Yes, some of us are born with a stronger intellect than others, and are more likely to be thinkers over doers. Nothing problematic about that.
But when our thinking comes with an emotional charge, it’s more than genetics. This looks like thinking that leaves you edgy, moody, or fearful.
So what else might be driving your busy mind?
Stress leads to overthinking because our mind is frantically seeking a solution.
Thankfully, stress is based on real problems, which means there are real solutions. Eventually, the problem sorts itself out, for better or worse, and the overthinking stops.
But what if it doesn’t? Your stress might have triggered anxiety.
Anxiety is the leading cause of overthinking, with the NHS reporting that one in five adults in the UK qualifies as having generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
It’s different than stress as it often doesn’t have a logical cause. Or it begins with what seems logic, and takes you into progressively less logic directions. And the more you think, the more one feeling grows — fear.
Anxiety, on the other hand, doesn’t have an instant solution. But it can be managed and become far less of a problem using the following tools (which also help stress).
Mindfulness is now a mainstream tool quite simply because it works. It helps you recognise that thoughts are just thoughts, often based on a past you can’t change and a future you can’t control. With practise, you learn to not attach relevance to your thoughts, and develop a much quieter mind, meaning you are more able to enjoy what is right in front of you.
Sit on one chair and talk to the other chair from that perspective (I should stay because we share the exact same lifestyle and we have invested so many years).
Switch chairs and speak now from the other side (but he doesn’t support c and it makes me feel really low, and our sex life is over).
Keep switching chairs seeing where it takes you, not judging what comes up but just speaking as freely as possible and allowing your unconscious to unload.
Conscious breathing is gaining ground as a mental health tool. Breathing into your diaphragm in counted, measured breaths lowers stress and anxiety. They trigger the sympathetic nervous system, meaning you are on a cortisol high and tense. Breathing triggers the opposite, the parasympathetic nervous system, which gives a feeling of calmness.
5. Consistent exercise.
Exercise is on the NHS list of things to do to counter anxiety. And it’s hardly surprising.
An overview of all current research to date on anxiety and exercise shows that it doesn’t just help by giving us a distraction from thinking (although that bit helps). It does affect both our brain and body in ways that physiologically lower stress and anxiety.