, I don't care if people think I'm crazy. I do think differently than others. I don't have to live my life to the confines of their world.

I completely agree on that one. I think differently, but I also look and dress different from most people, so even if I would be completely 'normal' (which I don't want to be, 'normal' is boring), people would still think I'm weird.

Well, I can hardly believe it myself, but that 'happy-book' has turned my world upside down. Just the simple act of writing down 5 things that made me smile that day has had some real impact on my perception.

You can steal this LOL. I found the basic of the kitty and went from there.

I have a notebook just for that which a friend gave me. I guess I should put it to use.

I had the notebook for more than a year before I started using it, lol.

I just booked my first success doing what @rycharde said. I wrote down the entire conversation that was going on in my head, and realized there actually was a simple solution.
I was overthinking, wrote it down and came to the conclusion that everything I was worrying about could be solved by sending a simple text message. Of course, it took me half an hour and a list of pros and cons before I actually managed to send the message, but in the end I did - only to find out I was making a much bigger deal than it was...

Baby steps are steps too 😂

Actually overthink everything, go back and change, am never satisfied and just learning to accept and move on. This post really resonates with me right now. It becomes so evident to me that we all might have insecurities. Accepting them as possible deficits sort of eliminates them as we actually all have everything we need.

I'm glad something in the post resonates with you. There are some many ways to do things. It ultimately to find what works for you. I have found when you accept that though and send it on its way for me is working well. Ignoring them definitely does not. It's hard when there are multiple thoughts.

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