Episode 099 – 7 areas of overthinking you get trapped in

Episode 099 - 7 areas of overthinking you get trapped in

Tune in for an unedited episode, because I couldn’t bring myself to edit out the birds tweeting away in the background…

Also, along with the birdsong, today I share the 7 ways we overthink, and the super-simple strategy on how to stop it

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Links from the episode:

Transcript of episode

Hello loves,

I deliberately keep my podcast episodes short because trying to pay attention for longer periods of time can be very difficult when we’re sick.  When I was having a really bad day even trying to stay awake for more than five minutes was a miracle.  The thought of listening to something an hour long was draining in itself.  This episode is about the 7 types of overthinking, so to avoid myself overthinking on the topic, I have kept this short, even by my standards.

Overthinking is miserable.  Getting trapped in your own head, torturing yourself for hours, days, weeks on end. 

Being diagnosed with an illness is a trigger for overthinking, especially when you find yourself trapped in bed or on the sofa with very little to distract yourself. 

A new phase of life, whether positive or negative, brings up sense-of-self issues.  You shed small aspects of your identity and take on new ones.  Self-doubt rears its ugly head and suddenly you’re over-thinking and over-analysing as your sense-of-self tries to reconcile and integrate the new order.  

As this is happening there are 7 areas of overthinking that we can get trapped in.

  1. Hopelessness – the stuckness.  The negative thought loop about a circumstance.  For instance, I can’t do this.  Why bother trying.  Things will never get better.
  2. Worthlessness – also stuckness, but this time about yourself.  Along with the same thoughts of why bother trying, these also include thinking of yourself as a burden. Finding ways to dislike yourself, and/or your body.
  3. Mental chatter – typically passive thoughts that are going on in the background of your mind, but distract you from being present.
  4. Future-tripping – worrying about the what-ifs or the worst case scenarios of something happening in the future.
  5. Ruminating – going over and over past events that hurt you or didn’t go well, often in a negative light that builds more shame and self-judgement onto yourself.
  6. Mindreading – how we think that others perceive something.  How they judged you in the past, or how they will judge you going forward, so you tend to prefer to hide things. This one also covers over-analysing something someone said, and fixating on what they could have meant.
  7. indecisiveness – taking a long time to make decisions, even on the simple things, things that you didn’t even bat an eyelid at before, trying to decide what would be the right thing to do, even if it’s only what deodorant to buy.

But, how do we stop this cycle of overthinking?  

We get the brain to switch over.  Our brain is a search engine always looking for answers, so send it on a path of something positive.  I’m all for manifesting your dreams anyway, so off you go.  Remove the limitations of your illness, and dream.  What do you want for yourself, and what could you do to get it?

Understanding the reasons for your overthinking may help you get to know yourself better.  When you can be kind to yourself that this is a period of adjustment, that you are human and your mind likes to do funny things, you’ll be able to catch yourself and put a stop to the thoughts.  We all do it.  We all get to choose where we want to let these thoughts take us.  You are not alone in this.

Well, that’s it for this week. 

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Life in Align podcast. If you liked what you heard please subscribe and share, so that we can get this out to others who are also wanting to take back the life a chronic illness stole from them.

And remember – you are worth it, and you get to choose. 

Have a lovely day.