Overthinking: Anxiety’s Questions

One of the traps I have begun to become aware of is when my self-doubt and anxiety takes hold, is that I try to regain control by thinking about every possible outcome of the situation. This “overthinking” sends me down a rabbit-hole where I get even more worried and feel even more out of control.

It sometimes stems from being well planned. As a teacher, planning is part of my profession. We plan non stop. We plan for the next lesson, the next day, the next steps for individual students. We plan for activities, for events, for trips and for learning experiences. Planning is what I do for my job. I’m good at it.

But when I begin to get anxious over a particular situation, or event, or upcoming problem, I try and plan for it. I plan for it in an effort to regain control of something which may or may not be in my control to begin with. Thinking about every possible outcome is fooling myself into thinking that I am in control. Or even that if a particular outcome occurs I will be prepared and ready and in control.

Often however, none of those outcomes ever occurs, and things happen how they tend to happen and none of the stressing and worrying and planning carried out by my little overthinking brain ever had any point or influence on the outcome at all.

The point of all this?

Nothing. Other than some encouragement that you’re not the only one who over thinks. Other than some encouragement that you don’t have to over think because the chances are, it doesn’t actually help. Other than some encouragement that you don’t need to plan or regain control because the reality is, no one has any control on any future events any more than they have on past events.

Nothing. Other than some encouragement that the fact you’re realising that you’re overthinking can be the trigger you need to stop yourself from spiralling out of control as you try and regain control. Notice that you’re doing it. Acknowledge that it’s over thinking and it’s not helpful. And move on.

Live in the moment.

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