Feeling Locked In
When you suffer from overthinking, you feel like you cannot escape. You feel locked in within yourself, and there seems no way out. One thought leads to another, and it can be difficult to stop this process. Overthinking can become problematic and lead to indecision and a feeling of insecurity, and a lack of confidence. It can be difficult for colleagues, friends, and family to understand someone who suffers from overthinking.
Overview Is Missing
What happens in your brain when you are overthinking? Your brain produces a lot of thoughts leading to other thoughts without any filter or monitoring. You are unable to put a halt to the process of creating thought after thought. You are missing the overview, the supervisory function, that would enable you to order and direct your thought process. You might say that your thinking is automatic.
Your brain is capable of many things that involve automation. This is a useful quality. When you are driving a car, for example, you are using automated behaviour all the time. Your foot hits the brakes automatically when someone crosses the road unexpectedly. Your automatic, instant reaction is helpful and possibly even lifesaving in this case.
Adapt Your Response
Yet when you are driving at speed on the open road, you learn to cover the brake. You don’t need to hit the brakes full-on, you might only break gently to stay a safe distance from other cars. In other words, you are learning to adapt your automatic response to danger to what is useful in a particular situation.
Direct Your Thoughts
Similarly, when you think you want to be able to adapt and direct your thinking to the situation you need it for. When your thoughts are racing all the time, you will find it difficult to direct them to whatever you’re facing. You’ve lost the capacity to effectively modify your thoughts’ speed and direction. Automatic thoughts are strongly connected to emotions. When you experience overthinking, you are likely to experience emotions such as fear or lack of confidence. You might find it hard to discern between feelings and thoughts.
Exit By Raising Your Level of Awareness
To get more grip on your thoughts and emotions, you need to raise your level of awareness. The first thing brain science says you can do: is to become more aware of your thoughts and your emotions. You can do this by practising self-observation, self-reflection, or meditation. You can use many different practices like mindfulness, zen, or prayer.
The Brain&Mind approach teaches you quickly and effectively how to develop your awareness of thoughts and emotions, based on science. You can overcome your tendency to overthink when understanding how the brain works. Your awareness grows and you feel empowered to direct your thoughts and escape overthinking.