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Stuck in the Mental Roundabout: Escaping the Cycle of Overthinking

Overthinking is agnostic to whether clients are presenting with anxiety, or for performance coaching wanting better sleep, focus, productivity or relationship quality. I’d call it a crocodile wrestle, but I’m not sure which one of us is the crocodile.

The suggested protocols vary according to the type of overthinking it is.  There’s the intrusive thoughts when we are trying to work, that dart in constantly like a neighbour with no social skills.  And the ‘trying to stop a dog from sniffing on a walk’ thoughts in bed when all we want to do is sleep. There’s the team of forensic detectives with the blue light going over the email from the boss... Or the clerk tasked with filing a pile of papers in a set of cabinets already overflowing.

Some overthinking is trauma based and, like a kid obsessed with watching the same episode over and over again - our minds trying to absorb the event in bite size chunks each time.

We know if there is high emotion attached to the overthinking, or if it impacts our ability to function, or if it happens more at night, that there are different strategies for changing it.

Some overthinking is fear driven.  Most is habit driven, and some are both.

One thing that is sure - in this drink-from-a-fire-hose kind of world we live in, it probably won’t go away unless we make an active decision to work on skills to change it.

Me? I can think of few worthy pursuits in the spirit of quality of life. 


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