I think I think too much

I’d been laying in bed scrolling through my phone for probably 20 minutes when I finally decided it was time to turn my phone off. I left it on the bedside table after looking at the time: 1:04 am, and the moment my phone turned off, my mind turned on. One thought after another kept pouring into my mind: ‘school starts in 1 week’, ‘I should’ve told her this instead of that’, ‘I still need to do my website’, ‘I shouldn’t have said that’, ‘that person is probably mad at me’… One thought lead to the other and suddenly I noticed how stressed I was feeling. I looked at my phone and my eyes opened wide when I saw the time: 3:13 am. I distracted myself by trying to think about something else, but that only made me forget what I was worrying about temporarily, not solving any problem.

I had spent over 2 hours thinking non-stop, filling my mind with thoughts I had absolutely no power over in that moment. I was overthinking. And I realized that is something that I catch myself doing quite often. Whether it is thinking about how I will do an assignment or thinking about why my friend might be acting strange with me, overthinking is a part of my everyday routine, and I have gotten used to it. It’s something that I find to be unhealthy for myself and doesn’t help me in any way. When you overthink, you are trapping yourself in the past or in the future, you take time from your now, you obsess over things that prevent you from living in the present.

What I’ve come to realize is that if you have no control over something it is not worth your time. If you do something and you regret it, thinking about what you should’ve done over and over again won’t help you in any way. It will only cause you more stress. I know that this may seem quite cliché, but, you learn from your mistakes, and the only thing you can do is that… learn. You can’t change a mistake that you’ve made, but you can learn and apply what you’ve learned to any future problems you may have. On the other hand, if you are worried about something that you know you have to do, just thinking about the amount of things you have to do and how much you will get stressed doing so, once again you aren’t helping yourself at all. With these situations, the best thing to do is organize yourself and plan out when you will do such things. When it comes to overthinking, you have to organize yourself and go through a thought process.

The first thing you have to do is realize that you are overthinking. Like any other problem, what you have to do first is recognize that the problem is present. Then you have to think about what it is that is stressing you out, not into too much detail, but maybe write them down or just make a mental note. Now, instead of thinking about the problem that’s worrying you, start thinking about possible solutions for them and organize yourself. For example, if you haven’t done the homework that is due in 2 days and you don’t know when you are going to do it, start thinking about what free time you have and plan out a specific time for when you can complete the task. The final step after organizing yourself and planning out is to actually follow through with your plans. This will allow whatever I’m stressing over seem smaller and less to worry about as I know how I will manage it. It is just about changing your thought process and becoming more aware, organizing yourself and being consistent with your plans.

The next time I find myself laying in bed, thinking non-stop and not being able to fall asleep, instead of distracting myself, I will go through this thought process and I will allow myself to be free of stress, organized and all and all a calmer and happier person. Compressing and avoiding my thoughts won’t make them go away, and even though I wish I could’ve known this before, in a way I’m glad, because I know now.

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