I have recently worked with a young lady who amongst other things was too afraid to go out into a new town, for fear of being attacked, mugged or of getting lost. She was adamant that she couldn’t go out on her own if she had never been to a place before. She admitted that she does a lot of thinking about what could go wrong. Until one day she had no choice but go out when away in an unknown city because she was hungry and the friend she was away with was not well enough to keep her company.
When we talked about this some days later she realised that on that day it didn’t cross her mind that she could be mugged or she could get lost in the big city. She didn’t have much time to think about it. She needed to go out and so she did. Nothing bad happened to her and she actually felt proud of herself for doing so.
I am certain that you have had instances like this yourself. And the fact that you didn’t do too much thinking at that time was actually very beneficial, because it meant that you didn’t allow yourself to go through all the ‘What ifs’ and as a result perhaps even decide not to do what you have planned to do.
This is normal. Your mind is designed to keep you safe, and as part of this strategy it gives you many different scenarios of what could go wrong. The downside is that if you believe every single ‘What if’ that your mind brings to your attention through your thinking, you might very soon stop doing many things, for fear of things going wrong.
So as much as we can be grateful for having the powerful mind at our disposal, thinking can prove to be bad for us. It is, therefore, a good idea to challenge your mind rather than believe in everything it brings to your attention. Here is a simple list of what other people have found useful when they catch themselves thinking about ‘What ifs’ too much:
- Ask yourself:
- Is this REALLY true?
- How LIKELY is this to happen?
- Has this REALLY happened EVERY time before?
- Imagine that your thoughts are just little clouds above you, and let them pass you by
- Take a few slow breaths
- Think about what would happen if everything went RIGHT?
- Become MINDFUL of your surroundings, e.g. notice all the different colours you can see around you, to bring yourself back into the HERE AND NOW, rather than allowing your thinking to make it a bigger issue than it really is
- Remember past situations when you acted on the spot, and were able to solve an issue that occurred unexpectedly, realising that you ARE ABLE TO RESOLVE ISSUES
Thinking can sometimes be bad for you, so it is good to choose not to think as much, or challenge your thinking, if you find that you allow it to hold you back.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this can help you be in control of your thinking.
But if you feel you need help, feel free to call or text me, Anna Finn, on 07966151680, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how Hypnotherapy can help you control the habit of overthinking, and start to trust your own intuition and problem-solving skills.