Hello, my name is Heather.
I am an overthinker.
There should be support groups for people like me. Unfortunately, they would never get off the ground because the planners would sit around for years overthinking it. Just imagine:
What would we call it? How should we advertise? What location should we use? Oh that one is too complicated to find. Wait, that location wouldn't have sufficient parking. We can't do it on that day of the month because some elementary schools have their PTA meetings then. Would we have snacks? Who would bring them? What if a participant signs up to bring something then doesn't make it? Who would be the backup? What if a tsunami hits during a meeting? What if a purple elephant escapes the zoo, runs across the city to the exact location of the meeting, tramples through a wall and eats all the snacks?!
Well, you get the idea. This is my brain...ALL THE TIME!!!
It makes everyday life a huge, overwhelming chore.
What should I wear today? What should I eat? I have tons on the agenda, so which should I do first? What jobs should I apply for? Should I go for jobs I know would easily hire or really follow my dreams? What are my dreams? Would I have health insurance? Would I get sick and vacation time? Does it pay enough to be worth it? What about the commute? Maybe I should just take a nap...
Decisions are a part of everyday life. Overthinking makes me crazy, but it is so difficult to stop doing. But I do not even stop there....
I also look back and overthink the past.
What if I had made that decision instead? How could I have worked that out? What if I had worked harder? What if I had waited it out longer? What if I had held my mouth the right way on one foot while whistling a symphony?!
While reflection can be a good thing, living in the land of "what-if's" is paralyzing. It keeps us from letting go and moving on. This is where I have been stuck lately.
But the land of "what-if's" is NOT somewhere to stay long-term. It's like a rest stop on a road trip. You may need to pop in and take care of some business: use the restroom, refuel, maybe grab a snack. But you wouldn't want to pitch a tent and live there. We should keep that in mind while looking at the past.
1) Use the restroom - Get rid of the waste. What did I do wrong? Learn from it. Note to self, next time do it this way instead! Now FLUSH THAT CRAP! Stop thinking about it. It's gone. That's it. Wipe your figurative hiney and move on.
2) Refuel - When we go through stuff we get tired. Stress wears us out. We need to stop sometimes and refresh ourselves. A car cannot work without gasoline. Even an electric car needs to recharge the batteries. We are the same way. Take a break. Rest. Pray. Meditate. Do yoga. Whatever refreshes you, DO IT!
3) Grab a snack - Ok this is pushing the analogy, but there is a point to be made. Eating healthy leads to better health. Better health leads to clearer thinking. Clearer thinking enables one to make better decisions. Better decisions help us to be happier and not have as many instances of regret that make us look back and overthink the past! It's a circle! "Snacks" can also mean feeding our brain by continuing to learn. Both are helpful.
Now the problem for me is DOING this. I can see that I need to, but I get so caught up in the overage that I often do not realize I'm there until the tornado in my head is at an F5! I know it is a habit that will take time to conquer. The only thing I can think of in the meantime is to ask for prayer.
Lord, I know I way overthink things. It is harmful to me. Please help me learn to review and let it go. Remind me to put it in YOUR hands. I know you have this.
LET GO AND LET GOD!