So after reading this title, maybe you’re a little curious or maybe you’re a fellow overthinker? If so welcome to the club. I wanted to write a post about over-thinking, many people experience it daily. It’s important to talk about these things because the minute you do, you realise that most people are in the same boat. I’m not here to diagnose or dish out medical advice I’m definitely not qualified to do. These may seem really silly or Irrelevant to you or you might be able to relate, let me know! This is quite a wordy post, so get comfy. I feel very lucky and grateful to say that I’m the happiest I have ever been in years for many different reasons however, I think it’s important to share these feelings alongside the pretty, pink pastel photographs because no-one’s life is like it’s portrayed on social media, it just isn’t and hopefully this post could help someone.
Leaving my straighteners on.
Okay so almost everyday I will use curling tongs or straighteners, and everyday I will unplug them before I leave the house as you do. Only once I have left the house at some point I will think “Did I definitely turn them off?” The rational part of my brain is like “Yes, of course you did, you always do” but then the over-thinking part is like “Yeah, but did you though?” “What if the house burns down with Oscar inside because you didn’t turn them off?”
It might seem drastic but that can be my train of thought and it can sometimes lead to general feelings of worry and feeling unsettled throughout the day that I just don’t need or want! It’s not productive and it’s an unnecessary worry.
I simply snap a photo of the straighteners unplugged. As I mentioned this may sound silly if you have never experienced these thoughts. This takes me two seconds to do before I leave the house and it eliminates my worry for the day. If the worry does pop into my head; I simply check my camera roll, oh yes look I can see that I switched them off at 8:05 before I left. You could apply this to using the oven, the iron, I know everyone is different but who hasn’t left the house at some point and being like oh god – did I turn that off? This is a quick way to reassure, job done.
Just because you think it doesn’t make it true.
When speaking to friends and colleagues they will sometimes tell me their worries, I didn’t think X person liked me at first, or they will come out with a statement such as “I feel like I look gross today.” I try and bear in mind that just because you are having one train of thought it doesn’t make it true. I sometimes think to myself is this fact or a thought, and try to challenge the negative thoughts with rational positive ones. I also try and compliment people where possible, not over the top but if a nice thought pops into my head I will tell someone. You’d be amazed at how good it makes you feel seeing someone smile because you said something as simple as, “your make-up looks so good today” or “you look mint in that boiler-suit is that the Toyshop one” They might sound silly to read back to yourself on here but I wanted to use genuine things I have said to people. It’s nice when people notice and it’s nice to be nice.
Comparing yourself on social media.
Social media has it positives and negatives, depending on how you are feeling and reacting to things. I love social media, I enjoy sharing what I do and love, I definitely doing mind being tagged in my 10th sausage dog meme of the day either. Social media has it’s downsides, sadly there can be lots of drama, bad feeling and scaremongering online.
Be brutal with your social media newsfeed and timelines, anything that shifts your mood into a negative direction… get rid of it and don’t feel guilty about it. Follow things that make you happy, why put yourself through it when you don’t have to? Put yourself first, the unfollow button is there for a reason and it is totally up to you, you don’t have to follow anyone or anything if you don’t want to. If you’re really that worried about offending or upsetting someone by unfollowing them you can mute them (on twitter and Instagram) which means you’ll still follow them their posts just won’t show up in your feed.
On not being busy all the time.
There seems to be this common misconception floating around the internet that if you’re not stressed to the max, working 24/7 whilst juggling a social life, going to the gym and generally burning the candle at both ends you’re not being your best “girl boss” self. This just isn’t the case for everyone, some people thrive off being busy, other’s don’t.
Find how you recharge best and do it, don’t feel guilty for taking time out for yourself. You don’t have to go to the gym if you don’t want to, if you’d rather sit in and chill re-arrange that coffee date with your friends, they really won’t mind. Burning yourself out can harm your physical and mental health, don’t run around like a maniac trying to fit everything in just because you think that’s what you should be doing.
Talking helps, yes really.
Sometimes I need my friends to be cruel to be kind, tell me to stop being silly and tell me that my thoughts are ridiculous because lets face it they (probably) are. If one of my friends reacts in a way that my (overthinking) thought is silly, it’s a reminder that yeah, they are right… it probably is nothing to worry about. It’s also good to voice how you are feeling to your friends, family, partner and colleagues because if people know you are feeling stressed, anxious or overthinking they can empathise and react accordingly. It’s not always easy but it’s best to be honest if possible. Sometimes if I’m stressed I can become snappy or a little quiet, I simple say “ughhh I’m so stressed” or “I feel like this” and you’d be amazed at the responses from people offering ways to help, offering reassurance or just taking your mind off of it. The amount of people who say to me, I feel like this also but I had no idea you did, you seem so outgoing and confident. This is why it’s important to talk about these feelings, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s often the little things that make a big difference.