Here’s What You Need to Do to Stop Overthinking

Here’s What You Need to Do to Stop Overthinking

Did you feverishly click on this post, hungry for the ‘answer’, eager to learn what you need to do to stop overthinking?

Are you, frankly, so fucking tired of your racing thoughts and just wish your brain would stop conjuring up All The Things about Literally Everything?

Are you pissed of that you can’t just enjoy life, instead of worrying about, trying to predict, manage and solve life?

Are you even more annoyed that I still haven’t given you the thing you need to do to stop overthinking, and that this intro is stupid and way too long?

I hear you my friend. 

Here’s what you need to do to stop overthinking: Nothing. 

And, wow, us humans HATE THAT. 

Brains love a good ol’ tool 

Our brains love a tool, technique or strategy. Our brains run on patterns, algorithms, measurements and processes. ⠀

If you had a tool or technique to stop overthinking, your brain would take it and go to town. It would set you up with a goal which would likely be: ‘do this the fastest and best way or else’, then it would constantly monitor your ‘progress’ and talk to you about it all the damn time.

“You’ve been doing [insert tool] for [insert arbitrary length of time]. Why aren’t you fixed? Why are you still overthinking? Why is this not working? How come you haven’t found the thing that will stop all this overthinking yet? Do you realise how unhappy you are with all this overthinking yet you still haven’t fixed it?”⠀

Now, what does that sound like?⠀

That sounds like overthinking to me. Overthinking the tool to stop overthinking! Oh brains, you are funny. Funny, like, not fucking funny at all. 

If you struggle with overthinking and worry and find it saps your energy and joy in life, then I GET YOU. It feels so frustrating and buzzy and exhausting and horrid. I know. ⠀

But you do not need a tool, technique, strategy, or program. You do not need a coach (and I am a coach saying that). You do not need to DO anything. ⠀

There’s something to SEE, not something to DO. Doesn’t that sound silly? See? How can ‘seeing’ stop your constant worried brain chatter and overthinking? To stop something we need to do something, don’t we?⠀

Really, you don’t need to do a thing. ⠀

What the eff is ‘seeing’?

Seeing, in the way I talk about it here, means insightfully ‘getting’, in ‘realising’ that your thoughts don’t mean anything. 

‘Seeing’ means your relationship to your thoughts, to your thinking, changes. 

‘Seeing’ means noticing for yourself that this is true, not just reading it from some blog. 

When we see that our thoughts are impersonal, meaningless, fleeting, arbitrary, highly unreliable and basically full of shit, we just kinda stop caring what, or how much, we are thinking. 

If you do want to do something, do it

When I talk to my clients about this, they say they find that exercising, or listening to music, or washing the car helps them when they are caught up in a thought-storm. Does this mean they shouldn’t do those things?

No way! Do whatever you want. If it occurs to you, when you are feeling really frenzied, to do something, do it it you want to. 

But you don’t have to. It’s not the exercise, or music or car washing which is ‘making’ you feel better. This is why you’ll probably find it doesn’t ‘work’ every time. But who cares? It doesn’t matter. Just do what you want in the moment. 

True change will come from a different relationship with your thinking, not wishing it away, trying to change it, resisting it, allowing it or any of that stuff. 

When your speedy, worried, anxious thoughts just don’t look like something you need to pay attention to, they stop coming around as much. 

This can happen pretty quickly for some people. But for most, including myself, it takes time – and many thought storms – to start to see your thoughts in a different way. 

What next, then? 

You can’t ‘do’ ‘seeing’. This is why my job seems weird sometimes, helping people do something which can’t be done. 

But if you do want a thing, try this. 

Next time you are caught up, notice THAT you are thinking. Not WHAT you are thinking. 

‘Pretend’ the content doesn’t matter (it doesn’t but it’s okay if that feels like a bridge too far right now). 

Pretend your thoughts are in another language; you wouldn’t know what they were ‘saying’, but you’d feel that you were thinking a lot. 

That’s all that’s happening when we are in frenzied overthinking and worry mode. A LOT OF THOUGHT. 

But it feels so shit because we think the thoughts are important. 

They aren’t. 

Trust me. Try it out. Get curious. What if the content of your thoughts just did not matter one bit?

Your suffering is coming from believing the thoughts and thinking you need to do something. What if that wasn’t true? 

Question, comment, confused, feel like a rant, have thoughts to share? Contact me here