Definition of a THINKER (from the dictionary of Lisa): Someone who is prone to over-analysing situations, will think more deeply about a particular topic than necessary – to the point of neurosis, looks for the greater meaning in situations when sometimes there isn’t one, is prone to a bit of self-loathing and dare I say it – self-hatred.
Is this you?
It’s certainly me.
But over the years I have created a few strategies that help me get through everyday life with less anxiety. They are ripped off from Ted talks, books, blogs, anything that has resonated with me and ‘stuck’. I refuse to believe that through this stage of my life I cannot be improving myself as a person while navigating the world of parenting (it’ll be three kids, three and under for this crazy mumma!)
Ok, here goes….
Choosing what to obsess over.
These days, I filter. The most important things to me are the health of myself and my family and getting to the end of the day with my sanity in tact. I also want to enjoy the day, yep happiness and mindfulness is super important. While blowing my budget in the middle of the month can truly get me down, I am not going to obsess about it. I’m going to learn what to do better next month, focus on abundance and move on.
I’m also not going to obsess over things I literally have ZERO control over or things I can’t change. It sounds so simple when I write it, because OF COURSE you wouldn’t (!!) but we all do. This one is still a work in progress but it does help me in my quest to live in the moment more.
I ditch (as much as is humanly possible) ‘comparisonitis’.
Oh this is a hard one. Probably daily I find that I compare myself negatively to others – their achievements, their style, their career, their home (and the state of it!), their children (and the state of them!), their health, their ‘togetherness’. So I’ve worked really hard on letting all that go and just trying to be the best version of me. By this I mean celebrating the good things about me. Focusing attention on them, giving myself a pat on the back when I feel I need one. If a negative ‘comparisonitis’ comes up for me now, I try and counter-attack with with a mini-complement to myself.
So tough, but so necessary.
I let go of trying to be everything to all people.
A deeply insecure part of me just wants to have friends. I have always been the type of person to totally overcompensate, and get all hyper, in social situations. I want people to like me. When I moved to Brisbane I decided I wanted people to like for me who I am, not who I think they’d like me to be. That is just so exhausting – I know from experience! So I set about being genuine in social situations and although I am still a ‘talker’ I am also practicing my listening and sitting back. Uncomfortable silences horrify me and I always try and fill them but it’s quite liberating just letting them go. If people don’t click with me, that’s totally cool. I’m not going to over-analyse the WHY and see it as a bad reflection on me.
We can’t be friends with everyone, after all.
I think having kids, quite a few balls in the air and generally being busy has meant I don’t over-think friendships and people like I used to. I also don’t have time to be offended. If people don’t click with me, it’s no skin off my nose! Or perhaps that’s just the beauty of getting older….?
I start from a basis of grace.
If where I am coming from is a place of gratefulness for what I have and who I am in this moment, then I have just forged past a number of potential ‘over-thinking’ opportunities. Because I’m not starting the day trying to change myself. I am accepting and empowered and grateful. Wowser – this is a revolution if you can get there!
I am constantly reminding myself to come back to grace as it is one of the easiest ways to calm my over-thinking brain and pop into a peaceful state.
I’m learning to love myself.
Urgh! Gross! Or at least that’s what I used to think. For so long I was a Lisa Basher and I thought it seemed offensive and ‘up myself’ to really dig me. But dig I’m learning to do. I might not be the most organised person, I’m certainly not great at sticking to projects, I don’t have the tidiest house and I will never have the bronzed skin I faked for so long. But I’m learning that there is a lot I do well and instead of over-thinking all the ways I’m a little crap, I am choosing to focus on the things I’m good at.
To stop those negative thoughts in their tracks is soooooo hard. But I’m committed to getting to a place where I can truly say – “Lisa, you ROCK”.
I’ve discovered tapping….
Have you tried it? Or even heard of it? Also called EFT. Check out this video of Kelly Burch here – and try and tell me your mind isn’t calmer. Just try it. I go back to this video quite often.
Before I got pregnant I was really getting into yoga. As a true beginner. I was loving it but then first trimester nausea knocked me for six and I never got back into it. I walked a bit and my back has been terrible from about 25 weeks of this pregnancy. I cannot wait to get into a regular practice of exercise again. But I’m not into punishing myself as exercise. I loved this TedX talk by Dr Libby Weaver and totally resonated with her explanation of good exercise. It’s a great talk – I highly recommend it for any stressed out women!
I love incidental exercise. Where I lived in Sydney I walked everywhere and felt great. In Brisbane that has been a lot harder.
But I value the role of exercise in helping me cope as an over-thinker. I remember when my father-in-law was dying and most mornings I’d get up and go for a run before work. I’d put my headphones in my ear – usually playing Ryan Adams, who I was obsessed with at the time. At some point in the run tears would start falling down my cheeks at a particular song and I would run through the sadness I was feeling. It was a great way to get the emotion out. To allow myself to feel sad and release it and then those endorphins kicked in and helped me face the rest of the day.
OK, I think I’ll stop there. These are small, and revolutionary, ways in which I am attempting to ground myself and release the terrible burden of being an out of control THINKER! I hope that some of them help you. Please share below your tips and tricks!
PS This doesn’t even touch on the ways that empowering myself through food has helped – when I can stop the negative self-talk around food I am a TOTALLY different person!
PPS Want to hear more about how I cope with overwhelm, and re-focus on what really matters? Check out Small Steps Back to You.