The Runaway Train…

Your mind — that is.

IMG_7909I can honestly admit that I have an extremely overactive mind and imagination and, there are days that my feelings and emotions WERE all over the place.  In speaking with other women, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who HAD this issue.  When my best friend shared this on Facebook, “Train your mind to be stronger than your feelings”, I knew I had to write about it.  The funny thing is before I could begin my blog, I saw it posted again by another one of my FaceBook friends.  Wow!  Talk about confirmation.

Let me start off by saying that it’s great to be in touch with our emotions and feelings but the truth of the matter is that we, as women, let our imaginations drive us straight down the steep hill without our seatbelts on to protect us; thereby, making a complete “train wreck”  as we are ejected from our seats.  When we are in such an emotional state, we can’t think clearly and often jump to conclusions because we haven’t thought it through — we haven’t processed it to see if it’s our own “wild” imagination or if there is, indeed, any is any validity to it at all.  I could write a book alone on how I have, in the past, allowed by emotions to govern my mind, but no more!

Why is it that some assume the worse in every situation?  Why can’t the situation be just what it is?  Why does more have to be read into it?  Those are questions to truly reflect upon.  Unfortunately, I can’t answer those questions for you.  However, I can give my thoughts on it:

  1. Distrust.
  2. Low self esteem.
  3. Insecurity.
  4. Uncertainty.

Perhaps, you can come up with your own views on the matter.  At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be how you want to live your life.  You have to find a way to turn that mechanism off because it is extremely unhealthy and can (and probably have) a lot of disruption in your daily life.

Train Your Mind

1.  Recognize you have a problem:

Can’t stop overthinking everything?  Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in solving a problem — acknowledge it.
Yep, I had to recognize I had a problem because I was driving myself absolutely insane.  I overthought so much stuff that it wasn’t even funny.  I couldn’t seem to relax my mind and once I thought something, it stuck.  The funny thing is I could come up with a million different scenarios for each situation I was faced with.  Boy, was that intense and mentally as well as physically exhausting!

2.  Don’t hate yourself for it:

The brain is actually hardwired to think out all the possible outcomes at any given moment, so overthinking is natural.
Overthinking is actually an understatement for my behaviors.  I was so bad that I’d even replay conversations that I had with people over again in my head.  I just couldn’t stop.

3.  Breathe deeply:

When you’re thinking a little too much, take some deep breaths and really break down what you’re thinking about.  Jotting down your thoughts in the form of a list might help you make better choices.
When I thought too much, my mind would begin racing at 100 miles a minute.  I couldn’t turn it off nor could I shut it down.  The only thing I could do was think nonstop about what I didn’t really want to think about.  I have found, though, that deep breaths do help me sometimes, but not always.  

4.  Talk less:

When we’re racked with too many thoughts, we tend to want to talk it out, which may not work out as well as you’d like.  According to research, talking about things you are overthinking releases cortisol, the stress hormone, that can actually get you more worked up.
Oh, my goodness.  This is the absolute truth!  There was a situation that I was dealing with and the more I talked about it, the more worked up I became.  I had heart palpitations and my armpits became so sweaty that I actually had to wipe them off.  Thank God for deodorant or, let’s just say, I would have been in big trouble that day.

5.  Practice meditation:

Meditation is often misunderstood as a strict practice of clearing your mind completely.  You can try it that way, but the best type of meditation for overthinking is meditation that allows your thoughts to roll pleasantly through your mind.
I don’t use meditation techniques but prayer instead, which eventually clears my mind, when I take a deep breath and “learn to relax.”  Deep breaths, deep breaths!

6.  Get outside:

Nothing makes you stop talking and clearing your thoughts like a hike or a bike ride or a fast paced walk.  Get out and get your heart pumping a little as you process your thoughts.  Again, don’t overthink by forcing yourself to think about everything at once.
Personally, walking helps me and the writer is correct because I can’t talk while I’m walking briskly as I immediately become short of breath.  However, I feel so much better after my walk and my mind is definitely a lot clearer.

This article entitled, “Train Your Mind” was taken from Higher Perspective website.

For those of us who are over thinkers, we’re not bad people but are just “wired” a little differently and have to find a way to turn off, shut down and unplug, which isn’t always easy for us.  We have to find a work around.  Sometimes, talking to a family member or friend can be a way to bring you out of that negative mindset.  They can “talk you down,” so to speak.  If you know someone who is struggling with “overthinking”, throw out the lifeline.  Whatever you do, please “don’t let them self-destruct.”

For those of you who may not be able to turn off this feature in your mind no matter what you’ve tried, perhaps, you might want to seek talk therapy.  I know some people are opposed to it because they don’t want to “let people into their business.  Trust me, I get it.  However, there are some very good therapists around.  If that still doesn’t help, maybe your doctor might prescribe medication for when you’re feeling extremely anxious.  Be completely honest with your doctor and don’t be ashamed.  The only way to get the proper help is by opening up about what you’re struggling with.  I understand that some are opposed to taking medication of any kind, so I will tread lightly here.  However, my stance is would you rather contend with “wild thoughts” every day of your life or would you like to have them managed, so that your mind can relax and stop the constant racing?

There were times when I would talk to my sister about some of my “far out thinking,” and she would almost scream at me “JUST STOP.”  There were times that one of may best friends would have to “talk me down as well.”  When you allow your mind to runaway with you, honestly, you can’t fully enjoy life because you’re always wondering what’s going to happen around the corner, and you think, think, think way too much!

Working through it all is definitely a process and it doesn’t happen overnight; however, as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect.”  It’s a struggle.  As my co-pastor said, in a conversation I had with him, “eventually, the light bulb will come on.”  Perhaps, it’s flickering right now, but it will “eventually turn on.”  Just hang in there.  You will have your “aha” moment, and then decide that you’re going to overcome your “mind racing behaviors.”

The last thing I want to leave you with is that overthinking can “hinder” friendships, relationships, and actually stunts your growth.  Learn to “LET IT GO!”

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

Image result for red heart with crown

P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

Author: Grace Deveraux

I started this site for women because as a woman, I understand the challenges that we face on a daily basis -- from being a wife (or significant other) and mother, to taking care of everyone and everything else -- that is, except ourselves.

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