Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Real Talk: Overthinking.

At three in the morning, I lay awake in my bed, twisting and turning, begging for sleep to take me I started questioning my sanity. I have not been diagnosed but lying in my bed when my brain is in overdrive, thinking in repeating loops about my behavior has convinced me of having mild levels of insomnia and overthinking disorder.

I plan and organize or should I say over-thinking and over-analyzing?
A little bit of planning never hurts anyone, right? In fact, it's even considered effective to increase your efficiency. But what happens when your plans take over your life? More importantly what when they don't work out?

Anyone who knows me personally would have seen me get upset when they cancel a plan they made with me. I'm sure no one likes being ditched but I take this more personally and seriously. I know it's very wrong of me. The reason one tends to do so is because they only have the understanding to their side of the story. This is why when you cancel on someone else you don't tend to feel as guilty as you should. It is because you know the exact reasons behind your actions, and to you, those reasons can fully justify your actions.

Everyone has a mental list of tasks they need to accomplish during the day. It can be challenging to switch one task with a leisure activity or the other way around. It is a matter of how important the task/activity is on your priority list and the impact of scheduling it later. The time gap that opens up when a plan is canceled and how to use it efficiently is an important skill that I am struggling to develop. Also, the excitement and the anticipation leading up to the plan goes down the drain and then pouring down come to the tears of mixed anger and sadness of rejection. Okay, maybe that's a mouthful to read but that is exactly how I feel.

The silver lining to my problem is that I am optimistic. After a small breakdown, I channel my energy to something positive. Always. However, the breakdowns are what bother me. I hate the periodic sessions of vulnerability. Sometimes they lead to lasting headaches. The state of emotional turmoil would mentally drain me. Any academic work during this time is out of the question and during a crucial period of examination, this downtime is unacceptable.The loud, tall girl with a strong exterior is after all just human.

Stress and anxiety are the biggest foes when you have an overthinking problem. Examinations or peak business months can be very challenging times as it restricts your ability to take healthy mental breaks as you are forced to lock yourself up to study or to work. After some research on how to overcome overthinking behaviour, I have come up with the following techniques that can be easily implemented and overtime shall help myself and anyone out there who suffers from the same.

 5 Ways to Overcome Overthinking: 

1. Awareness.
Isn't this the word thrown around the most these days but I guess its about time. You need to first acknowledge the fact that you are an overthinker. It should be easy because if you are anything like me, you already know it and you wish you could just take a break from your 'thoughts'.

2.Distract yourself with mindful activities.
Please note the word mindful before you take in the note distract. That is crucial. It can be anything that you truly enjoy. A sport, cleaning your house, working on an interesting project, learning a new language, community service! The options are endless. Wouldn't you rather spend your time doing things you actually love than waste it on 'thinking'? If the activity drives you it can be safe to say you will enjoy it and take away the negative hours from your life.

3.Reflection is the key.
Your hectic schedule does not allow you to exercise and I am telling you to reflect? Am I crazy? Hold on and hear me out. Ten minutes of your day with yourself and a journal can take you a long way. 'Talking about it' or 'complaining' to your friends will not be helpful in the long run. Take some time out for yourself. Write one thing you are grateful for every day in your journal along with whatever is bothering you. Once your ten minutes are overlock away your problems in your journal because it is time to rule the world.

4.Live Now.
Live in the present. “Iif you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” What is the point in worrying about the things which cannot be changed and the future over which you have no control? Always ask yourself this question "Will this matter in 5 years?" The answer will most probably no then do not spend more than 5minutes worrying about it. Also ask yourself 'What can I do?' instead of 'Why did that happen' or 'How/What if that happens'. Ultimately the only thing 'you can do' is work on yourself. Improve your skills, study, indulge in self-care because at the end of the day that is what is going to help solve all your future problems.

5.Your best friend: Endorphin.
Endorphin also known as happy hormone can be collected. It almost sounds like a Pokemon hunt but it is going to leave you happier than catching a rare Pokemon. It is scientifically proven that physical exercise and sports can generate endorphins. It makes you feel good about yourself. It will also give you a good night, good quality sleep and be beneficial for your health. You will have no time to worry about anything when you have to worry about your gym and shower schedule while maintaining a job/college schedule and that is exactly what you need.

Other extremely good ideas include listening to music, watching motivational videos/Ted Talks, reading non-fictional books to keep you busy.

On that note, I will conclude this blog post. I hope it was relatable. Please do share it with your friends who you think would find this helpful because trust me, one good read is all it takes to feel motivated again and come out of the overthinking loop. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below. Also, do not forget to follow my blogs via email or by simply following me on Google.
Signinng off,
Nishma Khetia.

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